Pope’s U.N. Speech Seen As Valuable Service

Aide Says Pontiff Chose to Make Positive, Lasting Contribution

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 27, 2008 (Zenit.org).-Benedict XVI offered the United Nations a valuable service when he offered the international organization a principled foundation for human rights, according to a Vatican spokesman.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, speaking on the most recent episode of the weekly Vatican Television program “Octava Dies,” commented on the Pope’s April 18 address to the U.N. General Assembly

“There were some who expected the Pope on his visit to the United Nations to denounce one or another of the dramatic situations of injustice and conflict in the world today,” began the spokesman. “No. The Pope has done that and continues to do it often, in his address to the diplomatic corps at the beginning of the year, in his Christmas and Easter messages, in numerous appeals on different occasions.

“There were those who expected that the Pope would engage in polemics against the tendencies of various U.N. agencies to favor abortion and contraception. No.

“On this occasion the Pope chose to give a speech of a different nature, a speech on the foundations and the principles, a speech that will last through time, because this was the more urgent and more positive contribution to make in that place.”


“It was a speech that was very consistent with the specific moral authority of the Catholic Church and the general style of the magisterium of Benedict XVI,” Father Lombardi noted.

The Vatican spokesman continued: “There are universally valid principles, for men and women of every time and under every sky. In man’s nature, in the dignity of the person one can recognize and read the basis of the order to respect and upon which to reflect in social and political relationships and regimes, even if in forms that are always in need of improvement and perfecting.

“Forcefully asserting this, Benedict XVI offered the most precious service to the United Nations, defending the permanent value of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and he found the conviction and the determination to do this from the perspective of the Christian and religious vision of the world.”

The spokesman concluded, “Once again the Church has offered to the nations, with a fraternal attitude of service, its ‘experience of humanity,’ on behalf of justice and peace.”

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