Monday, January 31, 2011

Preferential Option for the Poor(est)

A major theme in Catholic Social Teaching is the preferential option the poor. In its simplest this means giving of one's time, talent, and treasure to those with the greatest and most basic human needs. Usually this means the hungry, homeless, and ill members of our society. Most often people picture the citizens of Africa, Central America, or Southeast Asia. One can certainly find the hungry, homeless, and ill prevalent in these places, but our Bishops remind us constantly that the poorest, most defenseless members of our society are also in our own society. They are the unborn:
Abortion and euthanasia have become preeminent threats to human dignity because they directly attack life itself, the most fundamental human good and the condition for all others. They are committed against those who are weakest and most defenseless, those who are genuinely "the poorest of the poor." -- U.S. Bishops, Living the Gospel of Life

Our desire to help the poor should culminate in the eradication of abortion and euthanasia from our society. None of the poor should be neglected, but the poorest must come first. Any violation against the most primary right to life must command our attention before all other violations.

This means more than policy changes. We must reach out to our neighbors and establish relationships with each other. The poor must be given proper care and just means of subsistence to not feel as though abortion is the only option. The greatest contributor to abortion, sexual immorality, must be fought with charity, education, and justice.
Laws which authorize and promote abortion and euthanasia are therefore radically opposed not only to the good of the individual but also to the common good; as such they are completely lacking in authentic juridical validity. Disregard for the right to life, precisely because it leads to the killing of the person whom society exists to serve, is what most directly conflicts with the possibility of achieving the common good. Consequently, a civil law authorizing abortion or euthanasia ceases by that very fact to be a true, morally binding civil law." -- John Paul II, The Gospel of Life, emphasis added

1 comment:

  1. Great article Alex! Mother Theresa elaborates: “We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.”
    That is the real solution to start fighting poverty. Start in our own home and family, loving and caring our children. Our kids need the love and care of the mother and father. The absence of them turns children into orphans of living parents, and exposes them to greater human poverty.
    Maria Mullen