EG 213: Defending The Unborn

Vasnetsov_Maria_MagdalenePope Francis, in this section of Evangelii Gaudium places himself squarely in the pro-life camp. Worth thinking about: why he gets the ear of so many people in spite of that.

213. Among the vulnerable for whom the Church wishes to care with particular love and concern are unborn children, the most defenseless and innocent among us. Nowadays efforts are made to deny them their human dignity and to do with them whatever one pleases, taking their lives and passing laws preventing anyone from standing in the way of this. Frequently, as a way of ridiculing the Church’s effort to defend their lives, attempts are made to present her position as ideological, obscurantist and conservative.

Conservative? It was American conservatives who led the first assault on the unborn. But yes, the ridicule directed at pro-life positions isn’t always coherent. On the other hand, when any side has invested too much in the argument itself rather than the basic issue of justice, there are bound to be missteps.

Yet this defense of unborn life is closely linked to the defense of each and every other human right. It involves the conviction that a human being is always sacred and inviolable, in any situation and at every stage of development. Human beings are ends in themselves and never a means of resolving other problems. Once this conviction disappears, so do solid and lasting foundations for the defense of human rights, which would always be subject to the passing whims of the powers that be. Reason alone is sufficient to recognize the inviolable value of each single human life, but if we also look at the issue from the standpoint of faith, “every violation of the personal dignity of the human being cries out in vengeance to God and is an offence against the creator of the individual”.[Christifideles Laici 37]

Human beings are the ends, not the means: an important principle to remember. Also, that every violation of human dignity demands a response.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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