Thursday 10 March 2011

Pope Benedict says that life and family come before the environment

Pope Benedict, in a message to Brazil's bishops yesterday, said:
"[T]he first ecology to be defended is 'human ecology'. This is to say that, without a clear defence of human life from conception until natural death; without a defence of the family founded on marriage between a man and a woman...we will never be able to speak of authentic protection of the environment."
Yesterday's message echoes Pope Benedict's address to the diplomatic corps in January last year, in which he said:
"If we wish to build true peace, how can we separate, or even set at odds, the protection of the environment and the protection of human life, including the life of the unborn? It is in man’s respect for himself that his sense of responsibility for creation is shown. As Saint Thomas Aquinas has taught, man represents all that is most noble in the universe (cf. Summa Theologiae, I, q. 29, a. 3)."
It also echoes his opening address of his visit to Australia in 2008, in which he 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."
Pope Benedict is clearly calling upon Catholic groups and individuals who campaign on environmental issues (especially those ones who ignore or even actively undermine life and family, e.g. the Catholic bishops' conference of England and Wales, CAFOD, Progressio, Caritas, The Tablet, Tony Blair) to reject the "seamless garment" error, so well debunked in September 2009 by Cardinal Burke, who said:
"The moral questions pertaining to the safeguarding and fostering of human life are all related to one another but they are not of the same weight. To use the image of the garment, they are not all of the same cloth."
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