2006-05-05 10:49:00

Vatican shares the call of the Russian Church to give moral dimension to modern concept of human rights

Moscow, May 5, Interfax – The modern concept of human rights in the West needs a return to its Christian roots, stated Cardinal Paul Poupard, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture.

‘It is sometimes said that the human rights concept traces back to the Great French Revolution, but actually it is not so. The idea of human rights traces back to the Gospel, and the present-day concept of human rights are, as Chesterton put it, the Lord’s commandments changed by a madman’, he said on Friday in an interview to Interfax.

He also said that freedom should necessarily go together with responsibility; ‘it should presuppose not only rights but also obligations, to be freedom not from something but for something’.

‘It is not a freedom to do whatever one wishes. Otherwise a small child would have a freedom to get into a cupboard, take a poison and die’, the cardinal added.