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Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue?

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RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/08/14 01:49:22 (permalink)
but on what foundation and structure do we base and build community?

 
 
Jesus Christ.  And it is evident to me that he is present within our community the Catholic Church.  He said, whereever 2 or more are gathered in my name, I am there in their midst.
 
He did not say, whereever and only if the human heirarchy is functioning shall I be there in their midst.
 
He said 'whereever they gather in my name.'
 
He didn't distinguish between sinners and saints but if you want to look at it closely, he seemed to favour sinners, encouraging them to pick themselves up again and again.
 
Be discerning instead of reactionary or you may find yourself becoming the one you identify as an enemy who you despise.
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RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/08/23 17:00:58 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: Guest

Hi In 1995 it says Ratzinger issued a Responso.  I know Ratzinger had great influence too and must have advised or agreed with Pope John Paul II a lot perhaps as he was head of Doctrine of Faith Congregation, right? Chief Prefect of it?  Was he part of the steering committee on banning women for the last 30 or more years really as he has been around Rome and the different popes a long long time I understand, and seems ultra conservative, bides his time, reintroduces ban on girl altar servers etc, no women wash or touch chalice etc. Tridentine mass approval, issues insult to Jews etc.  These are his 'handiwork', I suppose.

Thank you so much for your help as I find the article and Vatican doctrine re women so illogical and so untheological and confusing to me , I can not figure it out.  Steill to me shows no valid reason to ban women. Thank you for helping me, and I am sure many others too.

 
Dear friend,

Hello!  I want to say that I have not forgotten your questions!  I have been a bit swamped here and hope to catch up with work on the boards in the next day or two.

I will be back.

with love and blessings,

~Sophie~
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RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/11/18 00:13:36 (permalink)
November 16  is the International Day for Tolerance

The International Day for Tolerance is an annual observance declared by UNESCO in 1995 to generate public awareness of the dangers of intolerance. It is observed on 16 November.

Preamble

Bearing in mind that the United Nations Charter states: 'We, the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, ... to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, ... and for these ends to practise tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours',

Recalling that the Preamble to the Constitution of UNESCO, adopted on 16 November 1945, states that 'peace, if it is not to fail, must be founded on the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind',

Recalling also that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that 'Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion' (Article 18), 'of opinion and expression' (Article 19), and that education 'should promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups' (Article 26),

Noting relevant international instruments including:

Bearing in mind the objectives of the Third Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination, the World Decade for Human Rights Education, and the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People,

Taking into consideration the recommendations of regional conferences organized in the framework of the United Nations Year for Tolerance in accordance with UNESCO General Conference 27 C/Resolution 5.14, as well as the conclusions and recommendations of other conferences and meetings organized by Member States within the programme of the United Nations Year for Tolerance,

Alarmed by the current rise in acts of intolerance, violence, terrorism, xenophobia, aggressive nationalism, racism, anti-Semitism, exclusion, marginalization and discrimination directed against national, ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, refugees, migrant workers, immigrants and vulnerable groups within societies, as well as acts of violence and intimidation committed against individuals exercising their freedom of opinion and expression – all of which threaten the consolidation of peace and democracy, both nationally and internationally, and are obstacles to development,

Emphasizing the responsibilities of Member States to develop and encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction as to race, gender, language, national origin, religion or disability, and to combat intolerance,
Adopt and solemnly proclaim this Declaration of Principles on Tolerance

Resolving to take all positive measures necessary to promote tolerance in our societies, because tolerance is not only a cherished principle, but also a necessity for peace and for the economic and social advancement of all peoples,

We declare the following:

Article 2 – State level

2.1 Tolerance at the State level requires just and impartial legislation, law enforcement and judicial and administrative process. It also requires that economic and social opportunities be made available to each person without any ny discrimination. Exclusion and marginalization can lead to frustration, hostility and fanaticism.

2.2 In order to achieve a more tolerant society, States should ratify existing international human rights conventions, and draft new legislation where necessary to ensure equality of treatment and of opportunity for all groups and individuals in society.

2.3 It is essential for international harmony that individuals, communities and nations accept and respect the multicultural character of the human family. Without tolerance there can be no peace, and without peace there can be no development or democracy.

2.4 Intolerance may take the form of marginalization of vulnerable groups and their exclusion from social and political participation, as well as violence and discrimination against them. As confirmed in the Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice, 'All individuals and groups have the right to be different' (Article 1.2).

Article 3 – Social dimensions

3.1 In the modern world, tolerance is more essential than ever before. It is an age marked by the globalization of the economy and by rapidly increasing mobility, communication, integration and interdependence, large-scale migrations and displacement of populations, urbanization and changing social patterns. Since every part of the world is characterized by diversity, escalating intolerance and strife potentially menaces every region. It is not confined to any country, but is a global threat.

