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Respect for life and religious freedom

· At the Audience to the Diplomatic Corps the Pope denounces the tragic killing of Christians and the denial of their fundamental rights in many countries ·

The crisis demands reflection first on the ethical dimension of life before economic mechanisms

In the face of a “profound disquiet” generated by economic, political and social crises which has affected the world, it is necessary to “resolutely rediscover our way “ through “new forms of commitment” and “new rules”, the Pope said at his Address to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See at the tradition audience held at the beginning of the year, which took place this morning, Monday 9 January, in the Regia Hall. Benedict XVI appealed to the international community and national leaders, invoking dialogue and reforms that “ensure that all can lead a dignified life” and recognize everywhere “the inalienable dignity of each human person and of his or her fundamental rights”.  Among the Pontiff's concerns are the consequences of the global recession that has not only hit families and businesses but has also brought the economies of the poorest countries to  their knees and has threatened the future of the youth. Benedict XVI dedicated the central part of his Address to the youth, emphasizing the importance of the question of education and calling for the creation of policies which safeguard the family and support scholastic and formative institutions. A crucial part of this papal reflection was centred on the theme of religious freedom, which should be considered as “the first of human rights”, because, he explains, it recognizes “the most fundamental reality of the person”. The Pontiff especially denounced the violence and misuse of power which damages Christians in various countries. He also condemned terrorism which uses religion as a “pretext for setting aside the rules of justice and of law”. Benedict XVI also recalled the need to combine respect of the created and the fight against poverty.

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St. Peter’s Square

Sept. 18, 2019

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