The first ever Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief has promised to help ensure the United Kingdom stands with Christians and other group around the world who are being persecuted for their religious beliefs.
This brilliant article by John C. Eastman presents as a tragedy play what is, in fact, a great tragedy. The tragedy is twofold: (1) the failure of U.S. Courts to respect the institution of marriage between a man and a woman–an institution vital to all societies throughout human history–and (2) the complete disregard for the rule of law that was used as a means of overturning the Defense of Marriage Act. The author cogently shows how this result was orchestrated by improper and unlawful collusion between the Justice Department and plaintiffs challenging laws. If even the United States Justice Department will not defend DOMA, federal law, how can we expect state officers of the people to defend state laws with which they disagree? In the end, it is hard to assess whether the loss of natural marriage between a man and a woman, rich in benefits toward children, or the loss of the rule of law will be more injurious to the United States of America. Both are profound tragedies.
This article views the Holy See’s relationship to the Committee on the Rights of the Child in light of the Holy See’s moral and spiritual mission to the world. The interpretation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) as it pertains to the teachings and activities of the Holy See is discussed in detail. Moreover, in addition to reviewing the Reports of the Holy See, the article proposes a way of understanding the CRC that is in keeping with the original intention of the Member States that ratified the treaty, the Holy See’s teachings, and the truth about the dignity of the human person within the family.
(Saint) Pope John Paul II, the late head of the Holy See, which is the governing organ of Vatican City and the Roman Catholic Church, (1) commenced an important conversation with women on January 1, 1995. On that day, he delivered the annual World Day of Peace message, inviting women “to become teachers of peace with their whole being and in all their actions.” (2) This statement, along with many others made by the Pope that year, was directed to women and was about women. (3) The statements did not pass unnoticed in the United Nations system. The Holy See has international legal personality and participates as a Permanent Observer at the United Nations, which means that it may fully participate in meetings despite its inability to vote. (4)
The message initiated a series of addresses emanating from His Holiness, who at that time was preparing his delegation to participate in the United Nations 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. (5) With international attention focused on women, the 1995 papal statement gave an unprecedented depth of insight on the topic of women and peace.
The Beijing Platform for Action, one of the conference documents, addressed the principles pertaining to women and armed conflicts. (6) These principles were, in turn, reaffirmed five years later by two of the principal organs of the United Nations, the General Assembly and the Security Council. In 2000, the General Assembly favorably reviewed the principles at Beijing +5 during the five-year review process. (7) The same year, the Security Council issued Resolution 1325 addressing the unique impact of armed conflict on women and children. (8) It noted the undervalued contributions of women and stressed the need for women’s full and equal participation in all phases of the peace process. (9)
The purpose of this Article is to compare and contrast Pope John Paul II’s message on women and peace with Security Council Resolution 1325 and a 2002 study prepared by the Secretary-General, entitled Women, Peace and Security (“WPS”). (10) The Article will be divided into three parts. Part I will begin with a case study of what it means to be a woman of peace. Part II will give an overview of the 1995 World Day of Peace message. Part III will discuss Security Council Resolution 1325 (“Resolution 1325,” “Resolution”) and WPS.
(1.) For a good overview of the Holy See and its status in international law, see Robert John Araujo, S.J., The International Personality and Sovereignty of the Holy See, 50 CATH. U. L. REV. 291 (2001) [hereinafter Araujo, Holy See], and Robert John Araujo & John A. Lucal, A Forerunner for International Organizations: The Holy See and the Community of Christendom–with Special Emphasis on the Medieval Papacy, 20 J.L. & RELIGION 305 (2004-05).
(2.) Pope John Paul II, Message of Pope John Paul II for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace: Women: Teachers of Peace [paragraph] 2 (Jan. 1, 1995) [hereinafter 1995 Peace Message], in SERVING THE HUMAN FAMILY: THE HOLY SEE AT THE MAJOR UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCES app. at 821, 822 (Msgr. Carl J. Marucci ed., 1997) [hereinafter SERVING THE HUMAN FAMILY] (emphasis omitted).
(3.) See id.
(4.) Araujo, Holy See, supra note 1, at 357, 359.
(5.) That entire year of intense attention to women has been described as “a truly memorable year for women in the Catholic Church,” COMM. ON WOMEN IN SOC’Y & IN THE CHURCH, U.S. CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS, POPE JOHN PAUL II ON THE GENIUS OF WOMEN 1 (1997) [hereinafter POPE JOHN PAUL II ON THE GENIUS OF WOMEN].
(6.) Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, China, Sept. 4-15, 1995, Report of the Fourth World Conference on Women, ch. I, resolution 1, annex II, [paragraph][paragraph] 131-49, at 56-55, UN Doc. A/CONF.177/20/Rev.1 (Jan. 1, 1996) [hereinafter Fourth World Conference on Women]. “In addressing armed or other conflicts, an active and visible policy of mainstreaming a gender perspective into all policies and programmes should be promoted so that before decisions are taken an analysis is made of the effects on women and men, respectively.” Id. [paragraph] 141, at 58.
(7.) See G.A. Res. S-23/3, annex, [paragraph] 1, UN Doc. A/RES/S-23/3 (Nov. 16, 2000).
(8.) See S.C. Res. 1325, UN Doc. S/RES/1325 (Oct. 31, 2000).
(9.) Id. [paragraph] 5.
(10.) UN INTER-AGENCY TASK FORCE ON WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY, WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY, UN Sales No. E.03.IV.1 (2002) [hereinafter WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY].
Judge Maura D. Corrigan sets forth a principled understanding of natural marriage and explains the negative consequences upon children when natural marriage is devalued. She is careful to clarify that judges in the United States are restricted in their authority, that is, they are to interpret and apply the law, not make laws. Nevertheless, she recognizes that a person’s faith will impact their morals, which in turn will help to inform their understanding of the law.