Denver, Colo., Apr 27, 2017 / 15:07 pm
"The recent pledge by the Democratic National Committee chair to support only candidates who embrace the radical unrestricted abortion license is very disturbing. The Democratic Party platform already endorses abortion throughout the nine months of pregnancy, even forcing taxpayers to fund it; and now the DNC says that to be a Democrat--indeed to be an American--requires supporting that extreme agenda.
True solidarity with pregnant women and their children transcends all party lines. Abortion doesn't empower women. Indeed, women deserve better than abortion.
In the name of diversity and inclusion, pro-life and pro-'choice' Democrats, alike, should challenge their leadership to recant this intolerant position."
--Cardinal Timothy Dolan, chair
U.S. bishops' Pro-Life Activities Committee, April 26
We mark two forgotten anniversaries in 2017. Here's the first.
Exactly 50 years ago this Easter season, Pope Paul VI (now Blessed Paul VI) issued his great encyclical Populorum Progressio ("On the Development of Peoples"). The text focuses powerfully on global issues of social and economic justice and the need for rich nations to share generously with the poor. It includes the line – worth remembering today – that we "cannot insist too much on the duty of giving foreigners a hospitable reception. It is a duty imposed by human solidarity and by Christian charity" (67).
But Paul's idea of "development" was much larger than simply providing more and better material goods for the poor, vital though that task is. As he makes clear in Populorum Progressio, there's no real progress without a right understanding of man's spiritual identity. There's no real development without a respect for the wholehuman person as a creature of moral purpose.
Real development, for Paul VI, demands a reverence for human life from conception to natural death. This is why he reminded the U.N. General Assembly (1965) that "Your task is to ensure that there is enough bread on the tables of mankind, and not . . . to diminish the number of guests at the banquet of life." It's why he forcefully rejected abortion – echoing the words of the Second Vatican Council -- in his other great encyclical, Humanae Vitae, just a year after Populorum Progressio.