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Home arrow newsitems arrow Pope Benedict Spokesman Lombardi to EuroFora: Human Nature respect message at Bundestag for all EU+

Pope Benedict Spokesman Lombardi to EuroFora: Human Nature respect message at Bundestag for all EU+

Written by ACM
Saturday, 24 September 2011
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*Freiburg(Germany)/Angelo Marcopolo/- The "Urgent Invitation" to start a large "Debate" (See earlier Data Notes) on Moral and Social Values' going well beyond strict "Positivism, in order to protect in particular Human Nature  from current risks of Manipulations, etc., thanks also to "Europe's Cultural Heritage on Human Rights", launched by Pope Benedict at the Bundestag in Berlin, could and should be developed further both in Germany, and in the direction of European/PanEuropean Organizations, agreed in substance Pope's Press Spokesman, Director of Vatican's Press Director, father Frederico Lombardi :

- "Indeed, it's a much Larger message", stressed in conclusion Lombardi, agreeing in fact with "EuroFora"s orientation towards an EU-wide move, (see Supra).


- Meanhwile, "I think that .. it was quite Well-received by the people in Germany", also observed the experienced Vatican's Press Director, who had also worked for a long time in the Past as Journalist at nearby Bonn.


+ Moreover, Lombardi revealed that Pope Benedict considered also as "very Important" his forthcoming meeting with the Judges of Germany's Constitutional Court from nearby Karlsruhe, scheduled for tomorrow, Sunday, 25/9/2011, to the point that "he spoke about that several times, even during the Airplane Flight".


Both the Parliament, as well as the Court, are notoriously involved in several "hotly" debated BioEthical issues recently, which are considered in Germany as so important that they even affected the choice of the Court's new President, (See relevant 2009 "EuroFora"s NewsReport, on the occasion of a visit by Chancellor Angie Merkel to the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe..
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An "Urgent invitation to launch" a "necessary Public Debate" on a "Dramatic situation  which affects everyone" : i.e. attempts to "exclude" in fact Moral Consciousness of what is Right or Wrong, in the foundations of the contemporary Power of State and Law", including current risks to "manipulate" Human Nature, was strongly addressed from the German Bundestag's tribune of honor in Berlin, by Pope Benedict, in a landmark speech, largely applauded by a wide Majority of MPs  :
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- Now, "at a moment in History when man has acquired previously inconceivable power, this task takes on a particular Urgency. Man can destroy the World. He can Manipulate himself. He can, so to speak, Make Human Beings, and he can Deny them their Humanity", Pope Benedict warned .

- In such cases, "it is evident that for the Fundamental issues..., in which the Dignity of man and of Humanity is at stake, the majority principle is not enough: everyone in a position of responsibility must Personally seek out the criteria to be followed when framing laws", he stressed.


-  Thus, "today, in view of the vast extent of our knowledge and our capacity, it has become still harder".. "to recognize what is truly Right and thus to serve Justice when framing laws", he observed.


- "This conviction was what motivated Resistance movements to act against the Nazi regime and other Totalitarian regimes, thereby doing a great service to Justice and to Humanity as a whole. For these People, it was indisputably evident that the law in force was actually Unlawful". Thus, "In the 3rd century, the great theologian Origen provided the following explanation for the Resistance of Christians to certain legal systems: “Suppose that a man were living among the Scythians, whose laws are Contrary to the Divine Law, and was compelled to live among them ... such a man for the sake of the true law, though illegal among the Scythians, would rightly form associations with like-minded people contrary to the laws of the Scythians.”, he critically reminded.
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    - But, meanwhile, " there has been a Dramatic Shift in the situation in the last half-century : The idea of natural law is today viewed as a specifically Catholic doctrine, not worth bringing into the discussion in a non-Catholic environment, so that one feels almost ashamed even to mention the term".


    "The reason for this is that in the meantime, the Positivist understanding of nature has come to be almost universally accepted. If nature – in the words of Hans Kelsen – is viewed as “an aggregate of objective data linked together in terms of cause and effect”, then indeed no ethical indication of any kind can be derived from it. A positivist conception of nature as purely functional, as the natural sciences consider it to be, is incapable of producing any bridge to ethics and law, but once again yields only functional answers. The same also applies to reason, according to the positivist understanding that is widely held to be the only genuinely scientific one. Anything that is not verifiable or falsifiable, according to this understanding, does not belong to the realm of reason strictly understood. Hence ethics and religion must be assigned to the subjective field, and they remain extraneous to the realm of reason in the strict sense of the word. Where positivist reason dominates the field to the exclusion of all else – and that is broadly the case in our public mindset – then the classical sources of knowledge for ethics and law are excluded".


