The Master’s in Human Rights cohort met for another capstone class on February 11, 2022. Despite technical difficulties, the group was able to spend the majority of their time with Monsignor Anthony Frontiero via video call. Monsignor Frontiero is currently a teacher of moral theology and director of the priestly formation program at Saint John’s Seminary in Boston, Massachusetts. From 1999 to 2002, he served as the Diplomatic Attaché to the Holy See Mission to the United Nations in New York. The Vatican, a sovereign state, possesses a Permanent Observer seat at the United Nations in New York and is the oldest institution in the world which sends diplomats to international bodies. The UN in particular sets the standard for behavior of sovereign states and represents an attempt at a common morality. Monsignor Frontiero was a dynamic, engaging speaker eager to answer questions and share his experience as a man of the Church experienced in international human rights advocacy.
Monsignor Frontiero discussed the Catholic Church’s documentary heritage regarding social, cultural, and personal realities, from Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum to Pope Benedict XVI’s Deus Caritas Est. “The Catholic Church,” he said, “is an expert in humanity.” He discussed the dignity of the human person with regard to social issues, especially work. Work is a vocation from God which ultimately confirms the image of God in man–this reality creates obligations on the part of the worker and especially his employer. He also discussed his efforts to defend the family in national and international conversations. “The Church stands up for the ideal all the time,” he declared, “knowing we fall short but nevertheless continuing to present the ideal.”