As you know, L’Osservatore Romano embarrassed itself and the Holy See several times in the last couple months either through direction by the Secretariat of State, or extreme Euro-naivete, or both, as it helped grease the skids for a meeting between Pope Benedict and Pres. Obama during the time of the G8 in Rome.
Now, just days before Pope Benedict admits the American President to his presence, L’OssRom uses the occasion of a new encyclical which interprets and proposes anew Paul VI’s magisterium, to represent Paul VI’s defense of human life as a clear and irrevocable teaching of the Church.
There can be no rupture between Paul VI’s magisterium on human life and Pope Benedict’s.
When Pres. Obama comes to Pope Benedict, he will be in the presence of the universal shepherd and teacher, Christ’s Vicar, the greatest defender of human life on earth.
Pres. Obama should have no illusions about what faithful Catholics believe or that he can suborn them for his agenda.
Here is the L’OssRom piece with my emphases.
Progress and the defense of life
29 June 1978, the Solemnity of Peter and Paul. For the 15th anniversary of his coronation Paul VI pronounced a homily which constitutes a true and proper net result (proprio bilancio) of his whole pontificate. It is the last great public speech of Pope Montini and in one passage – which we are including below – recalls some points of Populorum progressio and of Humanae vitae to which in today’s Caritas in veritate there are explicit and continual references.
We consider as binding the defense of human life. The Second Vatican Council recalled with the gravest words that "God, the Lord of life, entrusted to men the highest mission of the protection of life!" (Gaudium et spes 51). And we, who consider our consigned instruction ("consegna") absolute fidelity to the teachings of the same Council, made as a program for our pontificate the defense of life, in all its forms in which it can be threatened, disturbed or even suppressed.
We call to mind also here those most significant points which can attest to our intention.
We have above all underscored the obligation to favor the technical-material promotion of people on the road of development, with the encyclical Populorum progressio (26 March 1967).
But the defense of life must begin from the very origins of human existence. This was the weighty and clear teaching of the Council, which, in the pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, warned that "life, once conceived, must be protected with the greatest care; and abortion, as infanticide, are abominable crimes" (51). We did nothing other than accept this consigned instruction ("consegna") when, ten years ago, we issued the encyclical Human vitae (25 July): inspired by the untouchable biblical and evangelical teaching, which confirms the norms of natural law and irrepressible dictates of conscience in respect to life, the transmission of which was entrusted to responsible fatherhood and motherhood, that document became today of new and even more pressing topicality for the wounds inflicted by public legislation on the indissoluble holiness of the matrimonial bond and the inviolability of human life from the mother’s womb. From here the repeated affirmations of the doctrine of the Catholic Church on the harmful reality and the most distressing effects of divorce and of abortion, contained in our ordinary magisterium as in particular acts of the competent Congregations. We have expressed these, moved solely by the supreme responsibility of being the universal teacher and shepherd, and for the good of the human race.
As I said, the context of the new encyclical makes it is perfectly natural to propose anew what Paul VI said about human life right now.
But President Obama is also coming for an audience with Pope Benedict.
What do you think?
Coincidence? Is this a shift?