Fratelli Tutti 188: Fundamental Human Rights

Springing off yesterday’s discussion on charity, education, and subsidiarity …

188. These considerations help us recognize the urgent need to combat all that threatens or violates fundamental human rights.

Recently, we’ve seen pushback on this. Teens at work are not so bad … except when they paid at adult rates. Money for sex, not so bad. The focus is on the consumer in economics these days and not so much those consumed by society then thrown away.

Politicians are called to “tend to the needs of individuals and peoples. To tend those in need takes strength and tenderness, effort and generosity in the midst of a functionalistic and privatized mindset that inexorably leads to a ‘throwaway culture’… It involves taking responsibility for the present with its situations of utter marginalization and anguish, and being capable of bestowing dignity upon it”. [Address to the European Parliament, Strasbourg (25 November 2014): AAS 106 (2014), 999]

And this:

It will likewise inspire intense efforts to ensure that “everything be done to protect the status and dignity of the human person”. [ Address at the Meeting with Authorities and the Diplomatic Corps in the Central African Republic, Bangui(29 November 2015): AAS 107 (2015), 1320]  

I suspect “intense efforts” are expended often enough–but on behalf of those who have influence.

Politicians are doers, builders with ambitious goals, possessed of a broad, realistic and pragmatic gaze that looks beyond their own borders. Their biggest concern should not be about a drop in the polls, but about finding effective solutions to “the phenomenon of social and economic exclusion, with its baneful consequences:

  • human trafficking,
  • the marketing of human organs and tissues,
  • the sexual exploitation of boys and girls,
  • slave labor,
  • including prostitution,
  • the drug and weapons trade,
  • terrorism and international organized crime.

What a sorry litany of progress for this century.

Such is the magnitude of these situations, and their toll in innocent lives, that we must avoid every temptation to fall into a declarationist nominalism that would assuage our consciences. We need to ensure that our institutions are truly effective in the struggle against all these scourges”. [Address to the United Nations Organization, New York (25 September 2015): AAS 107 (2015), 1039] This includes taking intelligent advantage of the immense resources offered by technological development.

All citations of Fratelli Tutti (which can be found on this link) are © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

About catholicsensibility

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