|Fr. Bartolome de las Casas|
“are all in mortal sin and live and die in it, because of the cruelty and tyranny they practice among these innocent people”
[Warner, Carl.(1987). “All Mankind Is One”: The Libertarian Tradition In Sixteenth Century Spain. The Journal of Libertarian Studies, p.295]
The Church that created the foundation of
Modern International Law
In one occasion, on his December 21, 1511 sermon, Fr. Montesinos asked his audience with the following question which was also attended by another Dominican Priest name Fr. Bartoleme de las Casas:
"Tell me by what right of justice do you hold these Indians in such a cruel and horrible servitude? On what authority have you waged such detestable wars against these people who dealt quietly and peacefully on their own lands? Wars in which you have destroyed such an infinite number of them by homicides and slaughters never heard of before. Why do you keep them so oppressed and exhausted, without giving them enough to eat or curing them of the sicknesses they incur from the excessive labor you give them, and they die, or rather you kill them, in order to extract and acquire gold every day."
[Bartolome de Las Casas: Witness: Writing of Bartolome de Las casas. ed and trans by George Sanderlin (Maryknoll: Orbis books, 1993) 66-67.]
On the fourth Sunday of Advent, 1511, from his pulpit in Santo Domingo, the Dominican priest Antonio de Montesinos started his diatribe. As he echoed John The Baptist’s lamentation yo soy la voz que clama en el desierto, the colonists were provoked into thinking if the natives were men with souls on whom war should not be made nor injustices committed.
[Justice Mario L. Guariña III,(2007): The First 30 Years of Spanish Rule in the Phil - Establishing the Legal Framework on Colonization. Philippine Court of Appeals, http://ca.judiciary.gov.ph/index.php?action=mnuactual_contents&ap=j40100]
Rooted on the ground that each person is created in the image and likeness of God; Fr. Antonio de Montesinos publicly denounce all forms of oppression of the indigenous people of the Americas, thus this open the gate for Theologians in Salamanca University – Homeland Spain to drew up theological and philosophical argument in defense of the human rights of the colonized native population; advanced by his Dominican Brother and direct hearer Fr. Bartolome de Las Casas and a theologian Francisco de Vitoria, formed the basis and thus, the birth of MODERN INTERNATIONAL LAW.
The judgment of a growing number of theologians and jurists was unforgiving. Among them were the Dominican priest Bartolome de Las Casas and the theologian Francisco de Vitoria whose teachings formed the basis of modern international law. [Justice Mario L. Guariña III,(2007) –Philippine Court of Appeals]
But it never stops there, as man moving forward toward technological progress – a new wave of threat emerges:
“Man precedes the State.” – Pope Leo XIII, 1891 Rerum Novarum
Human dignity is the basis and standard for all law. Reverse it and you get disaster.
Mankind has already experience these disastrous effects in relegating Human Value and Dignity into something ‘Physical’; likewise, making Human Rights and Justice as a superficial product of human brainwaves, praising the false truth of absolute dogmatic Materialism as the sole authority for all. “Since he is of no use anymore, there is no gain if he lives and no loss if he dies” – Pol Pot.
But as usual, the Catholic Church confronted these inhuman epochal circumstances, a time that the Church with priests and laymen had to make numerous sacrifices
From past to present, the Church continues to live with her unchangeable teaching on being a good Samaritan:
In Africa alone we provide 1290 Hospitals, 5280 dispensaries, 174 care Homes for people with Leprosy in year 2009 not included houses for the old people and chronic ill, orphanages, family counseling, centers for sanity education, institution for poor’s assistance, Maternal Schools, Primary Schools, secondary schools
Catholic Charities which alone is the fourth largest charity in the United States, above the Red Cross and the Salvation Army, and consists of 1,400 agencies that run soup kitchens, temporary shelters, child care, and refugee resettlement all around the country and provides help for 6.5 million people, regardless of religious, social, or economic backgrounds [MATTHEW ARCHBOLD-ncregister.com]
Proudly to say that the Catholic Church is the LARGEST CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION on Earth defending and caring the poorest of the poor.
So, Ms. Sabrina who posted photo in an FB forum showing a child in a miserable condition and taunting the Church for (futile action?); Miss, I already laid the fact, now it’s my turn to ask you: What about you? What did you do today basing on your godless belief, to uplift the misery of the child in the photo?
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Photo credit: Unione Christiani Cattolici Razionali