July 14, 2024

Pathfinder News

redefining news

Book Launch: THAT ALL MAY BE FREE: Human Rights, Social Magisterium, Justice & Peace (What Nexus)

Author: Joe UzomaNkamuke;

Foreword: +Alfred Adewale Martins;

Prologue: Uchechukwu Fr Obodoechina;

Epilogue: Edwin Fr Udoye;

Back-cover: Prof Adele Jinadu& Raymond Fr Anoliefo.

Price: N4000/Copy. 

High-Level Summary.

  • The 3 degrees of rights (civil& political, economic & Social, and justice, development, environmental, etc) are enshrined in the constitutions of countries that are democratic or ape democracy; and take their roots from struggles from yore by humanity to free themselves, not from the elements and beasts, but from their fellow beings, especially those with political powers.Some of these statutes “may be well framed yet remain dead letters” (Pp Francis, 2015, n.142).
  • An understanding of struggles to be free presupposes an appreciation of war for and against the institutionalization of democracy, rule of law and separation of powers.
  • The struggle for freedom is as ancient as man: (i) in ancient Rome, St Paul dramatised what it meant to deny a citizen his right (Acts 22:25-29), meaning that a none citizen, a plebian is doomed; (ii) in old England, in many instances: the Magna Carta(1215), King John fought it out with the Barons and Pope Innocent III on account of claims and denial of rights); King Henry VIII waged relentless ‘wars’ against the people, the Church and the Parliament because he was not allowed to continue his marital adventure in search of a woman who should bore a male successor. He married three wives in succession, seized Church properties including Oxford Schools, started his own church (“the catholic church of England”) based on the philosophy of the religion of the king is the religion of the people, rejigged the Bible and came up with his own version which gained prominence under the reign of King James I, popularly known as king James version; the Parliament was institutionalized after the Crowell Revolution of 1688; (iii) France, Germany & the US had their own history of denial of and struggle for rights.
Cover Page
  • The Church has been speaking out against the oppressive forces from yore, and fearlessly called out erring potentates and pointed to the right routes: (i), She deprecated the creeping capitalists manifestations against the workers during the Industrial Revolution(Pp Leo XIII, 1891; (ii) after the WWI, autocracy and totalitarianism resulted in war against freedom and power separation leading the Church to advocate for the “Principle of Subsidiary Functions” (Pp Pius XI, 1931); (iii) when it was obvious that Hitler was a deceit and that all his promises, including the Agreement/Concordat with Pp Pius XI in 1933 were false, the Church reacted through MitBrennender Sorge/With Burning Sorrows in 1937; (iv) During the Cold War and in the middle of bipolar ideological war which came to a head with the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962), the Church reacted through series of dousing encyclicals (Mater et Magistra, 1961;Pacem in Terris, 1963;&GuadiumetSpes, 1965); (v) when the Banana Republics of Latin America and shaky new independent countries in Africa were engrossed in drug wars, eroticism, coup, etc, the Church spoke severally through encyclicals one of which is PopulorumProgressio, 1967 which established the dicastery of Justitia et Pax whose main duty is to assist the downtrodden, be the voice of the voiceless, etc; (vi) the Church is NOT for any of the contending ideologies. It stands for solidarity of peoples; hence, the “Principle of Solidarity” (Pp John Paul II,1987); (vii)at the sunset of communism She made fearless prouncements like Be not afraid by Pp John Paul II.
Left: Author,Joe Nkamuke And Other Dignitaries
  • In all, the Church reacts to signs of time (aggiornamento); insists that countries should not borrow extravagantly because there is “ no question of backing idlers and parasites” (John Paul II, 1967, n.54b); supports education fully because “lack of education is as serious as lack of food, the illiterate is a starved spirit” (Pp Pius XI, 1967, n.35); insists that “development is a new name for peace” (Pp Pius XI, 1967, n.76); that there must be cooperation with non-Catholics (ecumenism) & cooperation with non-Christians (Dialogue)(John XIII, 1963, n.158); small Christian communities are healthy for the Church but the Church authorities must isolate sociological gatherings from the ones for the church called Ecclesia Communautes de Base (Pp Paul VI, 1975, n.58d &58e); we must fight to support the environment, our common home which is currently “falling into serious disrepair” (Pp Francis, 2015, n.61); etc.
  • EXCERPTS:
  • Why is it that the struggle for freedom is continuous, never-ending? Is it not shocking that no sooner have a particular people or group won a particular rights-related struggle than a frontier for a new struggle is opened –…, in the same turf? Is it not also shocking that the more countries, the international community,… enact laws,fine-tune and update the old ones, promulgate new treaties, expand the frontiers of liberal democracy with all guarantees of freedom and liberty in the constitutions and statutes; the more human rights abuses escalate …? How can one explain the situation where a people who fought and won the right to self-rule…, only for different identities (race, tribe, religion, class…) to start new internal struggles and wars of attrition? When will the struggle for rights end? When will all be free? (p.5).
  • “For freedom, we know, is a thing we have to conquer afresh for ourselves, every day, like love; and we are always losing freedom, just as we are always losing love; because after each victory, we think we can now settle down and enjoy it without further struggle… The battle of freedom is never done, and the field never quiet” (Henry W. Nevins on. 2009, p.xvi) (p.5&6).
  • Liberty cannot exist without equality. Allow neither the rich nor beggars. These two estates which are naturally inseparable are equally fatal to the common good. From the one comes the friend of tyranny, and from the other, tyrants. It is always between them that public liberty is put up for auction; the one buys and the other sells” (J. J. Rousseau, 1762).
  • “…of all rights of man, this right of the ignorant man to be guided by the wiser, to be, gently or forcibly, held in the true course by them, is the most indisputable. Nature herself ordains from the first; society struggles towards perfection by enforcing and accomplishing it more and more… if we look practically, we find that it was not by loud voting and debating of many, but by wise insight and ordering of a few that the work was done. So is it ever, so will it ever be” (Appadorai, A. 2003, p.135)(p.53).

Recommended for all who are in search of knowledge: scholars, students, Priests, Seminarians/Seminaries, Civil Society Organisations, media practitioners, change agents, etc.

Price: N4000/Copy. 

U.J. Nkamuke