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Human Rights and Catholic Church - Essay Example

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Human rights mean the "Basic rights and freedoms, to which everyone is entitled, either morally, legally or officially. They are designed to limit the power of the state. Human rights include right to a fair trial, freedom of speech, thought and conscience, and freedom from torture and slavery." (Definitions…
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Human Rights and Catholic Church
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Human Rights and Catholic Church

The present age has been marked by the attempts of different types that ultimately aim at human rights. Catholic community has been safeguarding the human right endeavors universally. As opposed to the general conception, Catholic Church has always been advocating for the Human Rights and other privileges that make the life of the human beings better and easier. The Church has always given priority to the necessities of all the men and has stood for the well-being of the humanity. This humanity-based approach of the Church has been made clear through the various types of teachings and preaching of the Church. It is, by nature, driven by the better living standard of its followers as well as the entire human race. This is the same reason why the Catholic Church has always raised chorus of disapproval whenever there is a violation of human freedom and threat to the peaceful existence of human. Such uproars for the cause of the humankind have been powerful voice that has touched the universal conscience. Among the many examples of this human concern of the Catholic Church stands the contribution made by Pope John XXIII who made a major appeal for the universal Human Rights through the encyclical Pacem in Terris or, to use the English full title, On Establishing Universal Peace in Truth, Justice, Charity and Liberty which was issued on 11 April 1963. The encyclical that addressed the faithful of the Catholic Church as well as "All Men of Good Will" obviously aimed at the human race as a whole. (John XXIII, 1963).
Apart from the reaction to the political situation of the time, the encyclical also intended to emphasize the significance of respect of Human Rights as an indispensable corollary of the Christian understanding of men.
In the encyclical the Pope emphatically states, "By the natural law every human being has the right to respect for his person, to his good reputation; the right to freedom in searching for truth and in expressing and communicating his opinions, and in pursuit of art, within the limits laid down by the moral order and the common good; and he has the right to be informed truthfully about public events." (John XXIII, 1963, para 12).
The first section of the encyclical that aims to establish a vital relationship covers the issues of human rights and moral duties. It is the relationship between man and man as individuals. The encyclical, in the next section, goes on to address the relationship between state and man residing on the shared authority of the former. In the third section, the encyclical makes clear the necessity for equality among the different nations and the need for the state to be subject to rights and duties that the individual has to oblige by. The fourth and the final section of the encyclical clarifies the inevitability for greater relationship between world nations thereby mutually assisting for the cause of the humanity. The universally acclaimed encyclical ends with a plea to the entire Catholic community to assist the non-Catholics as well as the non-Christians in political and social aspect. ... Read More
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