Prelate says consistent ethic of life could mislead

The Archbishop of Los Angeles has criticised ‘consistent ethic of life’ approaches for leading some people to see all issues as morally equivalent.

Archbishop Jose Gomez told a Hispanic pro-life gathering recently that such thinking is mistaken, the Catholic News Agency reported.

He said pro-life issues are not just one issue among many.

The archbishop criticised the effects of a “seamless garment” approach advocated by some Catholics, or what is sometimes called “a consistent ethic of life”.

These views mislead people in practice, he said, and result in “a mistaken idea that all issues are morally equivalent”.

“So in everything we need to be clear that the root violence in our society is the violence against those who are not yet born and those who are at the end of their lives,” the archbishop said.

“If the child in the womb has no right to be born, if the sick and the old have no right to be taken care of – then there is no solid foundation to defend anyone’s human rights.”

The archbishop recognised many problems and injustices in society, as well as a growing indifference to them.

Injustices include “grave crimes against human life” like abortion, human embryo experimentation, and “the ‘quiet’ euthanasia of the old and sick”.

Among other injustices are racial discrimination, unemployment and homelessness, and environmental pollution.

The archbishop also noted the problems of violence, drugs, “scandalous” prison conditions, the death penalty, and deportations and injustices in the immigration system.

“I am not trying to say that all of these issues are ‘equal.’ They are not. And we always need to be clear about that,” he said.

However, while not all equal, the issues are all important, he continued.

“In the face of the suffering and human need in the world, we cannot compartmentalise our compassion or draw lines between those we will care about and those we will not.”


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