Director’s Desk

Human Rights are not a privilege conferred by Government.
They are every human being's entitlement by virtue of his humanity

The influence of the Catholic Social Doctrine on Human Rights dates way back to 1948 when the ideas from the Catholic Social thought were brought into the drafting process of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). One of the most important development has been the Church's assimilation and championing the ideas of Human Rights which Pope Benedict XVI called "the true conquest of Enlightenment", while adding that "the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of human rights all serve as guarantees safeguarding human dignity". In his second encyclical "Spe Salvi" he wrote, 'Every generation has the task of engaging anew in the arduous search for the right way to order human affairs'.

The Human Rights codified in the UDHR were strong and India included them into its Constitution as the six 'Fundamental Rights'. The concept of Human rights is based on the principle of human solidarity, cooperation, development and aims at eliminating unjust discrimination against any human being. When human rights are violated, there can be no permanent or regular prosperity of human beings unless every country creates conditions in which human rights are enjoyed.

Though countries had laws in place for safeguarding Human Rights, Pope Pius XII was the first to comment while commemorating the 50th anniversary of "Rerum Novarum" that everything was not alright. Pope Francis on the Church's Commitment to Universal Human Rights said that "Human Rights mean above all to restate the centrality of the human person, willed and created by God in his image". The Church's social doctrine says that integral human development is fostering "the development of each person and humanity as a whole".

The Catholic tradition teaches that human dignity can be protected and a healthy community can be achieved only if human rights are protected. Therefore, every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human decency. In this context the CBCI in its Final Statement 2018 has emphasised "to make the Indian Constitution more widely known in all sectors of the Church and Society, particularly highlighting some salient features such as equality of all citizens, the freedom of religion, the freedom of conscience and the freedom of expression". Let then this be a mandate to each one of us to create awareness so that each one enjoys the rights enshrined to us in the Indian Constitution.

The leadership and motivation of the Karnataka Region Catholic Bishops' Council under the Chairmanship of Most Rev. Dr. Bernard Moras, Archbishop of Bengaluru, Rt. Rev. Dr. Gerald Issac Lobo, President, KROSS & Bishop of Udupi, Rt. Rev. Dr. K. A. William, Vice-President, KROSS & Bishop of Mysuru and Members of KROSS Governing Board & Body is an inspiration and handholds us in implementing our activities.

The Diocesan Social Work Directors and their staff who reach out to the downtrodden and marginalized merit our heartiest appreciation and so to the KROSS staff who monitor and document the process.

KROSS with the support and goodwill of our esteemed National and International Donors, Government Departments, leadership of KRCBC, Board & Body Members and KROSS Team will keep abreast to the needs of the community and reach out so that they lead a life of human dignity.

Fr. Sebastian Fernandes
Director, KROSS