March Theme: Family Rights, a Lenten focus

Jan 7, 2020

The right to life should be paramount. In some form is enshrined in most Constitutions, the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the Church’s Charter of Family Rights. All human life, as individuals, but particularly too as family units, is precious from the first moment of existence until natural death.

Concern for animal and plant life has become a growing concern and “extinction means forever” is a true consequence of lack of care and commitment. A culture of life approach should not only focus on rights from the perspective of justice, but also of love and positive relationships. All of creation should be interrelated. We speak of the “butterfly effect.” “When a butterfly flaps its wings in Dublin the energy it sets in motion can result in a tornado in far-away Pietermaritzburg. The right to protection of life, in all forms and all its stages, as a universal right is still far from being realized today.

Underlying the principle of the common good is respect for the human person endowed with basic and inalienable rights. It calls for the welfare of society, social peace, stability and security provided by a certain order. LS 155.

Whether in the administration of the state, the various levels of civil society, or relationships between individuals themselves lack of respect for the law is becoming more common. Laws may be well framed yet remain a dead letter. LS142

In the current reality of today family can be seen as a way station helpful when convenient, or a setting in which rights can be asserted while relationships are left to the changing winds of personal desire and circumstances. AL34

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