Of different priorities – or, what actually matters most?

With Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone at his side, Pope Benedict poses with the diplomats accredited to the Holy See

I don’t know how it is from  different nationality’s point of view, but from mine it certainly seems that the secular media have latched on to the pope’s New Year’s address to the diplomatic corps, given yesterday. A shame they didn’t latch on to all of it, or they might have discovered such interesting topics as the financial crisis, the youth, world stability and peace, education, development, religious freedom, and respect for the environment. Instead, far too many reporters and editors took (parts of) the following passage to make into headlines:

“In addition to a clear goal, that of leading young people to a full knowledge of reality and thus of truth, education needs settings. Among these, pride of place goes to the family, based on the marriage of a man and a woman. This is not a simple social convention, but rather the fundamental cell of every society. Consequently, policies which undermine the family threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself. The family unit is fundamental for the educational process and for the development both of individuals and States; hence there is a need for policies which promote the family and aid social cohesion and dialogue. It is in the family that we become open to the world and to life and, as I pointed out during my visit to Croatia, “openness to life is a sign of openness to the future” (Address at National Day for Families, Zagreb, Croatia, 5 June 2011). In this context of openness to life, I note with satisfaction the recent sentence of the Court of Justice of the European Union forbidding patenting processes relative to human embryonic stem cells, as well as the resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe condemning prenatal selection on the basis of sex.”

“Pope condemns same-sex marriage” they screamed, and “Gay marriage destroys society”. That’s certainly one way to completely miss the point and misrepresent the Holy Father and what he said. And, I fear, it is indicative of the modern obsession with liberal sexuality in which everything is allowed, as long as it feels good and doesn’t immediately harm anyone.

Anyway, if you want to know what the pope actually says, go read his words.

Photo credit: Stefano Carofei-Pool/Getty Images

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