[…] I think, among other things, of the unborn, who are denied the right to come
into the world; of those who do not have access to the indispensable means for a
dignified life;of those who are excluded from an appropriate education; of those
who are unjustly deprived of work or compelled to work as slaves; of those who are
detained in inhumane conditions, who suffer torture or who are denied the
opportunity for redemption; of the victims of forced disappearances and of their
My thought also goes to all those who are living in a climate dominated by suspicion
and scorn, who are the object of acts of intolerance, discrimination and violence due
to their race, ethnicity, nationality or religion.
Lastly, I cannot fail to recall those who endure a multitude of violations of their
fundamental rights in the tragic context of armed conflicts, while unscrupulous
dealers of death enrich themselves at the cost of their brothers’ and sisters’ blood.
Faced with these grave phenomena, we are all accountable. Indeed, when
fundamental rights are violated, or when some are favoured to the detriment of
others, or when they are guaranteed only to specified groups, then serious injustices
occur, which in their turn feed conflicts with heavy consequences both within single
Nations and in relations among them.
Therefore, each person is called to contribute with courage and determination, in line
with the specificity of his or her proper role, to the respect of the fundamental rights
of every person, especially of those who are ‘invisible’: of the many who are hungry
and thirsty, who are naked, sick, strangers or prisoners (cf. Mt 25:35-35), who live
at the margins of society or who are discarded from it.