3.2 Tolerance is necessary between individuals and at the family and community levels. Tolerance promotion and the shaping of attitudes of openness, mutual listening and solidarity should take place in schools and universities and through non-formal education, at home and in the workplace. The communication media are in a position to play a constructive role in facilitating free and open dialogue and discussion, disseminating the values of tolerance, and highlighting the dangers of indifference towards the rise in intolerant groups and ideologies.

3.3 As affirmed by the UNESCO Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice, measures must be taken to ensure equality in dignity and rights for individuals and groups wherever necessary. In this respect, particular attention should be paid to vulnerable groups which are socially or economically disadvantaged so as to afford them the protection of the laws and social measures in force, in particular with regard to housing, employment and health, to respect the authenticity of their culture and values, and to facilitate their social and occupational advancement and integration, especially through education.

3.4 Appropriate scientific studies and networking should be undertaken to co-ordinate the international community's response to this global challenge, including analysis by the social sciences of root causes and effective countermeasures, as well as research and monitoring in support of policy-making and standard-setting action by Member States.

Article 4 – Education

4.1 Education is the most effective means of preventing intolerance. The first step in tolerance education is to teach people what their shared rights and freedoms are, so that they may be respected, and to promote the will to protect those of others.

4.2 Education for tolerance should be considered an urgent imperative; that is why it is necessary to promote systematic and rational tolerance teaching methods that will address the cultural, social, economic, political and religious sources of intolerance – major roots of violence and exclusion. Education policies and programmes should contribute to development of understanding, solidarity and tolerance among individuals as well as among ethnic, social, cultural, religious and linguistic groups and nations.

4.3 Education for tolerance should aim at countering influences that lead to fear and exclusion of others, and should help young people to develop capacities for independent judgement, critical thinking and ethical reasoning.

4.4 We pledge to support and implement programmes of social science research and education for tolerance, human rights and non-violence. This means devoting special attention to improving teacher training, curricula, the content of textbooks and lessons, and other educational materials including new educational technologies, with a view to educating caring and responsible citizens open to other cultures, able to appreciate the value of freedom, respectful of human dignity and differences, and able to prevent conflicts or resolve them by non-violent means.

Article 5 – Commitment to action

We commit ourselves to promoting tolerance and non-violence through programmes and institutions in the fields of education, science, culture and communication.

Article 6 – International Day for Tolerance

In order to generate public awareness, emphasize the dangers of intolerance and react with renewed commitment and action in support of tolerance promotion and education, we solemnly proclaim 16 November the annual International Day for Tolerance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Day_for_Tolerance
post edited by Sophie - 2008/11/18 00:14:37
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RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/11/18 00:15:31 (permalink)
Vatican official: No nation fully observes human rights declaration
By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service
November 13, 2008

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Sixty years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the landmark U.N. document still is not respected fully around the world, said a top Vatican official.

"Unfortunately nowhere in the world, even among (countries) that have embraced, promoted and highlighted this declaration," are all its articles observed, said Cardinal Renato Martino, head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

The cardinal spoke Nov. 13 at a Vatican press conference detailing events the Vatican will sponsor Dec. 10 to commemorate the anniversary of the U.N. General Assembly's adoption of the declaration in 1948.

He said the world's prisons display some of the worst violations of human rights and dignity.

"When I visit these penal institutes ... it's as if the declaration never even existed," he said.

Some prisons in northern or central Italy are so overcrowded that prisoners must spend the day lying in their bunk beds because six people are living in a cell built for two and there is no place to stand, he said.

Even if a person must be subjected to punishment for a crime, he or she is still a person whose basic rights and dignity must be respected, he said, "but the respect for the human being in our imprisoned brothers and sisters is far, far from being practiced by all governments."

Cardinal Martino said the declaration's anniversary will be celebrated with a special commemoration at the Vatican featuring Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state; Juan Somavia, head of the International Labor Organization; and Jacques Diouf, director-general of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

The same day the Vatican will host a concert by the Frankfurt Brandenburg State Orchestra conducted by Spanish composer Inma Shara. It will be the first time a woman conducts a concert at the Vatican, Cardinal Martino said.

http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0805780.htm
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RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/11/23 16:15:17 (permalink)
Dear friends,

Though some 'traditionalists' argue that the teachings of Rome never change, history shows quite clearly that on some subjects, they do.  The Church's record on its approach to human rights is one example. As recently as the late nineteenth century, the Vatican rejected modern human rights standards such as freedom of religion. They feared that such freedoms would relegate religious belief to the margins of society, and that the rights of individuals would undermine a commitment to the common good.

