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Cardinal accuses UN of hypocrisy on children's rights

The president of the Vatican's Council for the Family this week accused the United Nations of a "selective, superficial or distorted recognition and understanding of human dignity" in its refusal to recognise the rights of children before birth.

Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo was speaking on Wednesday in New York during the meeting of religious leaders that is part of the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on children.

After pointing to U.N. documents and declarations that state that "all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights," the cardinal said "many delegations and governments refuse to recognize either this or the right to life or the truth that life does indeed begin at the moment of conception."

"It is bewildering," affirmed Cardinal Lopez Trujillo, "to think that many of those same delegations that refuse to recognise the human dignity of the unborn child claim to speak for the dignity of the oppressed, or those who suffer from discrimination."

Cardinal Trujillo also pointed to hypocrisy on the integrity of the family, referring to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights assertion that "the family is the natural and fundamental unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State."

He said: "It seems that in almost every debate in which the role of the family is discussed, this basic and recognised truth is challenged, and too many delegations attempt to change the understanding of the make-up and role of the family in society and in the life of the child."

Pontifical Council for the Family


9 May 2002