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U.N. committee is wrong to scold Catholic Church

The recent report released by the United Nations on the Holy See should be viewed as a flagrant attack on the moral teachings of the Catholic Church under the guise of “concern for child welfare.” Perhaps not surprisingly, the recent sexual abuse headlines have created a certain window of opportunity for those who disagree with the church’s position regarding contraception, abortion, gender ideology, homosexuality and the definition of family. They see the church’s admitted failure in one area as reason to reinvigorate their campaign to delegitimize other areas. As if upon reading this report the 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide should all of a sudden feel scolded by some greater authority while at the same time not see the sad irony that a Committee on the Rights of the Child should be advocating for an expansion of abortion.

Beneath its thin veneer of concern for children, the report is a veritable self-portrait of the committee itself and some of the ironically anti-life undercurrents at the United Nations; revealing a not uncommon desire toward a global secular agenda with which the Catholic Church especially has interfered for centuries. But if permissiveness is established unchallenged as the moral benchmark of society, then the idea of transcendent moral truth can too easily be cast aside as too burdensome and insensitive, and as an obstruction to progressive ideologies.

The Catholic Church does maintain the importance of tolerance, but its value must always be subject to fidelity to moral truth. On the other hand, a moral truth that is subject to tolerance is forever changing and therefore loses its claim to truth. It is this to which the U.N. committee demands that the Catholic Church commit itself; requesting effectively that the Rock of Peter be replaced with the shifting sands of popular opinion.

Martin Wargo

Amherst