Recent history on the other hand shows conclusively that the Church's approach to human rights has been making rapid (in the context of Church history) readjustments. Though more work remains to be done (eg, in bringing awareness to prejudice against women and in deepening Vatican comprehension of the role it plays in perpetuating discrimination) the Vatican's defense of human rights is a work in progress.

Through the short overview the following article provides about the development of the Church's 'project in progress' approach to human rights, the recent issue of America magazine provides some interesting food for thought about the possibilities for change on the issue of discrimination against women that currently pervades the Church.

If you have questions, please let me know.

with love and blessings,

~Sophie~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

An Advocate for All
How the Catholic Church promotes human dignity
By David Hollenbach
America Magazine
December 1, 2008



The Catholic Church’s stance toward human rights has changed dramatically during the 60 years since the U.N. General Assembly proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Dec. 10, 1948. In the late 19th century Catholic officials rejected modern human rights standards like freedom of religion. They feared that such freedoms would relegate religious belief to the margins of society, and that the rights of individuals would undermine a commitment to the common good.

A century later, however, the bishops at the Second Vatican Council proclaimed that “the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person, as this dignity is known through the revealed word of God and by reason itself” (“Declaration on Religious Freedom,” No. 2). The council linked the full gamut of human rights with the very core of Christian faith and transformed the church into one of the world’s leading advocates for human rights and democracy.

Why Church Thinking Developed

The church’s shift from opposition to support for human rights developed from the same historical experiences that led to the drafting of the Universal Declaration. The bloody wars of the 20th century led secular society and the church to a crucial new awareness that peace depends on respect for the dignity and rights of all. Disastrous conflicts like the two world wars follow when people identify themselves with “us” versus “them,” groups based on nationality, religion or ethnicity. Such divisions lay at the root of the Nazi genocide of the Jews. The drafters of the Universal Declaration feared that such divisions could leave colonized peoples no alternative to violent revolt in their resistance to the nations and racial groups oppressing them.

To counteract such bloody outcomes, the walls dividing people into those who count and those who do not count had to be torn down. Affirmation of human rights means that the inherent dignity of all members of the human family becomes the organizing basis of global social life. The Declaration of Human Rights is universal precisely because it affirms the equal rights of every human being. No white rule over non-white, no Aryan over Jew, no European colonist over non-European colonized, no male superiority over female. The experience of the consequences of us-versus-them divisions led to the creation of the Universal Declaration.

The same experience led to development in church teaching on human rights. Pope Pius XII began the process with initially hesitant support for human rights and democracy. John XXIII’s 1963 encyclical, Peace on Earth, unambiguously supported human rights based on the dignity of the person created in the image of God. Pope John XXIII supported the full range of human rights proclaimed by the Universal Declaration, both the civil-political rights like those of free speech and self-governance and the social-economic rights like the rights to food and health care. All these rights are necessary preconditions for the world peace John XXIII sought to promote during the cold war that the Cuban missile crisis nearly turned hot just months before he issued Peace on Earth.

Equally important was the Second Vatican Council’s late but unequivocal affirmation in 1965 of the right to religious freedom. Before the council, the church feared that the universalist claim that all persons should be treated equally in civil society without regard to their religious belief could lead to a religious relativism that could undercut the truth of belief in Jesus Christ. The “Declaration on Religious Freedom,” however, appealed to both the Gospel and the universal requirements of human reason to affirm that all persons must be guaranteed civil freedom to exercise their religious belief, even those who have failed “to live up to their obligation of seeking the truth and adhering to it” (No. 2). In this way the council rejected exclusivist distinctions in civic life based on membership or non-membership in the church.

The council set the church free to affirm the full range of human rights as due to all persons. In enabling the church to argue that religious convictions must never be used to deny human rights in the name of God, the council also positioned the church to challenge closed nationalism and all tendencies to grant political privilege based on ethnic identity. The council opened the way for a robust church commitment to human rights.

Church Action for Human Rights

Since the council, the church has exercised leadership in defense of human rights, often at considerable risk. In the mid-1970s, for example, the Chilean church established the Vicaria de la Solidaridad, an organization firmly opposed to the torture and disappearances carried out under the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet. The objections to torture in the Vicaria had been anticipated in the Vatican II declaration that “physical and mental torture...are criminal: they poison civilization; and they debase the perpetrators more than the victims and militate against the honor of the creator” (“Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World,” No. 27).

The church’s rejection of torture has been reaffirmed recently in the context of U.S. responses to terrorism. Speaking on behalf of the U.S. bishops’ international policy committee, Bishop Thomas G. Wenski reminded U.S. legislators that “prisoner mistreatment compromises human dignity. A respect for the dignity of every person, ally or enemy, must serve as the foundation of security, justice and peace. There can be no compromise on the moral imperative to protect the basic human rights of any individual incarcerated for any reason.”

