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Respect for Human Rights, Rightfully, Should Remain… Universal


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Personal)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2019/01/27

Angelus reported on the, indeed, positive contribution to the dialogue in the 8th decade of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from the Roman Catholic Christian Church and its purported Vicar of Christ on Earth.

In affirmation of the fundamental rights and freedoms of all human beings within the UDHR, the Pope, Francis, provided a positive statement as to the moral force or ethical authority of the UDHR. This is a tremendous statement and an important contribution in voicing the continued salience of the UDHR for the international community. The Pope may harbor one of the largest adoring, though increasingly distraught and questioning, audiences, in the world. Any work for the inclusion of the UDHR in his speaking is truly important.

On January 7, 2019, Francis stated, “…the essential instrument for achieving social justice and nurturing fraternal bonds between peoples… a fundamental role is played by the human rights set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, whose 70th anniversary we recently celebrated.”

Making a nuanced distinction between the scales of possible ethics, Francis not the import of a document for the global community with a universal and rational basis rather than a subjective and partial one, where the latter may devolve, in its practical effects, into “new forms of inequality, injustice, discrimination and, in extreme cases, also new forms of violence and oppression.”

Francis, on World Day of Peace, reiterated the statements of St. Pope JJohn XXIII (1963), “Man’s awareness of his rights must inevitably lead him to the recognition of his duties. The possession of rights involves the duty of implementing those rights, for they are the expression of a man’s personal dignity. And the possession of rights also involves their recognition and respect by others.”

That is to say, rights or privileges come with associated duties or responsibilities, a benefit for a cost for all. It is a set of rights and privileges for all with associated duties or responsibilities for all. The emphasis of Francis on the need to work on common solutions is relevant for the work of the international community with the urgent crises facing us from several levels of analysis and multiple angles. Glad to see the support.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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