On October 30, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, gave an intervention during the Third Committee deliberations of the Seventy-third Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Agenda Item 72, dedicated to the “Elimination of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.”
In his statement, Archbishop Auza condemned racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia as contrary to human dignity and lamented that there appears to be an upsurge of suspicion, fear and hatred toward others based on ethnic, national or religious identity leading to intolerance, discrimination, exclusion and violence. In response, everyone must work toward a culture of encounter, solidarity, fraternity, and compassion, based on mutual respect. Religious leaders and believers, he said, have a special responsibility to foster such a culture and to condemn religions being used as a pretext for intolerance. Investigation of incidents of “hate speech” and “hate crime” is good, he said, but such phrases must never be manipulated as grounds for censorship, discrimination and repressive measures based on ideological criteria.
The statement can be found here.