Similarly, in 1986 the bishops in the Philippines firmly opposed Ferdinand Marcos’s effort to steal a presidential election. They declared the election fraudulent and his efforts to remain in power morally illegitimate. The bishops’ defense of the right to self-government aligned them with the “people power” movement that ultimately brought Corazón Aquino to the presidency. Similar church support for democracy has occurred in South Korea, Lithuania, Poland, Brazil and Peru.

The church’s engagement in the struggle for human rights has not been entirely consistent, however. In Argentina during the “dirty war” of the late 70s and early 80s, church leadership remained closely linked with the repressive regime. And in the horrific killings in Rwanda of 1994, the most Catholic country in Africa descended into the ultimate form of human rights violation: genocide. Some Rwandan clerics actually supported the murders; others failed to resist them. While the Catholic Church’s active support for human rights has been uneven, it is also true that leaders and members have helped make the church a major global force for the promotion of human rights. This year, on the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration, the Catholic community should reflect carefully on how it can improve and advance the positive achievements it has made.

The Catholic contribution to human rights in the immediate future may be most effective if it builds on the experience that led it to support human rights at Vatican II, which is the rejection of in-group/out-group divisions and support for the unity of the human family. Economic inequalities are among the most important threats to human rights today; the disparities deeply divide the world into the haves and the have-nots. Such divisions threaten the lives and dignity of the “bottom billion” people on earth and deny the basic economic rights proclaimed in both the Universal Declaration and church teachings. Overcoming such divisions will require what Pope John Paul II called the “globalization of solidarity.” The church’s rationale for affirming such global responsibility is based on faith, reason and experience. Its transnational experience of working across the borders of peoples and states gives the church practical insight into where the needs are deepest and which economic approaches are most effective.
Human rights continue to be threatened by conflicts based on ethnic or religious identity, especially when mixed with the forces of nationalism.

One thinks of the racial/ethnic conflicts between “Arab” and “African” in Darfur, interreligious strife between Hindu and Christian in India, and the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian struggle. The church has learned that its commitment to Jesus Christ should not lead to an identity defined over against non-Christians. Rather, Christianity sees all human beings as created in God’s image and worthy of universal human rights. Helping other communities learn how they can be themselves while also acting as brothers and sisters to the whole human community can be one of the church’s key contributions to the advancement of human rights today.

In his 1995 address on the 50th anniversary of the United Nations, John Paul II stressed that people’s national or ethnic identity must be fused with their support for the universal dignity of all persons. The church can help advance his message, which is even more critical today. In a context of dialogue with Muslims, for example, Catholics could explain how the church moved from rejection to vigorous support for the right to religious freedom while remaining true to its faith in Christ. Perhaps this could help Muslims travel a similar path.

As the church finds ways to move away from the causes of war, it can also address the consequences of violent conflict. Forced displacement caused by war and persecution is a major occasion of human rights violation. Today there are over 45 million refugees and internally displaced persons in the world, people denied the basic right to live in their own homes. Often displaced persons are persecuted because of their race, religion, ethnicity or national origin. When confined to refugee camps, they lose access to adequate medical care, education and jobs. In the northern hemisphere, refugees fleeing persecution find it increasingly difficult to find asylum; many who seek asylum are detained for long periods.

Pope Benedict XVI’s speech to the United Nations earlier this year addressed some of the causes and consequences of displacement.

Following the horrors of Bosnia and Rwanda in the 1990s, there was much discussion of how to prevent ethnic cleansing and genocide in the future.

It led to an approach known as “the responsibility to protect.” This view holds that the responsibility to protect people from grave violations of their human rights, such as those that occur in ethnic cleansing or genocide, falls first on the people’s own state. But if a government fails to protect its own people or, even worse, launches grave attacks on their rights, the responsibility to protect moves to the international community.

The universal human rights of all persons set limits to national sovereignty. This is in deep continuity with the notion of human rights affirmed by the Universal Declaration. The doctrine of the responsibility to protect, however, focuses committed nations sharply on the need to take effective international steps to prevent truly grave human rights violations. The World Summit of the U.N. General Assembly adopted this doctrine in 2005, and Benedict XVI strongly endorsed it this year.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, has suggested that implementing the responsibility to protect will require defending people from human rights violations less severe than genocide but nonetheless grave, actions like being forced from home and confined to camps for long periods. Guterres sees the doctrine as calling for a “new humanitarian-protection compact.” I think Pope Benedict’s intervention at the U.N. points in the same direction.

