January 8, 2008

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

The following, in it's entirety, is a copyrighted transcript of the Vatican Information Service.

SUMMARY:


HUMAN DIGNITY, THE BASIS OF ALL RIGHTS

 VATICAN CITY, 8 JAN 2008 (VIS) - Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi C.S., Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations at Geneva, spoke on 10 December before the ordinary session of the U.N. Human Rights Council, which throughout 2008 is commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (signed in Paris on 10 December 1948).

   Speaking English, Archbishop Tomasi indicated that the declaration "remains the single most important reference point for cross-cultural discussion of human freedom and dignity in the world and represents the customary-law base for any discussion about human rights".

   The rights presented in the declaration "are not conferred by States or other institutions but they are acknowledged as inherent to every person, independent of, and in many ways the result of ethical, social, cultural and religious traditions.

   "Human dignity concerns democracy and sovereignty, but goes at the same time beyond them", he said. It requires everyone concerned "to work for freedom, equality, social justice for all human beings, while respecting the world's cultural and religious mosaic. The very fact that we share a common human dignity provides the indispensable base that sustains the inter-relatedness and indivisibility of human rights, social, civil and political, cultural and economic".

   The Universal Declaration of Human Rights "recognises that the respect of all human rights is the source of peace. ... Peace is not only conceived as an absence of violence but includes also co-operation and solidarity, at the local and international levels, as a necessary way in order to promote and to defend the common good of all people.

   "Sixty years after the declaration", the archbishop added, "many members of the human family are still far from the enjoyment of their rights and basic needs. Human security is still not ensured". This sixtieth anniversary, he concluded, may serve to show "that every person, as an individual or as a member of a community, has the right and the responsibility to defend and implement all human rights".

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

 VATICAN CITY, 8 JAN 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

  - Appointed Bishop Jose Francisco Sanches Alves of Portalegre - Castelo Branco, Portugal, as archbishop of Evora (area 13,547, population 290,000, Catholics 245,900, priests 103, permanent deacons 10, religious 242), Portugal. The archbishop-elect was born in Lageosa da Raia, Portugal in 1941, he was ordained a priest in 1966 and consecrated a bishop in 1998. He succeeds Archbishop Maurilio Jorge Quintal de Gouveia, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

  - Appointed Bishop Amandio Jose Tomas, auxiliary of Evora, Portugal, as coadjutor of Vila Real (area 4,237, population 289,200, Catholics 285,600, priests 137, permanent deacons 1, religious 115), Portugal.

 

IN MEMORIAM

 VATICAN CITY, 8 JAN 2008 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:

  - Cardinal Aloisio Lorscheider O.F.M. archbishop emeritus of Aparecida, Brazil, on 23 December at the age of 83.

  - Bishop Juan Alfredo Arzube, former auxiliary of Los Angeles, U.S.A., on 25 December at the age of 89.

  - Bishop Sebastiao Assis de Figueiredo O.F.M. of Guiratinga, Brazil, on 20 December at the age of 58.

  - Bishop Fernando Romo Gutierrez, emeritus of Torreon, Mexico, on 15 December at the age of 92.

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