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Church and SocietyThe Laurence J. McGinley Lectures, 1988-2007$
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Avery Cardinal Dulles

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780823228621

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823228621.001.0001

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Human Rights

Human Rights

The United Nations and Papal Teaching

November 18, 1998

(p.276) 20 Human Rights
Church and Society

Avery Cardinal Dulles

Fordham University Press

This chapter discusses human rights, looking into the Universal Declaration and papal teaching. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted with unanimous approval by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. The cornerstone of the Declaration was article 3, proclaiming the right to life, liberty, and security of the person. Of all the popes in history, none has given so much emphasis to human rights as John Paul II. While continuing to affirm their basis in natural law as known to reason, he proclaimed that Christ and the gospel constitute the true and adequate foundation of human rights. All peoples, he said, are called to open themselves to the Christian message, in which alone the meaning of human existence becomes clear.

Keywords:   human rights, Universal Declaration, papal teaching, John Paul II, United Nations

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