“Safeguard religious freedom, especially for the minorities, defence against violence and terrorism, promotion of political and human rights and the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women: in Benedict XVI”s view these are the main challenger which face Pakistan…” Oh, is that all? Well, I’m sure they’ll get right on that.
Seriously, it is very good for the Pope to be making such statements. This is exactly what we have been standing for here all this time, and his calling for these things is an acknowledgment that they don’t actually exist now. From AsiaNews, with thanks to Insubria:
Vatican City (AsiaNews) — Safeguard religious freedom, especially for the minorities, defence against violence and terrorism, promotion of political and human rights and the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women: in Benedict XVI”s view these are the main challenger which face Pakistan on its journey towards becoming a democratic nations, respectful of the person.
Today”s presentation of the letters of credence by the new Pakistani Ambassador to the Holy See Ms. Ayesha Riyaz, gave the Pope the opportunity to reiterate those principals which the Catholic Church sees as fundamental for a just and peaceful coexistence between peoples. “Our common goal of fostering peace and justice in the world to secure a better future for mankind — he said – can only be accomplished when there is genuine cooperation between peoples, religions and nations”. As such the Pope expressed his appreciation of Pakistan’s decision to commitment to work together with the international community to bring greater stability to your region and to protect innocent lives from the threats of terrorism and violence. “The road to national and international security is long and difficult. It takes great patience and resolve. Notwithstanding the obstacles encountered along the way, all efforts to keep open the pathway to peace, stability and hope should be encouraged and promoted”.
The Pope also underscored the Catholic Churches particular commitment to furthering education in Pakistan, “regardless of faith”. “Christians and Muslims both worship the One God, the Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. It is this belief that moves us to unite minds and hearts as we work tirelessly for peace, justice, and a better future for mankind”.
Then facing the question of religious freedom in the country, often openly impeded, the Pope affirmed that “A robust democratic society depends on its ability to uphold and protect religious freedom””a basic right inherent in the very dignity of the human person. It is therefore essential to safeguard citizens who belong to religious minorities from acts of violence. Such protection not only accords with human dignity but also contributes to the common good. During an era in which threats against religious freedom are becoming more ominous throughout the world, I encourage Pakistan to bolster its efforts in securing freedom for people to live, worship, and perform works of charity according to the dictates of their conscience and with immunity from intimidation”….