Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Pope Reiterates Church's Moral Positions

The Holy Father's priorities this year.

In a speech to the diplomats accredited to the Vatican, the ailing, 84-year-old pontiff laid out the Roman Catholic Church's priorities for the new year, making clear he intended to use his energies to tackle what he called "challenges of life" issues — abortion, cloning, gay marriage, assisted procreation and embryonic stem cell use.

In an obvious reference to laws permitting marriage between homosexuals or equating the social rights of unwed couples to married ones, John Paul said that in some countries, the family's "natural structure" has been challenged.

Families "must necessarily be that of a union between a man and a woman founded on marriage," he said.

John Paul also reasserted the church's opposition to abortion, assisted procreation and scientific research on human embryonic stem cells.

"The human embryo is a subject identical to the human being, which will be born at the term of its development," the pope said.

More must be done about the world's hungry, including millions of children dying from malnutrition, the pontiff said.

He urged a "vast moral mobilization of public opinion" and said political leaders should also take up the call, especially those in well-off countries.


Blogger Tim Huegerich said...

The Holy Father is prophetic, but I fear that you sometimes deliberately distort his message. I realize you may not have seen the full text of his speech (available here: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/speeches/2005/january/documents/hf_jp-ii_spe_20050110_diplomatic-corps_en.html)

But can you be surprised that it contained this, which you left out all reference to?

"There is also the challenge of peace. As a supreme good and the condition for attaining many other essential goods, peace is the dream of every generation. Yet how many wars and armed conflicts continue to take place - between States, ethnic groups, peoples and groups living in the same territory. From one end of the world to the other, they are claiming countless innocent victims and spawning so many other evils! Our thoughts naturally turn to different countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Latin America, where recourse to arms and violence has not only led to incalculable material damage, but also fomented hatred and increased the causes of tension, thereby adding to the difficulty of finding and implementing solutions capable of reconciling the legitimate interests of all the parties involved. In addition to these tragic evils there is the brutal, inhuman phenomenon of terrorism, a scourge which has taken on a global dimension unknown to previous generations.

"How can the great challenge of building peace overcome such evils? As diplomats, you are men and women of peace by profession but also by personal vocation. You know the nature and extent of the means which the international community has at its disposal for keeping or restoring peace. Like my venerable predecessors, I have spoken out countless times, in public statements - especially in my annual Message for the World Day of Peace - and through the Holy See's diplomatic activity, and I shall continue to do so, pointing out the paths to peace and urging that they be followed with courage and patience. The arrogance of power must be countered with reason, force with dialogue, pointed weapons with outstretched hands, evil with good."

This is not to take away from the parts of his speech that you do highlight, which are also of great importance, but you and I both agree--and believe very strongly, both of us, when we stop to think about it--that the truth of Catholicism must be proclaimed in full without picking and choosing only the parts we like.

7:04 PM  

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