Pope Francis Tell Jurists "...in these times, are Catholic jurists called to affirm and protect the rights of the weakest..." FULL TEXT - Video



Hall of Blessing - Friday, 10 December 2021


Dear brothers and sisters, good morning and welcome!

I welcome you on the occasion of your 70th National Study Congress, which focuses on a theme that is very close to my heart: “The last. The legal protection of weak subjects ". I thank the President of the Union of Italian Catholic Jurists for his words of greeting.

I still have in my eyes and in my heart the experiences lived in the recent Apostolic Journey to Cyprus and Greece . Last Sunday, while visiting the refugees in the Mytilene Camp, on the island of Lesbos , I recalled among other things that "respect for people and human rights, especially on the continent that does not fail to promote them in the world, should always be safeguarded, and the dignity of each one should be given priority over everything "


(Speech in Mytilene , December 5, 2021). And yet, how distant we are from this respect! Abuses, violence, negligence, omissions do nothing but increase the culture of waste. And whoever has no protection will always be marginalized. You, as Catholic jurists, are asked to contribute to "reversing the course", favoring, according to your skills, awareness and a sense of responsibility. Because even the least, the defenseless, the weak have rights that must be respected and not trampled on. And this is an intrinsic call to our faith. It is not a passing “moral”: it is an intrinsic reminder of our faith.

Let us remember - especially in this time of Advent - the words of the prophet Isaiah, referring to the Servant of the Lord: «He will proclaim the right with truth. He will not fail and fail until he has established the right on earth "(42,3-4). The Messiah announced by the prophets has right and justice at heart. And Jesus Christ, in his earthly mission, turned with all of himself to the least, to heal them and announce to them the good news of the Kingdom of God.

Never as in these days, in these times, are Catholic jurists called to affirm and protect the rights of the weakest, within an economic and social system that pretends to include diversity but which in fact systematically excludes those who have no voice. . The rights of workers, migrants, the sick, unborn children, dying people and the poorest are increasingly neglected and denied in this throwaway culture. Those who do not have the ability to spend and consume seem to be worth nothing. But denying fundamental rights, denying the right to a dignified life, to physical, psychological and spiritual care, to a just salary means denying human dignity. We are seeing it: how many laborers are - excuse the word - "used" for the harvest of fruits or vegetables,

Recognizing in principle and concretely guaranteeing rights, protecting the weakest, is what makes us human. Otherwise we allow ourselves to be dominated by the law of the strongest and we give free rein to oppression.

For this reason, the recognition of the rights of the most vulnerable does not derive from a government concession. No. And Catholic jurists do not ask for favors on behalf of the poor, but firmly proclaim those rights that derive from the recognition of human dignity.

The role of the Catholic jurist, in whatever role he works, as a consultant, lawyer or judge, is therefore to contribute to the protection of the human dignity of the weak by affirming their rights. In this way he or she contributes to the affirmation of human fraternity and not to deface the image of God imprinted in every person.

Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi loved to repeat that "the rights of the weak are not weak rights". To you, in a particular way, the task of affirming them firmly and protecting them with wisdom, cooperating in building a more humane and just society.

May Our Lady, whom we venerate today as the Virgin of silence and listening in the Holy House of Loreto, and Saint Joseph, the just man, support you in your commitment. As well as inspiring the testimony of Blessed Rosario Livatino. I too accompany you with my prayer and my blessing. And please, I ask you to pray for me. Thank you.

 FULL TEXT Source: Vatican.va - Image Screenshot - Translation from Italian