Friday 18 July 2008

Pope Benedict and bishop of Motherwell united in defence of life

In the opening address of his visit to Australia for World Youth Day, Pope Benedict XVI (pictured right) has said:

"The concerns for non-violence, sustainable development, justice and peace, and care for our environment are of vital importance for humanity. They cannot, however, be understood apart from a profound reflection upon the innate dignity of every human life from conception to natural death: a dignity conferred by God himself and thus inviolable."

Back on the other side of the globe, Bishop Joseph Devine of Motherwell, Scotland (pictured left) has said in a letter to the press:

"Protecting innocent infants in the womb, supporting pregnant, frightened young women and working to secure a better standard of living and greater opportunities for the poor and marginalised are not mutually exclusive ideals. Indeed, a nation that condemns to abortion our beautiful and blameless unborn babies betrays itself as morally, ethically and politically untrustworthy and disinclined to give due care and attention to the poorest and weakest members of our society. ... Britain has among the highest abortion rates, the highest rates of family breakdown and the worst social problems in modern Europe. Do not tell me these things are not connected."

I have blogged about Tony Blair, recently received in the Catholic Church, and his refusal to repudiate the strongly pro-abortion, pro-human embryo research and pro-euthanasia by neglect policies he and his government pursued. I have also blogged about Progressio and its partnerships with organizations which campaign for legalised abortion and against the Holy See's observer status at the United Nations.

Both Tony Blair and Progressio claim that their "concerns for non-violence, sustainable development, justice and peace, and care for our environment" are motivated by their Catholic faith.

I would like to invite readers of my blog to join me in writing to Tony Blair and writing to Progressio to ask them how they square their positions with those of Pope Benedict and the bishop of Motherwell. We are encouraged to do so by Pope John Paul II who said in Evangelium Vitae (95):

"We need to begin with the renewal of a culture of life within Christian communities themselves. Too often it happens that believers, even those who take an active part in the life of the Church, end up by separating their Christian faith from its ethical requirements concerning life, and thus fall into moral subjectivism and certain objectionable ways of acting. With great openness and courage, we need to question how widespread is the culture of life today among individual Christians, families, groups and communities in our Dioceses. With equal clarity and determination we must identify the steps we are called to take in order to serve life in all its truth. At the same time, we need to promote a serious and in-depth exchange about basic issues of human life with everyone, including non-believers, in intellectual circles, in the various professional spheres and at the level of people's everyday life."