ROME (LifeSiteNews) – On Monday Pope Francis delivered the annual papal address to the diplomatic corps – the Vatican ambassadors from over 180 nations. His remarks focused on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted 70 years ago this year on 10 December 1948 by the General Assembly of the United Nations.
“At a distance of seventy years, it is painful to see how many fundamental rights continue to be violated today,” said the Pope. Noting the first right among all the rights as the right to life, the Pope said: “It is not only war or violence that infringes these rights. In our day, there are more subtle means: I think primarily of innocent children discarded even before they are born, unwanted at times simply because they are ill or malformed, or as a result of the selfishness of adults.”
In what many would see as a reference to imposition of gender ideology on nations, the Pope warned against ‘new rights’ that have been included “in the wake of the social upheaval of the 1960’s.” The Pope said “debatable notions of human rights have been advanced that are at odds with the culture of many countries” adding “there is a risk that, in the very name of human rights, we will see the rise of modern forms of ideological colonization by the stronger and the wealthier, to the detriment of the poorer and the most vulnerable.”
Other human rights violations mentioned by the Pope included:
- “women who repeatedly suffer from violence and oppression”
- “human trafficking”
- lack of prohibition on nuclear weapons
- “social marginalization” of people of faith
- disregarding the “right to employment”
- failure to address climate change
Quoting the Universal declaration, the Pope spoke of families as a “natural and fundamental group unit of society… entitled to protection by society and the state.”
“Unfortunately, it is a fact that, especially in the West, the family is considered an obsolete institution. Today fleeting relationships are preferred to the stability of a definitive life project. But a house built on the sand of frail and fickle relationships cannot stand. What is needed instead is a rock on which to build solid foundations. And this rock is precisely that faithful and indissoluble communion of love that joins man and woman, a communion that has an austere and simple beauty, a sacred and inviolable character and a natural role in the social order.”
He said it is urgent for the future of society that “genuine policies be adopted to support the family, on which the future and the development of states depend.” He warned that “Disregard for families has another dramatic effect – particularly present in some parts of the world – namely, a decline in the birth rate.” We are, he said, “experiencing a true demographic winter!”
Read the Pope’s full address to the diplomatic corps here.