An excellent way to celebrate the anniversary of the Universal Declaration would be to launch a sustained discussion about how to protect the fundamental human rights of the 45 million people displaced from their homes today. The growth and development in the church’s stance on human rights could enable it to make a modest but serious contribution to the discussion and to the action required.

From the archives, the editors on the creation of the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights.
 


David Hollenbach, S.J., holds the University Chair in Human Rights and International Justice and directs the Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Boston College.

http://www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=11250
post edited by Sophie - 2008/11/23 16:22:43
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RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/11/26 03:11:18 (permalink)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Whenever people discover that they have rights, they have the responsibility to claim them.
  • Pope John XIII, Pacem in Terris
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RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/11/26 03:12:59 (permalink)
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pope John XIII was considered to be prescient in his time. For instance, he reminded the Church of the necessity to make room for women in the public sphere when he wrote in his 1963 encyclical Pacem in Terris -- Peace on Earth:

Women are gaining an increasing awareness of their natural dignity.  Far from being content with a purely passive role or allowing themselves to be regarded as a kind of instrument, they are demanding both in domestic and in public life the rights and duties which belong to them as human persons.
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RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/12/10 08:07:51 (permalink)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
December 10:  The United Nations marks Human Rights Day 
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RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/12/10 08:09:06 (permalink)
On December 10, 1948, the U.N. General Assembly adopted its Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

From The New York Times on that day:

Human Rights Declaration Adopted by U. N. Assembly
By JOHN KENTON
Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES

December 10, 1948

Paris, Dec, 10--A universal Declaration on Human Rights nearly three years in preparation, was adopted late tonight by the United Nations General Assembly. The vote was 48 to 0 with the Soviet bloc, Saudi Arabia and the Union of South Africa abstaining.

[The draft text of the Declaration of Human Rights was published in The New York Times Dec. 7.]

The declaration is the first part of a projected three-part International Bill of Rights. The United Nations now will begin drafting a convention that will be a treaty embodying in specific detail and in legally binding form the principles proclaimed in the declaration. The third part will be a protocol for implementation of the convention possibly by such measures as establishment of an International Court of Human Rights and an International Committee of Conciliation.

The Assembly accorded an ovation to Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt when Dr. Herbert V. Evatt, the Assembly's president, after declaring the declaration adopted, paid tribute to the first chairman of the Human Rights Commission for her tireless efforts in the long process of drafting the document.

"She has raised a great name to an even greater honor," Dr. Evatt said of the United States delegate.

Dr. Evatt also singled out for praise Dr. Charles Malik of Lebanon, first rapporteur of the Human Rights Commission and chairman of this Assembly's Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee that spent nearly three months in word-by-word redrafting of the text.

Before the vote Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Y. Vishinsky of Russia made a final effort to avert adoption of the declaration. He said that the document seemed to support the view that the conception of sovereignty of governments was outdated. He declared that only within the framework of government did human rights have a meaning.

Mr. Vishinsky urged adoption of a Soviet resolution submitted yesterday calling the declaration "unsatisfactory and requiring considerable amendment" and proposing to defer further consideration until the fourth Assembly next fall. Failing to get postponement, he asked the Assembly at least to accept a series of Soviet amendments to the text that would improve the declaration from the Russian viewpoint.

The Russian postponement resolution was rejected, 45 to 6, with 3 abstentions. Four Soviet amendments proposing new texts for the four articles to which the Russian bloc objected most strenuously were defeated by almost as decisive a margin.

The only amendment accepted was a British proposal to reword the declaration's colonial clause.

Article three of the declaration as completed by the Social Committee read: "The rights set forth in this declaration apply equally to all inhabitants of trust and non-self- governing territories." This was deleted and in its place substituted a second paragraph of Article 2, reading:


Furthermore no distinction shall be made on the basis of political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or the territory to which a person belongs whether it be an independent, trust or non-self-governing territory or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

The Assembly then reached the stage of voting on the draft declaration itself and Dr. Julius Katz-Suchy of Poland asked for a vote article by article. Most articles simply were approved in silence when Dr. Evatt called for objections and the rest by a show of hands.

The final vote on the entire text was taken at four minutes before midnight.

"History will regard this proclamation as one of the outstanding achievements of the United Nations since its establishment," Dr. Evatt told the Assembly." During the past year there has been much unfair criticism of activities of the United Nations and in some quarters pessimism has been expressed as to its usefulness.

"This pessimism flows for the main part from difficulties which the United Nations has experienced in the political field. The Declaration on Human Rights is the result of two and a half years of unspectacular but important work in the social, humanitarian and cultural fields.

