Especially new readers. With the Pope safely back in Rome and that over and done with, regular blogging will resume – which means, not very often.
It’s another busy day around here – yet more painters – so I’ll point you to Christopher Blosser’s great roundup of papal coverage and analysis links and in particular his comments on Catholic News Service’s interesting choice of “theology students” to feature in a response piece
From Fr. Robert Araujo, SJ’s most recent post:
The Holy Father spoke at some length on an issue that is receiving increasing attention in international legal discussions, i.e., the responsibility to protect. This responsibility has two dimensions. The more obvious one involves the rights of nations to protect their own populations from “grave and sustained violations of human rights” and from the consequences of natural and man-made humanitarian crises. However, if a State is incapable or unwilling to meet this responsibility, then the international community has an obligation to intervene. But this latter duty is not without limit for the proper sovereignty of peoples and their governments must be respected. The preferred means of addressing these needs is through diplomatic channels; however, other means, presumably including the use of necessary and proportionate force, may be considered if negotiations and diplomatic efforts fail.
It would have been surprising if the Holy Father did not address the role of the natural law that has been crucial to the growth of international legal norms. Pope Benedict began this portion of his discourse by reminding the audience of the contribution of the Dominican, Francis de Vitoria, to the foundation of international law. (I am sure that the question of time necessitated the deletion of the equally important contributions of the Jesuit, Francis Suárez!) It is within their noteworthy treatises on legal theory that both developed the idea of the “responsibility to protect” that is the product of natural reason that exists among all peoples. At the foundation of this “natural reason” is the principle that everyone bears the image of the Creator, the reality of which is at the core of human rights and the recognition of the dignity of the human person. The Holy Father lost no time in connecting this point with the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that will be celebrated later this year. Benedict emphasized that the Universal Declaration was the product of different cultural and religious traditions that were nonetheless capable of recognizing certain fundamental principles about human nature and the corresponding rights and responsibilities that were discovered through the application of natural reason, the bedrock of the natural law.