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CUA Law Professor Lucia Silecchia's article "Recalling Pope Benedict XVI’s Human-Rights Appeal" was published in the National Catholic Register on April 18, 2018.

Recalling Pope Benedict XVI’s Human-Rights Appeal

From: The National Catholic Register
Date: April 18, 2018
By: Lucia Silecchia

April 18 marks the 10th anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York City.

Such addresses are distinct, in that they are relatively short, are initially heard rather than read, and have a secular global audience. As did Blessed Paul VI, St. John Paul II and Pope Francis, Pope Benedict used this appearance on the world stage to address issues of great concern.

For him, this issue was the modern understanding of human rights. With a turbulent decade of hindsight and this year’s 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this 2008 address is well worth revisiting.

Pope Benedict praised the ideal of the international human-rights system, noting that even if its ideals “do not coincide with the total common good of the human family,” they “undoubtedly represent a fundamental part of that good.” This was consistent with the optimism of many Catholic leaders who supported the creation of the United Nations and advocated for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights after the catastrophic carnage of the Second World War.

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Lucia Silecchia  

Professor Lucia Ann Silecchia's
Areas of Expertise

Environmental Law and Ethics

Catholic Social Thought and the Law

Elder Law and Estate Planning

Legal Writing

For additional information about our professors' areas of speciality, see the Catholic University Experts page.