"This is the first occasion on which the organized international community of nations has made a Declaration on Human Rights and fundamental freedoms. It therefore has all the authority of a collective body of opinion of the United Nations as a whole. It is to this document that millions of men and women in countries far distant from Paris or New York will turn for hope and guidance and inspiration."

http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/big/1210.html#article
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RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/12/11 01:01:27 (permalink)


Benedict XVI's Words at Human Rights Concert
"Build a World Where Every Human Being Feels Accepted"
zenit.org
December 10, 2008

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 10, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Here is the address Benedict XVI gave today at a concert held in Paul VI hall to mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

* * *

Illustrious Gentlemen and Kind Ladies,
Dear Brothers and Sisters!

I address my cordial greetings to the authorities present, in particular to the president of the Italian Republic, to the other Italian authorities, to the grand master of the Order of Malta and to all of you who took part in this evening's event dedicated to listening to classical music, interpreted by the Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester of Frankfurt, directed for the occasion by Maestro Mrs. Inma Shara. To her and to the musicians I wish to express the common appreciation for the talent and effectiveness with which they interpreted these thought-provoking musical passages.

I thank the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the St. Matthew Foundation in Memory of Cardinal Francois Xavier Van Thuan for having promoted the concert, which was preceded by the commemorative ceremony for the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, by the bestowal of the Cardinal Van Thuan prize on Mr. Cornelio Sommaruga, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the awarding of the prizes "Solidarity and Development" to Father Pedro Opeka, missionary in Madagascar; Father Jose Raul Matte, missionary among lepers of Amazonia; to the recipients of the Gulunap Project, for the realization of a Faculty of Medicine in Northern Uganda; and to those responsible for the Village of the Ercolini project, for the integration of Rom infants and children in Rome.

My kind thoughts go also to all those who have collaborated in the realization of the concert and to RAI, which broadcast it, prolonging, so to speak, the "seat" of those who were unable to benefit from it.

Some 60 years ago, on Dec. 10, the U.N. General Assembly, meeting in Paris, adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which still today constitutes a very high point of reference in the intercultural dialogue on liberty and the rights of man. The dignity of every man, really guaranteed only when all his fundamental rights are recognized, protected and promoted. The Church has always confirmed that the fundamental rights, beyond the different formulations and the different weight they might carry in the realm of the different cultures, are a universal fact, because they are inscribed in the very nature of man. The natural law, written by God in the human conscience, is a common denominator for all men and for all peoples; a universal guide that all can know and on the basis of which all can understand one another. The rights of man are, therefore, ultimately founded in God the Creator, who has given each one the intelligence and freedom. If one ignores this solid ethical base, human rights remain fragile because deprived of a solid foundation.

The celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Declaration constitutes therefore an occasion to verify in what measure the ideals, accepted by the greater part of the community of Nations in 1948, are respected today in the different national legislations and, even more so, in the conscience of individuals and of the collectivity. Undoubtedly, a long road has already been traveled, but a long track remains to be completed: Hundreds of millions of our brothers and sisters still see their rights to life, liberty, and security threatened; the equality of all and the dignity of each is not always respected, while new barriers are raised for reasons linked to race, religion, political opinions or other convictions. The common effort to promote and better define the rights of man, therefore, does not cease, and the effort is intensified to guarantee this respect. I support these good wishes with the prayer that God, Father of all men, will enable us to build a world where every human being feels accepted with full dignity, and where relations between individuals and peoples are governed by respect, dialogue and solidarity. My Blessings for all.

http://www.zenit.org/article-24518?l=english
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RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/12/11 01:54:39 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: Sophie


 Hundreds of millions of our brothers and sisters still see their rights to life, liberty, and security threatened; the equality of all and the dignity of each is not always respected, while new barriers are raised for reasons linked to race, religion, political opinions or other convictions.
 

 
I notice he left out barriers raised for reasons linked to gender. Perhaps the Pope does not view discrimination on the basis of sex to be a violation of human rights.
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RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/12/18 00:31:03 (permalink)
‘New’ human rights at risk of becoming source of ‘self-serving ideologies,’ cautions archbishop
Catholic News Agency
December 17, 2008

Vatican City, Dec 17, 2008 / 01:30 pm (CNA).- Today an address by Archbishop Silvano Tomasi was published in which he discusses the risks involved while searching for ‘new’ human rights.


Archbishop Silvano Tomasi

The prelate affirms that "when a breach is caused between what is claimed and what is real through the search of so-called 'new' human rights, a risk emerges to reinterpret the accepted human rights vocabulary to promote mere desires and measures that, in turn, become a source of discrimination and injustice and the fruit of self-serving ideologies."

Archbishop Tomasi, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the Office of the United Nations and Specialized Institutions in Geneva, continues his address on the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by noting that this anniversary of the Declaration, "leads us also to reflect on its implementation."

