June 2024: Editorial

Human Dignity     

Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel once said; ‘When it comes to human dignity, we cannot make compromises.’ It is a comment underlined profoundly by the recent Declaration on Human Dignity issued by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith during the Easter Octave 2024. Respect for individual human dignity as Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernandez asserts in his presentation of the Declaration, underpins any society which aims to be ‘truly just, peaceful, healthy and authentically human.’

The document forms an urgent reminder from Pope Francis as well as a call to action in a world where every aspect of human dignity is under sustained attack from warlords, authoritarian governments and billionaire paymasters. As in the starvation of the people of Gaza, the trafficking and exploitation of women and children, and the anti-life policies of so many western governments evil increasingly appears to flourish because good people stand by and do nothing. In a paraphrase of the famous lines ‘First They Came’ by Pastor Martin Niemoller (1892-1984) we could write today:

First they came for the unborn child
And I did not speak out because I was not an unborn child.
Then they came for the elderly and hopelessly ill
And I did not speak out because I was young and healthy.
Then they came for the refugee and the homeless
And I did not speak out because I had a country and a home
Then they came for God
And I did not speak out because I had forgotten Him
Then they came for me
And there was no one left to speak out for me.

For anyone who cares about the present state and future destiny of the human race the Declaration on Human Dignity is required reading and reflection – no compromises.

Paul Clayton-Lea 

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