Excerpt from an article by Antonio Socci:
According to the Church’s Magisterium, the foundation of peace is the defense of the values of human life and the rights of man. These values are threatened by totalitarianisms and fundamentalisms. Today though, also by a “dictatorship of relativism” which is spreading among the political elite and intellectuals of the West and causes disorientation in the peoples. Subsequently they are without direction, confused even in their good sentiments. This can be seen nowadays in the news stories and in the [changed] habits [of people].
This week, for example, the massacre of three Italian nuns in Burundi was acknowledged in general indifference, contrasted against the National tragedy, still ongoing, of the accidental death of a bear in Trentino. It is a collective phenomenon which is more shocking if you compare it to the general lukewarm reaction to the massacres of thousands of human beings (mainly Christians ) occurring right now in different parts of the world.
On the other hand, we have seen a progressive devaluation of human life for decades now, primarily – which is even graver – in State laws. They began first in the totalitarian states and the democratic ones followed suit.
Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI understood clearly this poisoned legacy from the 20th century and they linked it inextricably to the themes of war and peace.
Along with the pontiffs, Mother Theresa of Calcutta – who lived her entire life in the existential peripheries – repeated for years that, “abortion was the worst threat to peace in the world.” If we take a look at statistics it is difficult to say she was wrong: 50 million abortions every year – a number of victims equal to those of the Second World War. In the space of thirty years at least a billion lives have been swept away (as well as mothers wounded through this practice by the indifference of the world). The Church up until Benedict XVI, faced with such a massive slaughter, had cried out forcefully so as to awaken minds and hearts. She also had always claimed vigorously the right to religious liberty in totalitarian or fundamentalist regimes.
“Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.” Mother Teresa – National Prayer Breakfast
“We are talking of peace. These are things that break peace, but I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a direct war, a direct killing – direct murder by the mother herself. And we read in the Scripture, for God says very clearly: Even if a mother could forget her child – I will not forget you – I have carved you in the palm of my hand. We are carved in the palm of His hand, so close to Him that unborn child has been carved in the hand of God. And that is what strikes me most, the beginning of that sentence, that even if a mother could forget something impossible – but even if she could forget – I will not forget you. And today the greatest means – the greatest destroyer of peace is abortion. And we who are standing here – our parents wanted us. We would not be here if our parents would do that to us. Our children, we want them, we love them, but what of the millions. Many people are very, very concerned with the children in India, with the children in Africa where quite a number die, maybe of malnutrition, of hunger and so on, but millions are dying deliberately by the will of the mother. And this is what is the greatest destroyer of peace today. Because if a mother can kill her own child – what is left for me to kill you and you kill me – there is nothing between.” Mother Teresa – Nobel Lecture
“America, your deepest identity and truest character as a nation is revealed in the position you take towards the human person. The ultimate test of your greatness is the way you treat every human being, but especially the weakest and most defenseless ones. The best traditions of your land presume respect for those who cannot defend themselves. If you want equal justice for all, and true freedom and lasting peace, then, America, defend life! … Every human person – no matter how vulnerable or helpless, no matter how young or how old, no matter how healthy, handicapped or sick, no matter how useful or productive for society – is a being of inestimable worth created in the image and likeness of God. This is the dignity of America, the reason she exists, the condition for her survival – yes, the ultimate test of her greatness: to respect every human person, especially the weakest and most defenseless ones, those as yet unborn.” Pope John Paul II USA departure ceremony on 9/19/87