"In a world of too many hungry people, too many violent conflicts, too many persons persecuted for their beliefs,” he continues, “there remains a long road to walk and the duty to eliminate every discrimination so that all persons can enjoy their inherent equal dignity."

The prelate then encourages the U.N. and its specialized agencies "to faithfully translate the principles of the Declaration into action by supporting States in the adoption of effective policies truly focused on the rights and sense of responsibility of everyone."

"Every human being,” he went on, "has the right to an integral development and 'the sacred right' to live in peace.”  Human rights are not solely the “entitlement to privileges,” but are “rather the expression and the fruit of what is noblest in the human spirit: dignity, aspiration to freedom and justice, search for what is good, and the practice of solidarity.”

“In the light of the tragic experiences of the past and of today,” he concludes, “the human family can unite around these values and essential principles, as a duty toward the weakest and needier and toward future generations."

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=14649
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RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/12/18 00:48:12 (permalink)
Archbishop Tomasi on UN Human Rights Declaration
"Memorable Moment in the History of Human Coexistence"
zenit.org
December 17, 2008

GENEVA, Switzerland, DEC. 17, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Here is the address Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See's permanent observer at the U.N. offices in Geneva, delivered last Friday in an address commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

* * *

Mr. President,

1. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) is a memorable moment in the history of human coexistence and a great expression of a universal juridical civilization founded on human dignity and oriented toward peace. The Delegation of the Holy See fully supports the decision of Human Rights Council to specially observe the 60th anniversary of this Declaration. After the horrors of World War II, the Declaration solemnly reaffirmed the supreme value of the human dignity of every person and people, without any distinction based on sex, social condition, ethnicity, culture, or political, religious or philosophical convictions. With this document, human dignity finally is recognized as the essential value on which rests an international order that is truly peaceful and sustainable.

The UDHR proclaims: "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood." (art. 1) The Holy See celebrates the 60th Anniversary of the UDHR, first, by recalling the great sense of unity, solidarity and responsibility that led the United Nations to proclaim universal human rights as a response to all persons and peoples weighed down by the violation of their dignity, a task that even today challenges us. Then, it has promoted events, educational programs, assistance initiatives worldwide, in particular for children, women and vulnerable groups, so that God, as His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI said on December 10, 2008, "may allow us to build a world where every human being will feel accepted in his/her full dignity, and where relations among persons and among peoples are based on respect, dialogue and solidarity." Thirdly, it has highlighted once more the fact that human rights are at risk if not rooted on the ethical foundation of our common humanity as created by God who has given everyone the gifts of intelligence and freedom.

2. Human rights have an indispensable social role. They remain "the most effective strategy for eliminating inequalities between countries and social groups, and for increasing security." For the protection of individuals and society, the Holy See incessantly has reaffirmed the centrality of human rights and the role of the United Nations Organization in upholding this common patrimony of the human family. Human freedom and creativity have given rise to different models of political and economic organization in the context of different cultures and historical experiences. "But it is one thing to affirm a legitimate pluralism of "forms of freedom", and another to deny any universality or intelligibility to the nature of man or to the human experience." A healthy realism, therefore, is the foundation of human rights, that is, the acknowledgement of what is real and inscribed in the human person and in creation. When a breach is caused between what is claimed and what is real through the search of so-called 'new' human rights, a risk emerges to reinterpret the accepted human rights vocabulary to promote mere desires and measures that, in turn, become a source of discrimination and injustice and the fruit of self-serving ideologies. By speaking of the right to life, of respect for the family, of marriage as the union between a man and a woman, of freedom of religion and conscience, of the limits of the authority of the State before fundamental values and rights, nothing new or revolutionary is said and both, the letter and the spirit of the Declaration are upheld, and coherence with the nature of things and the common good of society is preserved.

3. This anniversary of the Declaration leads us also to reflect on its implementation. In a world of too many hungry people, too many violent conflicts, too many persons persecuted for their beliefs, there remains a long road to walk and the duty to eliminate every discrimination so that all persons can enjoy their inherent equal dignity. In pursuing this goal, there are reasons for hope in the developments that have been generated by the UDHR. The family, "the natural and fundamental group unit of society" (art.16,3), can be the first 'agency' of protection and promotion of human dignity and fundamental rights. This is in line with the UDHR as well as with the Holy See's Charter of the Rights of the Family, whose 25th anniversary is celebrated this year. The United Nations Organization and its specialized Agencies, this Council in particular, are called to faithfully translate the principles of the UDHR into action by supporting States in the adoption of effective policies truly focused on the rights and sense of responsibility of everyone. International pacts and regional agreements derived from the UDHR coalesce into a body of international law that serve as necessary reference.

