Pacem In Terris 30: Reciprocity of Rights and Duties Between Persons

A short post today, but important, in which each of us is compelled to honor and respect the rights of others that we may crave, desire, or promote for ourselves:

30. Once this is admitted, it follows that in human society one (person’s) natural right gives rise to a corresponding duty in other (people); the duty, that is, of recognizing and respecting that right. Every basic human right draws its authoritative force from the natural law, which confers it and attaches to it its respective duty. Hence, to claim one’s rights and ignore one’s duties, or only half fulfill them, is like building a house with one hand and tearing it down with the other.

I leave it to the readers to assess how we do with the issues of our day. Aside from the sexual issues of LGBT persons, might it be interpreted that our “defense” of marriage is tied up in our acknowledgement that in society, others may choose to live and associate in similar ways? Or are some advocacies tied up with the principle that if people I disagree with are doing something I view as wrong, are my rights harmed, even if they are not actively opposing mine?

The historical example I can think of involves the number of persons who abandoned the women’s rights movement after black suffrage was achieved in the 1860’s.

Your thoughts?


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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