There are rumors floating around about a restructuring of the Roman Curia, and a document which would replace Pastor bonus (will it be called”Mercenarius malus“?).
Something in an article in CNA (HERE) that caught, and disturbed, my eye.
The draft is under discussion, and – according to a source who works in the Pontifical Council for the Family – the Academy for Life is now to be included in the Congregation for Laity and Family, and not in the Congregation of Justice and Peace.
Under Family? I object. I strenuously object and so should everyone else.
Life is, first and foremost, an issue of human rights… of justice.
What pops into my mind is Caritas in veritate 28
28. One of the most striking aspects of development in the present day is the important question of respect for life, which cannot in any way be detached from questions concerning the development of peoples. […]
Not only does the situation of poverty still provoke high rates of infant mortality in many regions, but some parts of the world still experience practices of demographic control, on the part of governments that often promote contraception and even go so far as to impose abortion. […]
Some non-governmental Organizations work actively to spread abortion, at times promoting the practice of sterilization in poor countries, in some cases not even informing the women concerned. Moreover, there is reason to suspect that development aid is sometimes linked to specific health-care policies which de facto involve the imposition of strong birth control measures. […]
Openness to life is at the centre of true development. When a society moves towards the denial or suppression of life, it ends up no longer finding the necessary motivation and energy to strive for man’s true good. […]
Benedict XVI stressed the link between the development of peoples and respect for life.
NGOs impose abortion and contraception as a sine qua non for aid to developing countries.
Francis has mentioned this, perhaps channeling his inner Benedict.
Benedict’s encyclical established an essential linkage in Catholic social thought between work for justice and peace with the struggle against abortion, sterilization, contraception and euthanasia. Benedict thereby linked Paul VI’s encyclical Populorum progressio with his encyclical Humane vitae so that, henceforth, the bifurcation that had previously existed in Catholic social thought between social justice issues and respect for life, or pro-life activities, would be forever corrected.
Is Mercenarius (my fictitious name for the replacement for Pastor bonus) going to undermine Benedict’s inspired advance in Catholic Social Teaching?
In the future, will curial efforts in “social justice” and “world peace” be compromised be a lack of attention to respect for life?
Why is abortion treated like a sex issue or a woman’s issue? It is a justice issue.
In bureaucracies, if you locate an issue in one department rather than another, people in that department will work on that issue through a particular lens and they won’t make the proper linkage. Look at the bureaucratic map of most church organizations. I’ll bet that nine times out of ten you will find an office for Justice and Peace and you will find a different office for Pro-Life issues.
Separate offices: Justice and Peace … Pro-Life. That perpetuates a problem.
We need to correct the bifurcation of pro-life cultures and social justice cultures in the Church.
If we want peace, work for and defend life.
This isn’t exactly a new idea. Look at what John Allen wrote at Fishwrap in 2012 HERE:
[Benedict XVI offered … a memorable phrase to express the idea that being pro-peace and pro-life is one organic whole: “If we want peace,” he said, “let’s defend life!” […] (For the record, the phrase is not exactly new. Pope Paul VI’s message for the World Day of Peace in 1977 was titled, “If you want peace, defend life.” John Paul II used a slightly more complicated version of the same idea during a 1999 speech in St. Louis: “If you want peace, work for justice. If you want justice, defend life. It you want life, embrace the truth, the truth revealed by God.”)
UPDATE: Moderation queue is ON (travel day).