4. In conclusion, Mr. President, every human being "is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms" set forth in the UDHR can be fully realized. (art.28) Every human being has the right to an integral development and "the sacred right" to live in peace. On such premises, human rights are not just entitlement to privileges. They are rather the expression and the fruit of what is noblest in the human spirit: dignity, aspiration to freedom and justice, search for what is good, and the practice of solidarity. In the light of the tragic experiences of the past and of today, the human family can unite around these values and essential principles, as a duty toward the weakest and needier and toward future generations.

Thank you, Mr. President.

http://www.zenit.org/article-24598?l=english
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RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/12/18 08:23:26 (permalink)
Dear friends,

You may have noticed a new Forum on the Circles home page.  Its purpose is to share news and information about (http://www.catherineofsiena.net/default.asp) -- an exciting project developed by friends of www.womenpriests.org.  Because of the nature of the College and its aims, we want to help publicise its features.  Please: Spread the word! and consider enrolling in one of the courses. 

Catherine of Siena Virtual College specialises in Gender Studies. The aim of the College is to help people see clearly the origin of social, religious and cultural prejudices that have stifled the voices of women and subverted their dreams. One of its stated goals is to empower women around the world to assume positions of leadership in religion and society.

The College was founded in 2005 by a group of academics who were concerned about the plight of women in the world.  By January 2008, the College was open to students with its first run of courses.

A thread dedicated to information about the College is located here: Catherine of Siena Virtual College.  Check here for information about current course offerings and news about its work.

If you have questions, let me know.  I can help direct you to the resource people for specific information.

with love and blessings,

~Sophie~
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RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/12/24 03:55:37 (permalink)
From the very beginning, human rights has been a major concern of the United Nations. On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
 
Following this historic act the Assembly called upon all Member countries to publicize the text of the Declaration and “to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories. United Nations Day is celebrated on October 24th and commemorates the founding of this organization in 1945.
Article 1.
    All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2.
    Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3.
    Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4.
    No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5.
    No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6.

    Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7.

    All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8.

    Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9.

    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10.

    Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11.

    (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12.

    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13.

    (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 14.

    (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 15.

    (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 16.

    (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17.

    (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18.

    Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19.

    Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20.

    (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21.

    (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 22.

    Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23.

    (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24.

    Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25.

    (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26.

    (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27.

    (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28.

    Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29.

    (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30.
    Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.
Sophie
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RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2009/02/08 15:31:02 (permalink)
Cardinal Bertone says 'God is source and guarantor of all rights'
Catholic News Agency
February 7, 2009

Madrid, Feb 7, 2009 / 12:04 am (CNA).- The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said this week, “When the Magisterium of the Church speaks about human rights she does not forget to base them on God, the source and guarantor of all rights, nor does she forget to root them in the natural law.”


Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone

During a speech marking the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the offices of the Bishops’ Conference of Spain in Madrid, the cardinal recalled, “The source of rights is never human consensus, as great as it may be.”

After emphasizing the intrinsic dignity of each person, Cardinal Bertone explained that “the current Roman Pontiff, in perfect continuity with the thinking of his predecessor, underscores that human rights are universal, they apply to all in virtue of the common origin of the person. In reality, the mark of universality is a consequence inscribed in the very concept of human rights: if human rights are those attributed to man for the mere fact of being man, it is therefore evident that they should be recognized for all those who meet this condition.”

“In our days, there is a continual and radical process of redefining individual human rights in very sensitive and fundamental areas, such as the family, the rights of the child and of women, etc. We should insist that human rights be ‘above’ politics and also above the ‘nation-state.’  They are truly supranational.  No political minority or majority can change the rights of those who are most vulnerable in our society or the human rights inherent to all human persons,” he stated.

Speaking later about the first right of all human beings, the right to life, the Vatican Secretary of State emphasized, “We find ourselves facing a completely new panorama with respect to the era in which the Universal Declaration was approved, above all because of the development of sciences and technologies, with numerous technical instruments to make life or death decisions.  There is a need to recover the full meaning of embracing life.”

Regarding religious freedom, the cardinal said, “It is inconceivable, therefore, that believers have to suppress a part of themselves—their faith—in order to be active citizens. It should never be necessary to renounce God in order to enjoy one’s own rights.”

“The commitment of the Church for human rights has precise reasons inherent in her very mission,” the cardinal said. “It is part of the Church’s diligence for man in his integral dimension. We could say that the ultimate and fundamental motive for the Church’s interest in human rights is of an ethical and religious order.”
 
http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=15015
Sophie
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RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2009/02/08 15:52:28 (permalink)
 
 
 
 
 
 
Most Reverend Eminence,

I appreciate your commentary. In your view, what approach should be taken when the Magisterium itself ignores those rights?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Respectfully,

~Sophie~
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