In a recent address to the members of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Vatican, Pope Francis called for respect for the authentic meaning of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in the face of attempts at “ideological colonization” that seek to “introduce new rights that are neither fully consistent with those originally defined”.
For the Pontiff, “such ideological colonizations provoke wounds and divisions instead of favoring peace” and, among them, “gender theory plays a central role; which is extremely dangerous”.
In addition, he said that, if they really want to serve and build peace, international organizations must “recover the roots, the spirit and the values that gave them birth”.
These words are part of the address Francis delivered on Monday, January 8, at the traditional meeting at the beginning of the year in which the Holy See sets out its vision and concerns regarding the international panorama to the ambassadors assigned to the Vatican:
“The path to peace calls for respect for human rights, in accordance with the simple yet clear formulation contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, whose seventy-fifth anniversary we recently celebrated. These principles are self-evident and commonly accepted. Regrettably, in recent decades attempts have been made to introduce new rights that are neither fully consistent with those originally defined nor always acceptable. They have led to instances of ideological colonization, in which gender theory plays a central role; the latter is extremely dangerous since it cancels differences in its claim to make everyone equal. These instances of ideological colonization prove injurious and create divisions between states, rather than fostering peace”.
“[…] In order to relaunch a shared commitment to the service of peace, there is a need to recover the roots, the spirit and the values that gave rise to those organizations, while at the same time taking into account the changed context and showing regard for those who do not feel adequately represented by the structures of international organizations”.
In his speech, the Pontiff also called on the international community to universally abolish surrogate motherhood, as called for in the Casablanca Declaration, to stop the persecution of Christians and to seek more effective solutions to the current conflicts, especially those between Israel and Palestine, and between Russia and Ukraine. You can read the full speech here.
An echo of the New York Commitment
Pope Francis’ remarks echo the New York Pledge launched by the Political Network for Values (PNfV) at the V Transatlantic Summit, held at the United Nations (UN) last November.
The signatories of the New York Commitment form a global alliance in favor of human dignity, rights and fundamental freedoms enshrined and universally recognized in the UDHR; and call on the United Nations to return to its founding purpose and values.
The initiative comes at a time when those who defend life, family and freedoms are slandered and labeled as “anti-rights” and where international bodies are partially or totally hijacked by ideological agendas that seek to impose supposed “new rights”.
In the UDHR there is an explicit recognition of the right to life (Article 3), the protection to be given to the family, motherhood and childhood (Articles 16, 23 and 25); the right of parents to choose the education of their children (Article 26); freedom of thought, conscience, religion, opinion and expression (Articles 18 and 19).
The PNfV wanted to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the UDHR in an assertive way and therefore launched this pledge that has been endorsed by more than 200 political and civic leaders from 40 countries.