ZAGREB, Sept 17, 2020 – The Iustitia et Pax Commission of the Croatian Catholic Bishops’ Conference (HBK) said on Thursday that the general public had the right to know about decisions made by the authorities, however, disseminating conspiracy theories and negating one’s own responsibility was unacceptable.
“Pope Francis has underlined in his speeches on several occasions that the experience of the (COVID-19) pandemic has shown us that no one can be saved alone.” the Commission says in its statement on the topic of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and actions taken to curb it.
The Commission points out the importance of solidarity and brotherhood in these times.
The epidemic of coronavirus has raised many ethical and legal issues, and it is evident that some extraordinary measures imposed by countries for the sake of the protection of public health have restricted human rights.
However, those restricted rights are not absolute, and therefore the states can restrict them for the protection of some other rights.
Croatian bishops say that it obvious that the protection of public health is above the unlimitedness of freedoms and some other rights of individuals, and in this context, they quote the European Convention on Human Rights.
The bishops find the position of the Croatian Constitutional Court on the matter very important in the context of the further activities of the relevant authorities and recall that the Court has confirmed the fact that legal regulations define the boundaries of the ethical and legal responsibility of citizens.
The bishops call for public support for the work and dignity of the Croatian national COVID-19 crisis management team and of all workers in the healthcare system.
“Disseminating conspiracy theories and panic as well as ignoring one’s own responsibility and neglecting the rights of others as well as ignoring the scientific knowledge and the obvious reality is unacceptable because it only creates havoc, which we do not need at all,” the bishops say, calling on every individual to behave responsibly.