The Holy Father has, to borrow a political term, “momentum”.
His impressive peace-making efforts concerning Syria have captured much of the world’s attention and rightfully earned him and the Holy See praise.
Last Saturday’s vigil, which united millions around the world, followed an extraordinary day of praying and fasting for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
Pope Francis’ efforts, which included a detailed briefing for diplomats on how to bring peace to the country, even struck a chord with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
But given the welcome attention the Pope has received over Syria, shouldn’t the Church also consider giving equal, if not more, weight to a place where conflict rages as never before, where an estimated 125,000 voiceless victims are killed each day, and where each of these lives is innocent and defenceless?
Shouldn’t the institution of marriage, vital to a stable, peaceful and harmonious society, be as strongly defended against increasing attempts to redefine it?
It could be argued that now presents an opportune time for Pope Francis, still widely popular, to make use of this momentum – to lead a similar mobilization on these key issues of our day.
If, as we believe, every life is sacred and created in the image and likeness of God, shouldn’t the Church be as vocal and active – even more so – in helping to bring peace to the womb and protecting marriage as she has been in fighting for peace in Syria?
Blessed Mother Teresa is well remembered for saying abortion is the “greatest threat to peace in the world”.
“If we accept that a mother can kill even her own child,” she once said, “how can we tell other people not to kill one another?”.
In his World Day of Peace Message this year, Benedict XVI warned that tampering with marriage “constitutes an offence against the truth of the human person, with serious harm to justice and peace.”
Some may consider it a risky strategy to address these neuralgic issues with such force, but it could also be argued that fewer issues, though more subtle than the Syria conflict, currently present such grave threats to human life and to world peace and security.
Why should the Church be any less forthright on marriage and the unborn than on the conflict in Syria just because, as an issue, it’s more socially acceptable and politically correct?