Monday, April 11, 2005

The Consistency of the Church and JPII

Here's a terrific post on the positions of the Church which the Holy Father proposed to powerfully over his 26 year pontificate:
    RE the Corner: The [Not] Paradoxical Pope

    I agree with Ramesh and Jonah on the Corner regarding the Pope's positions that defy simple right/left categorization. I think that it is a mistake to dub the Pope paradoxical, however. It is the parties that have the paradoxes. The Pope's positions are all in sympathy with one another. Why oppose totally unregulated free markets? Because they degrade human beings. Why oppose communist domination? Because it degrades human beings. The Pope's positions moderate the worst passions of both parties. The current challenges for modern civilization (and the church) which are so well described in the Derbyshire piece mentioned below, may be all the more challenging in that left and right are both more aligned against the church teaching than in these previous battles (where perhaps one party would adopt the church's position). Consider stem cell research on human embryos. If the principle of human dignity is to be upheld (and applied to embryos as the church would have it) then embryonic stem cell research should not only be unfunded--it should be illegal. Neither party has the political stomach for that, which suggests that the political center of the brave new world debates is much further away from the church's teaching than on say, social safety nets or abortion. On biotech--and many related issues--it appears that neither party genuinely wants to stand with the church. None of that changes the fundamentally un-paradoxical nature of the Pope's teaching.
(Hat tip: Jonah.)

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