Promote human person, social stability, Pope tells Italian judiciary council
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met with the Italian Superior Council of the Judiciary at the Vatican on Saturday. The Pope told council members it is important for all public authorities to use their office to promote the human person and to give stability and solidity to society.
Listen to the report by Laura Ieraci:
Globalization brings with it confusion and disorientation and can introduce concepts, norms and customs that are foreign to the social fabric, said Pope Francis.
In a context of such “deep shocks” to a culture’s roots, the Pope said it is important for public authorities to use their office to “make the foundations for human coexistence” more “stable” and “solid” through “the recuperation of fundamental values.”
“To these values, Christianity has offered the most appropriate true foundation: the love of God, which is inseparable from love of others,” he said.
These fundamental values can serve as an “effective dam” against the increase in crime and “the scourge of corruption,” which also affect developed democracies, he said.
Education is also important in this process as a preventive strategy, offering new generations “an anthropology, that is not relativist, and a model of life that are able to meet the high and deep inspirations of the human soul,” he said.
“To this end,” he continued, “institutions are required to recover a long-term strategy, geared to the promotion of the human person and to peaceful co-existence.”
People who have a judicial function contribute to building this, he said.
Speaking on the practical aspect of judicial functions, the Pope said judges are called to intervene when a rule has been violated. Their reaffirmation of that rule in the process, while applied to a single individual, is of interest and impact to the entire community, which in turn reaffirms the value of that rule and identifies with it.
On human rights, the Pope said they are fundamental in “the recognition of the essential dignity of humankind.” However, he warned, this recognition “should be done without abusing that category,” wanting the judiciary to accept “practices and behaviours that, rather than promoting and guaranteeing human dignity, in reality threaten or event violate it.”
“Justice is not done in the abstract,” he said, “but always considering the person in his or her true value, as beings created in the image of God and called to realize, here on earth, his likeness.”
The Pope also remembered a former vice-president of the council, Vittorio Bachelet, who was killed 35 years ago.
“May his witness as a man, a Christian and a jurist continue to animate your commitment to the service of justice and to the common good,” he said.