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International law must be based on natural law, Vatican official tells UN

Catholic World News - September 26, 2012

Speaking at a UN conference on international law, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States said that the rule of law must ultimately be based on a common understanding of natural law.

Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, speaking to the 67th session of the General Assmebly, said that international law is “solidly based upon the dignity and nature of humanity--in other words, upon the natural law.” He called the UN delegates’ attention to the language of the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which affirm the importance of the natural law.

International law will earn recognition and respect, the archbishop said, if it is recognized as protecting every person and nation, not favoring the powerful. “Such will be possible,” he said, “if legislation at the international level is marked by respect for the dignity of the human person, beginning with the centrality of the right to life and to freedom of religion.”

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