“For the rule of law,” he said, “stands at the service of the human person and aims to protect the dignity of each, which admits of no exception. This is a principle.”
The Vienna Declaration in Support of the Rule of Law was signed by the representatives of 38 legal organizations representing 25 member states of the Council of Europe during a June 10–11, 2022, conference on the laws of power versus the rule of law.
The declaration includes the statement that the signers “deplore the return of war to the European continent because of the Russia’s attack [sic] on Ukraine and the resulting humanitarian crises.”
Calling the war in Ukraine “senseless,” Pope Francis said “the foundation of the dignity of each human person is to be found in his or her transcendent origin, which thus forbids any violation of that dignity, while at the same time demanding, in all human affairs, respect for the centrality of the person, which otherwise is at the mercy of the whims and powers of the moment.”
Citing his 2014 address to the European Parliament, he warned that a Europe no longer open to the transcendent dimension of life risks “slowly losing its own soul.”
Francis said faithfulness to one’s roots, nourished by truth, can ensure the firm establishment of the rule of law and respect for human rights.