Cardinal Vingt-Trois: Rights of Children Not To Be Covered Up in Bioethical Questions

Source: FSSPX News

On October 17, 2017, in the basilica of St. Clotilde near the National Assembly, Cardinal Vingt-Trois, archbishop of Paris, celebrated the Mass for members of parliament and political leaders to mark the return from summer holidays.

Commenting upon the dialogue between Christ and the Pharisees in his sermon, the cardinal of Paris spoke on the exponential expansion of means of communication, “that confront each citizen with a mass of information and commentaries that far exceeds the real volume and rhythm of events.” He sees in this frenzy “a veritable bulimia that increasingly stirs up immediate reactions and progressively substitutes these reactions for the facts themselves.” Encouraging the deputies to practice a certain form of asceticism, Cardinal Vingt-Trois declared: “communication should not determine action; it is action that should feed communication.”

Difficulty Witnessing to the Truth

Quoting St. Paul the Apostle who said “I am not ashamed of the Gospel” (Rom. 1:16, the archbishop of Paris spoke at length about how difficult it is today to preach the message of the Church in a largely secularized society, a situation similar to that of the Apostle of the Gentiles. “A Jew and a Pharisee by birth and formation, he was faced with a double dilemma of which the epistle to the Romans offers a glimpse, and that sheds light upon our own situation. How can the Gospel be announced to those who are not Jews and where does it stand with the pagan philosophies and religions?”

The answer is in the epistle, in which St. Paul begins by presenting not positive revelation, but “the manifestation of God that is accessible to every human being: the sign of creation.” “For the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made”. This remark from the Apostle, explained the prelate, “opens up to every human intelligence of good will the possibility of hearing God’s call to a just and reasonable life. It also clearly lays out the mission of the apostles in this world. They must call upon men’s intelligence to decipher the path of a good life through the signs of creation.” Speaking to men’s intelligence and the natural knowledge they can have of God is surely a good approach. Especially at a time when the laws on bioethics are supposed to be revised in 2018.

The archbishop of Paris wishes this to be “an opportunity for an authentic debate on the various conceptions of the human being…, especially on the questions that touch on artificial reproduction and its foreseeable consequences.”

The cardinal recalled that on these social themes of surrogacy and ART (artificial reproduction technology), it will be up to the deputies to keep “easy caricatures” out of the debates and make sure they deal with the “real issues”. It is particularly significant, he went on to say, “that in the opinions that are expressed today, the rights of children are generally covered up.” “We cannot strengthen a truly democratic society by placing personal desires above ethical reflections,” declared the prelate, who is soon to retire. On November 7, the sickly cardinal will turn 75, the age at which bishops are obliged to present the sovereign pontiff with their resignation.

A Legal Revolution Underway

In 2018, the revision of the Law on Bioethics will be an opportunity for the French government to present its project for extending access to ART to single women or those “in a relationship with another woman.” The National Consultative Ethics Committee has also voiced its desire for a more open debate on surrogacy for all “same-sex couples.”

This sermon by the archbishop of Paris is an opportunity for FSSPX.News to recall that the Catholic Church can never allow surrogacy or ART. To repeat the words of Paul VI in 1968 in his encyclical Humanae Vitae, “Every question which touches human life involves more than the limited aspects specific to such disciplines as biology, psychology, demography or sociology. It is the whole man and the whole mission to which he is called that must be considered: both its natural, earthly aspects and its supernatural, eternal aspects.”

To put it precisely, the position of the Church is based on two fundamental principles: the status of the embryo that must be respected as an unborn person, and the dignity of procreation that must take place through the conjugal act – and what is more, between legitimately married spouses. The end of the conjugal act is to give life. It is a human act, that has an end and a moral value, like all human acts. These two principles honor the Creator, God, the Lord and Master of life and death, whose rights over His creation remain inviolable, and for which He will demand an account.