Papal Encyclicas Human Rights Catholic Church

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According to critics the Roman Catholic Church was an opponent of liberal freedoms far into the 20th century. Even religious freedom was denied. At the Second Vatican Council in the mid-60s fundamental rights were granted. And up to this very day there are open questions concerning the rights of women, sexual minorities but also of the separation of powers or a legal voice for guilty believers. This came from some critical voices.

One month ago, in April 2008, Pope Benedict XVI. visited the USA, and spent some time in Washington and New York.

His speech before the UN General Assembly was seen as a culmination of his travel. He spoke about the freedom of religion and about human rights as the best way to reduce inequalities and increase security between nations and social groups.

The UN with its promotion of peace should be a "moral center where all nations of the world could feel at home". Here is the full text of the speech of Pope Benedict at the UN.

Pope Benedict XVI. New York,
Friday, April 18, 2008

The subject of 'human rights' is definitely not something new for the Catholic Church. You can find a lot of references and ressources in the Papal Encyclicas.

Here is a list of Papal Encyclicas that deal with the subject 'Human Rights':

By the natural law every human being has the right to respect for ... listed among the rights of a human being, to honor ... blood."[11] 15. Human beings have the right to choose freely

Leo XIII had no hesitation in proclaiming and defending the legitimate rights of the workers. ... It is a right which must be ... pressing problems weighing upon human society and calling for

Whom nature was redeemed, and hence these laws cannot be subject to any human decrees or to ... divine institution, the human will, too, enters ... the power and right to beget them,

violence, as a means to right these wrongs to human dignity, is a ... exercise of the fundamental rights of the human person. 34. This is ... the world a more human place in which to

no natural right is accorded to human personality, which is ... because it denies the rights, dignity and liberty of human personality. 15. How is ... those divine and human rights on which

In fact, human rights are still too often disregarded, ... grows the body of a new human family, a body which even now ... 23). The questioning of the human sciences 38. In this world

duties and obligations of the human race and the rights of God, He is ... continued to sustain the human race. On the other ... divine love but also human sentiments of love. All

God upon man and the world is to be denied. -- Ibid. 3. Human reason, without any reference ... the innate strength of human reason; hence reason is ... so it is the right and duty of the

constantly being realized, about the rights and duties of every human ... fundamental human rights cannot ... safeguarding human freedoms. Among these fundamental human rights, religious

Almighty, therefore, has given the charge of the human race to two ... and political order is rightly subject to the civil ... described, divine and human things are equitably

Where the dependence of human right upon the Divine is ... both of them powers and rights and has assigned them a ... correspondingly wider and exceptional rights to meet the popular

Germany, as far as it was humanly possible, the ... pressure which violates every human right and dignity. Our wholehearted ... theoretical and practical rights. We are especially

not yet had obtained its rightful place or rank in human society and was, ... the defense of the rights and legitimate interests of ... defense of the natural right to form associations began

notion itself of justice and human right is darkened and lost, ... society, and to abolish all rights, human and divine, have always (as ... general good and her rights and discipline, so only

the injury of divine and human rights, to the oblivion of ... at times to waive our rights as far as may lawfully ... less unconsciously, from the right road. But concerning such

The question is no longer one of the old error which claimed for human nature a sort of right to the ... origin, and its rights and duties from ... perfection by human efforts."[14

It is no easy matter to define the relative rights and mutual duties of ... has by nature the right to possess property as ... far from representing the human being in its completeness

Catholic religion, in speech, in writing, and in teaching; and even the rights of the Church ... founded by divine right, must be utterly ... nature of the human soul, and its

as a consequence, human rights and duties were either perfected ... He who once hath restored human nature ruined by sin the ... in God alone can the human will find absolute and perfect

Apostolic dignity to survey at a glance the course of human affairs, our eyes ... and means whereby violated rights can be rectified. Let ... pervading the whole of human society. All then

We said on a recent occasion: Right back in the far- ... bears upon the perfecting of human life."[20] 32. The family ... the father . . . so by natural right the child, before reaching the

The building up of human society, human progress, and the ongoing execution of human plans stimulate the concern of ... a special pre-eminence, and rightly so, for they are the

Spirit shall dictate, and will proceed in accordance with what befits both divine and human law. In ... well as human law shall ... deprivation of the right of electing, besides

Church is hostile to human liberty. Having a false ... being the condition of human liberty, it necessarily stands ... way, but the interests and rights of all will be safeguarded

King not only by natural right, but also by an acquired right: that which He won by the ... who are deprived of their divine and human rights to freedom; up till now reasonable demands

This way has been found preferable to that of safeguarding the right of defence ... Land, despising all human perils. We bear ... fruits, revenues, incomes, rights and accretions. The

From this it follows that "the state of slavery is rightly regarded as ... who desire the rights of nations and of humanity to be held ... to divine or human rights, with no political

God, made man, carried out on behalf of the human race. For as a right faith teaches us to ... a more than merely human life. "I am come ... man and man; new rights and new duties, public

His mission of saving and redeeming the human race by being born ... the Church cannot renounce her right to proclaim to her sons ... the seal of the human spirit; they complement one

Everything that can pervert human judgment is to cease, as is right and fitting. We order, moreover, that the ... so lofty a dignity, a support for right and good people and a terror for

virtue of the equality of rights of the human person, an equality ... ministerial priesthood as a human right would be to misjudge ... advancement: no merely human progress of society

He commanded her to set in order whatever might have become deranged in human society, and to ... mass of the human race, have in ... and their several rights accurately established. They

Christian institutions and morality decline, the main foundation of human society goes together ... a mandate of right reason, proclaimed by ... before us the right view: "The formal

Whatever pertains to religious worship, to moral training, to right living can ... between divine and human rights; therefore those who ... its interest and rights. Let your followers

Church desires to win over peoples and to educate them to virtue and right social ... then may we rightly hope that, after human dissensions have been ... Divine and human rights, to the

Finally, they trample on every human and Divine right. And while they ... efforts against divine and human rights, to send mankind to ... of Christian and human civilization, to the

Sometimes it happens that a method cannot be used without injuring the rights of others ... case, although one rightly envisages and pursues ... the community, of human society, the common

Finally, we ought not to ignore the contemporary state of humanity in the midst of ... the nature of the human race which it is ... Church where the very rights of free citizens and

Catholic faith, especially philosophy, on which a right interpretation of the other ... bring back to a right understanding the minds of ... of reason in the human mind; and so far

Peter[9] from which the rights of sacred communion derive ... Constance and Martin V. Through human weakness a person could be ... We have infringed these rights. By this means, they ...


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