Vatican News

Holy See’s UN Representative issues call on human rights

The Holy See’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations has stressed to the body that human rights supersede the authority of states and governments.

During a debate at the UN headquarters in New York on the issue of human rights, Archbishop Bernardito Auza insisted: “Human dignity is inherent to every human being and to every human life, from the first moment of conception. It is not something that we acquire when we reach a certain physical dimension, mental ability or age, nor is it some kind of ‘privilege’ that can be conceded or taken away by the State, as a matter of policy. Rather, it is intrinsic to every human being, and being antecedent to the demands of the State, ought to be always recognised and protected by the State… Genuine human rights are inalienable and must be universally respected and advanced.”


Archbishop Auza added that an understanding of the primacy of human rights over states and governments was important more than ever today.

“This debate,” he said “comes at a particularly tumultuous time in which human dignity and rights are being denied, suppressed and violated in various ways across the globe: civilians are being targeted in war and armed conflict; persons are being trafficked for slave labour, sex, or organs; ethnic and religious minorities are being singled out for persecution and annihilation; human beings deemed unwanted or useless are being discarded in what Pope Francis has termed the “throwaway culture”; hundreds of millions of peoples risk their lives to flee from persecution and extreme poverty; countless individuals are victims of various forms of discrimination.”


Vatican reps seek to renew relations with Al Azhar University

Vatican representatives have met in Cairo, Egypt with members of Al Azhar University, the centre of Sunni Islamic teaching, towards renewing dialogue between it and Rome.

The Vatican delegation was led by Bishop Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, in the company of Archbishop Bruno Musarò, Apostolic Nuncio to Egypt. They held a meeting, described as “fruitful” with Dr Kamal Abd al-Salam, member of the Al-Azhar Centre for Dialogue, and Professor Mohey El-Din Afifi Ahmed, secretary of the Al-Azhar Islamic Research Complex.

In a press relaease after the meeting, the Vatican stated: “The meeting, which took place in an atmosphere of great cordiality, brought to light the importance of sincere and fruitful dialogue between the dicastery and the important Sunnite institution, and of collaboration that has at heart the good of humanity and which strengthens the bonds between Christians and Muslims.” 


Pope’s schedule for Georgia- Azerbaijan trip issued

The Vatican has released details of Pope Francis’ forthcoming trip to the states of Georgia and Azerbaijan. 

Departing Rome on September 30, the Pontiff arrives in Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, that afternoon where, having visited the presidential palace, he will meet with Orthodox Patriarch Ilia II and Chaldean Catholics. 

On October 1, he celebrates outdoor Mass in the capital ahead of meetings with priests, religious and charity workers.

The Pope flies to Baku, Azerbaijan, on October 2 where, in a packed schedule, he will meet with Muslim, Jewish, and Orthodox leaders, before departing for Rome that evening.