When the United Nations’ Committee on “the Rights of the Child” insists that the Catholic Church change Canon Law and reinterpret Scripture to conform with its own views on abortion and marriage, what word first comes to mind?
Tolerance? Intolerance? Incompetence, perhaps? Or maybe even futile.
To gain a little perspective on the issue, let’s put aside, for now, that Ms. Aseil Al-Shehail, the Saudi Arabian Vice-Chairperson of the Committee, comes from a country whose track-record on respecting women’s and children’s rights might also need a little looking into, and let’s consider what would happen if…
Just imagine what would happen if the Church did the unthinkable — for the Catholic Church, that is — and completely reversed its moral standing on abortion and marriage. Imagine the absurd for just a minute and pretend that the Church suddenly changed its mind with regard to the following 3 non-negotiable principles, just to placate the United Nations’ “Rights of the Child” Committee.
From Pope Benedict XVI’s “Address to the Members of the European People’s Party,” March 30, 2006
As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable.
Among these the following emerge clearly today:
-- protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death;
-- recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family – as a union between a man and a woman based on marriage – and its defense from attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different forms of union which in reality harm it and contribute to its destabilization, obscuring its particular character and its irreplaceable social role;
-- the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
These principles are not truths of faith, even though they receive further light and confirmation from faith; they are inscribed in human nature itself and therefore they are common to all humanity.
The Church’s action in promoting them is therefore not confessional in character, but is addressed to all people, prescinding from any religious affiliation they may have. On the contrary, such action is all the more necessary the more these principles are denied or misunderstood, because this constitutes an offence against the truth of the human person, a grave wound inflicted onto justice itself.
Benedict XVI, “Address to the Members of the European People’s Party,” March 30, 2006
Popes have a knack for being prophetic sometimes. In 2006, Pope Benedict had the foresight to see the trends and challenges facing the world and the Church for years to come. In addition to the 3 non-negotiables he mentioned, there are 3 more takeaways that apply to the current situation between the Church and the UN.
- Should the Church backdown in teaching truth and protecting the rights of children and families it would allow a grievous “offence against the truth of the human person, a grave wound inflicted onto justice itself.”
- The Church will not allow that to happen, because…
- As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person.
That means the Church will always continue to draw the world’s attention to these principles, despite any futile demands from the United Nations.
End of story.