DAILY CATHOLIC     WEDNESDAY     December 16, 1998     vol. 9, no. 243

from a CATHOLIC perspective

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO


          VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- "The secret of real peace resides in respect for human rights." That is the principal theme of the message prepared for the World Day of Peace by Pope John Paul II. Although the World Day of Peace is observed on January 1, the papal message was released at the Vatican today.

          In presenting the message to the media, Archbishop Francois Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan-- the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace-- observed that this would be the last such papal message of the current millennium, since the next annual message will be dated in the year 2000.

          In the message, the Holy Father makes reference to the recent celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. He alludes to a number of fundamental rights which are routinely violated today. First among these is the "sacred and inviolable" right to life, from conception to natural death, which is violated by abortion, euthanasia, and suicide, and endangered by modern attitudes toward the handicapped and the aged. The Pontiff called for the development of new laws and new policies to protect the right to life under all circumstances.

          Next the Pope mentioned religious freedom, which he said is at the heart of human rights. He observed that there are still places in the world where freedom of worship is not respected, and he insisted that the use of violence can never be justified by religious considerations.

          The Pope also condemned political corruption, discrimination against ethnic groups, and various forms of economic exploitation.

Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

December 16, 1998       volume 9, no. 243


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