Pacem In Terris 60-61: Upholding Rights and Duties of Individuals

Pope Pius XII supplies today’s thought, that a government that ignores or violates personal rights and duties has abrogated its authority:

60. It is generally accepted today that the common good is best safeguarded when personal rights and duties are guaranteed. The chief concern of civil authorities must therefore be to ensure that these rights are recognized, respected, co-ordinated, defended and promoted, and that each individual is enabled to perform his duties more easily. For “to safeguard the inviolable rights of the human person, and to facilitate the performance of (their) duties, is the principal duty of every public authority.”( Cf. Pius XII’s broadcast message, Pentecost, June 1, 1941, AAS 33 (1941) 200)

61. Thus any government which refused to recognize human rights or acted in violation of them, would not only fail in its duty; its decrees would be wholly lacking in binding force.( Cf. Pius XI’s encyclical letter Mit brennender Sorge, AAS 29 (1937) 159, and his encyclical Divini Redemptoris, AAS 29 (1937) 79; and Pius XII’s broadcast message, Christmas 1942, AAS 35 (1943) 9-24)

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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