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The United Nations headquarters Geneva, Switzerland (Bigstock)

Pope Francis yesterday marked the 75th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Source: Vatican News.

“It is like a master plan,” he said. “Many steps have been taken, many still need to be made, and, unfortunately, at times, steps backward have been taken.”

“The commitment to human rights is never finished!” he said, adding that he is close to all those who work and fight to defend human rights in everyday life.

In his remarks following the Angelus on Sunday, the Holy Father expressed his joy at the release of Armenian and Azerbaijani prisoners. “I look with great hope on this positive sign between Armenia and Azerbaijan, for peace in the South Caucasus,” the Pope said, while encouraging both nations, with their leaders, to conclude a peace treaty “as soon as possible.”

Pope Francis went on to ask for prayers for all peoples suffering from war. “We are heading toward Christmas: Are we able, with God’s help, to take concrete steps for peace?” he asked. While acknowledging the difficulties of resolving conflicts that have deep historical roots, the Pope invited everyone to follow the example of “men and women who have worked wisely and patiently for peaceful coexistence.”

And, returning to the issue of human rights, the Pope called for civilians, hospitals, and places of worship to be protected, for hostages to be freed, and for humanitarian aid to be guaranteed in conflict areas.

“And let us not forget tormented Ukraine, Palestine, and Israel,” he added.


Pope at Angelus: The commitment to human rights is never finished! (By Christopher Wells, Vatican News)