    => "This is a dramatic situation which affects everyone, and on which a public debate is necessary. Indeed, an essential goal of this address is to issue an urgent invitation to launch one", Pope Benedict urged at the Bundestag.
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- Of course, "the positivist approach to nature and reason, the positivist world view in general, is a most important dimension of human knowledge and capacity that we may in no way dispense with"', for other,  purpose", (f.ex. production); he acknowledged.


 - " But in and of itself it is not a sufficient culture corresponding to the full breadth of the human condition", because, "Where Positivist reason considers itself the only sufficient culture and banishes all other cultural realities to the status of subcultures, it diminishes man, indeed it Threatens his Humanity", he warned.


    Particularly when "there are concerted efforts to recognize only Positivism as a common culture and a common basis for law-making, reducing all the other insights and values of our culture to the level of subculture, with the result that .... vis-à-vis other world cultures is left in a state of culturelessness, and at the same time Extremist and radical movements emerge to fill the vacuum", he denounced.


    - " In its self-proclaimed exclusivity, the positivist reason which recognizes nothing beyond mere functionality resembles a concrete Bunker with no windows, in which we ourselves provide lighting and atmospheric conditions'"...


    - " Success can also be seductive and thus can open up the path towards the falsification of what is right, towards the destruction of justice. “Without justice – what else is the State but a great band of robbers?”, as Saint Augustine once said."


    -"We Germans know from our own experience that these words are no empty spectre. We have seen how power became divorced from right, how power opposed right and crushed it, so that the State became an instrument for destroying right – a highly organized band of robbers, capable of threatening the whole world and driving it to the edge of the abyss"; he denounced.
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    =>     On the contrary,  "the windows must be flung Open again, we must see the wide world, the sky and the earth once more; and learn to make proper use of all this !", Pope Benedict strongly urged.


    "But how are we to do this? ....How can reason rediscover its true greatness, without being sidetracked into irrationality?", he wondered.
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    Recalling "one of the developments in recent political history", he observed that "the emergence of the Ecological movement in German Politics since the 1970s, while it has not exactly flung open the windows, nevertheless was and continues to be a Cry for Fresh air" :


    Because "Young people had come to realize that something is wrong in our relationship with Nature, that matter is not just raw material for us to shape at will, but that the earth has a Dignity of its own and that we must follow its directives...  If something is wrong in our relationship with reality, then we must all reflect seriously on the whole situation and we are all prompted to question the very foundations of our culture'"; Since then, "the importance of ecology is no longer disputed. We must listen to the language of nature and we must answer accordingly",he underlined.
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    + "Yet I would like to underline a point that seems to me to be neglected, today ......  there is also an Ecology of Man. Man too has a nature that he must respect and that he cannot Manipulate at will. Man is not merely self-creating freedom. Man does not create himself. He is intellect and will, but he is also nature, and his will is rightly ordered if he respects his nature, listens to it and accepts himself for who he is, as one who did not create himself. In this way, and in no other, is true Human Freedom fulfilled.
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- "Of key significance for the Juridical culture of Mankind", is how "'the juridical culture of the West was born", in a "pre-Christian marriage between law and philosophy" :


- "Christian theologians ...aligned themselves with a philosophical and juridical movement that began to take shape in the 2nd century B.C. In the first half of that century, the social Natural Law developed by the Stoic philosophers came into contact with leading teachers of Roman Law". "This encounter, ... opened up the path that led via the Christian Middle Ages and the juridical developments of the Age of Enlightenment all the way to the Declaration of Human Rights, and to our German Basic Law of 1949, with which our nation committed itself to “inviolable and inalienable Human Rights", he reminded.


- "For the development of law and for the development of humanity, it was highly significant that Christian theologians aligned themselves against the religious law associated with polytheism, and on the side of philosophy, and that they acknowledged reason and nature....as the universally valid source of law". And "this seemed to offer a clear explanation of the foundations of legislation up to the time of the Enlightenment, up to the time of the Declaration on Human Rights after the Second World War and the framing of our Basic Law", (the current German Constitution of 1949).


+ "....Europe’s Cultural Heritage ought to come to our assistance", Pope Benedict stressed at this crucial juncture.


. "The conviction that there is a Creator God ... gave rise to the idea of Human Rights, the idea of the equality of all people before the law, the recognition of the inviolability of human Dignity in every single person and the awareness of people’s responsibility for their actions'"


- "The Culture of Europe arose from the encounter between Jerusalem, Athens and Rome – from the encounter between Israel’s monotheism, the philosophical reason of the Greeks and Roman law. This 3-way encounter has shaped the inner Identity of Europe", he reminded.


=> Now, "we are called to defend at this moment in our history", the "Criteria of Law", established by "the awareness of man’s Responsibility before God, and in the acknowledgment of the inviolable Dignity of every single Human Person", Pope Benedict concluded.

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More than 96.000 People welcomed, shortly afterwards, the Pope at Berlin's impressive Olympic Stadium, for an open air Mass, attended by almost all German Government too. 

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ECHR's President to "EuroFora" on Journalists Gongadze and Adali murders : Principles must apply to all States, without discrimination.


+ ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression (See below).


 European Court of Human Rights' President, Jean-Paul Costa, questioned by "EuroFora" on Journalists' murders, as in Gongadze and Adali's cases etc., strongly stressed all CoE Member States' obligation to make efficient Investigations to find and punish those responsible, and underlined that ECHR's case-law's principles must apply to all without any discrimination.

His call was clearly supported by various Top MEPs who denounced a risk of "Double Standards" if some Journalists' murders are investigated, while others don't.

To avoid such risks, CoE's Parliamentary Assembly adopted a Resolution, on the occasion of Ukranian Journalist Gongadze's murder, "stressing", as a matter of general Principle, "the importance it attaches to the safety of Journalists and political activists, especially those linked to opposition groups, in ALL member states of the CoE". All "crimes against journalists and political activists must be investigated ... as a matter of priority, without political interference".

Costa was replying to "EuroFora"s question on the fact that, after CoE's Committee of Ministers, also CoE's Assembly had just adopted a Resolution on Gongadze murder case, based on an ECHR's judgement of 2005, asking a full Investigation from Ukraine, who has found and condemned  in 10 years of jail 2 executants, but not yet the instigators.

While nothing similar was yet done for dissident Turkish Cypriot Kutlu Adali's murder, with 5 bullets shot at his head out of his Family's home in the territories of Cyprus occupied by Ankara's army, despite another ECHR's judgement of the same year 2005, and despite Turkey's claim that nobody was found among those responsible for the murder, and that there was nothing more to do..

In order to be credible and efficient, CoE's mechanisms shouldn't find a way to at least ask for full investigations of all Journalists' murders anywhere they might be committed, without exceptions ?

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- "On the larger question that you raised, I'd like to say, since we are in a period of stock-taking on ECHR's 50 Years, that the Court's case-law developed certain concepts ....such as the Positive obligations of States, part of which are also the procedural obligations", started to reply ECHR's President.

 - "Whenever Journalists, Lawyers, Defenders of Human Rights, or even simple Citizens are murdered, the States are held responsible, not only if its their own security forces' agents who committed these murders, but also if they didn't make sufficiently substantial and efficient Investigations", he stressed.

- "I want to strongly underline that we (ECHR) have found in many cases numerous violations of Articles 2 and 3 against States, ....(about) murders or torture, ...because they didn't make enough Investigations in order to try to find and punish those responsible".

- "We (ECHR) do that vis-a-vis all 47 (CoE) Member States, without any discrimination".

"Naturally, the circumstances in each particular case may be differend, and we can't ommit to apply the rules of proof, or the rules of criminal procedure".

"But we try, by all means, to apply these principles of our case-law, to all States", he concluded.

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      Costa's call was strongly supported by several Top CoE MEPs, from various Political areas


- "To investigate the murder of one Journalist, and not of another, looks like Double Standards", denounced the President of EuroLeft Group in CoE's Assembly, Dutch MEP Tiny Cox.  

- "What is the reason ? Politics or specificity of a case ? Of course, if Cyprus and Turkey are involved, it's always a Political case"..

- "Murders of Journalists should always be fully investigated, because killing Journalists is not only killing persons, but also killing Free Press".  "We (CoE's Assembly) should do our outmost to help People who are working on Free Press and they are under threat or murdered".

Because for Free Politics, Free Press is a pre-requisitive : Parliamentarians  cannot  function without a Free Press. Not investigating, is not protecting ourselves".

So we should investigate all Journalists' murders : We are talking about Gongadze, about the Cypriot man (Adali), about the Journalist murdered in Moscow one week ago, etc", Cox concluded

- "CoE can' look at these cases differently. CoE can't wear Blinckers  !".
- "If the one is investigated, so has to be also the other. Why there wasn't full investigation ? Why's that ?", wondered British  Socialist MEP, Alan Meale.

- "A good idea" would be to "make a Motion for Resolution", and "join all Journalists' murders. Adali and Gongadze etc", said to "EuroFora" EU Parliament Political affairs Committee's President, Goran Lindbland, ChristianDemocrat MEP from Sweden.


(See also earlier News at "EuroFora" on similar issues).
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ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression :


    Almost Half of condemnations by ECHR for violations of Freedom of Expression in 2008, concern Turkey : 20 out of a total of 48 for all CoE's Member States.

    Russia, Poland, France and Moldova were condemned only 3 times. Romania, Greece, Portugal, 2 times, and the other CoE Member States only 1 time, or none.
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    During the last Decade : 1998 - 2008, Turkey was condemned for violating Freedom of Expression in ..169 cases, while Austria only in 24.

    France and Moldova in 14 and 13, respectively, closely followed by Russia and Poland with 11 and 10, respectively. The rest of CoE Member States had less than ten condemnations.    
    

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