Christianity at the foot of a new Babel

Marek Jurek

In ‘Evangelium vitae’ John Paul II placed such astonishing words that most commentators have ignored them so far. Since the Holy Father warned the whole Christianity against passiveness when it faced ‘conspiracy against life’, which ‘goes far beyond, to the point of damaging and distorting, at the international level, relations between peoples and States’ (No 12), in which ‘even international institutions, engaged in encouraging and carrying out actual campaigns to make contraception, sterilisation and abortion widely available … nor can it be denied that the mass media are often implicated in this conspiracy’ (No 17). I have stressed many times that our brave investigators of connections (conspiracies) look for them everywhere, without noticing this most obvious one, which John Paul II revealed so clearly. The thing is not to investigate but to show the fields in which we need to defend the common good where it is most common – in man’s nature; man who wants to live and know that he should defend others, that social solidarity concerns first of all life. This is civilisation of life – the essence of each civilisation that is worthy its name. Two Italian authors Eugenia Roccella and Lucetta Scaraffia describe this systematic action against Christianity and civilisation of life in their book entitled ‘Against Christianity. The UN and European Union as a New Ideology’. Its Polish version was published in the series of ‘Biblioteka Niedzieli’. The war, which the authors describe, is waged by the United Nations and the European Union; sometimes it is waged directly but most frequently through particular institutions and agencies.

The first battlefield –

is above all the principle and doctrine of human rights. The authors remind us of the classical Catholic approach – the same in the times of Pius VI who condemned the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, in the times of Pius XII who accepted with admiration the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the times of John Paul II who was called the pope of human rights. On the one hand, Catholicism has always seen a clear reflex of the law of nature, proclaimed and defended by the Church, in the idea of human rights but on the other hand, the Church has seen the usurpation aiming at formulating a new moral law, forgetting both the moral experience of Christianity and the very fact of the Creation. That’s why Jean Madiran described the proclamation of the revolutionary Declaration of Human Rights as the second fall of man. But the recognition of real, natural human rights, which all people deserve and which do not depend on any state power, is the legacy of Christian civilisation, defined by such thinkers as Pawel Wlodkowic, Francisco de Vitoria OP, Bartolomé de Las Casas OP, Francisco Suárez SJ or Hugo Grotius. The rights are not only defined by scholars but above all practiced by the rulers who were their patrons. In order to stress the difference between the Christian approach and the secular-liberal approach the book ‘Against Christianity’ refers to the opinion of the historians who researched the views of those who wrote the revolutionary Declaration of Human Rights. None of them – as it has occurred – believed in an inherent objective moral order. According to them people did not deserve the rights from the first moment of existence, each of them separately, but people deserved them by the collective power and rights that they could grant themselves. Granting means that they can take the rights, too. Without having any stable foundation and politically independent authority human rights have undergone constant changes since the time of the first political declarations, dependent on the political will of the institution that proclaims them. The victim of this dynamics is the right which John Paul II taught as being the second important one after the right to live – religious freedom, freedom to worship God, to express gratitude to the Creator for (and through) the creation. Religious freedom as understood by the UN turns against religion. Article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights says that public religious instruction cannot encourage to discrimination but many commentaries found out that the documents, which interpret the rights, contain statements that an act of discrimination is the very teaching about the truth of the confessed religion (as differentiated from other religions). This thesis is an open attack against the whole teaching of the Catholic Church, which the Catechism of John Paul II clearly refers to. This approach is accompanied by tolerance for persecutions of the Church in the communist or Muslim countries: since one should regard the stand of the Commission on Human Rights of the European Parliament in this perspective (Lucetta Scaraffia refers to the 2003 report), condemning the repression against Falun Gong in China or the Buddhists in Vietnam, at the same time not mentioning the sufferings of the persecuted local Church. The interesting thing is that the quoted report refers to Catholicism but in a completely different sense – it contains a formal disapproval of ‘the rejection of the project legalising relationships between homosexuals, expressed by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.’ The ambition of the globalists reaches beyond criticism. For thirty-five years the United Nations has sponsored the activities of the Parliament of the World’s Religions and for a shorter period the UN has sponsored the Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders. The active personalities include Hans Kueng, the critic of papacy and Catholic tradition, most often promoted by the mass media, or Ted Turner, the founder of CNN, known for his anti-Catholic demonstrations and contempt. The fruits of these endeavours are the Declaration of a Global Ethics and the Earth Charter. The interesting thing is that these organisations, declaring the will to act for agreement between religions, hardly devote any attention to the issue of religious freedom. And the new, global and earthliness-oriented religion must also have a new earthy salvation. Since this is how we can describe the role of the promotion of sexual freedom stressed in the activities of the official UN and EU agencies. As Scaraffia writes ‘they want to promote an Utopian ideology born in the West in the second half of the 19th century, which assumes separating sexual life from conception, complete freedom in experiencing sex and initiating sexual life very early.’ The latter can also be a subject of politics. The quoted report of the Commission of the European Parliament encourages Portugal, Ireland and Greece to lower the age limit of those whose sexual life is legal because the present age limits in these countries show discrimination. By the way, it would be interesting to see whether the next report will condemn ‘Gazeta Wyborcza’ for recognising (against ‘sexual rights’!) Agata’s sexual intercourses (Agata is still under age) as ‘forbidden acts’, for which her child must have been punished by death. ‘Sexual rights’ are new concepts. So far this subject has not been discussed within the framework of the so-called reproductive rights. This enigmatic concept, according to the official definitions, means the right to sexual satisfaction at the same time having the ‘right’ to deny birth to a conceived child. Furthermore, this concept assumes that positive formulation of these ‘rights’ is already included in such bills passed in particular countries and international organisations. Therefore, they presuppose their irrevocability. The interesting thing is that most Christian-Democratic parties have followed this irrevocability. The Polish opponents of the idea to guarantee the due rights to the unborn children in the Constitution referred to this irrevocability. The acceptance of the idea is wider than you can expect. In the name of these ‘reproductive rights’ the famous UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) carries out its revolutionary policy on the international scale. When I was the Speaker, the Polish Parliament spoke against this policy. The UNFPA finances international anti-birth programmes, especially addressed to the Third World countries. It is accompanied by a special concept of the rights for women.
Analysing the international regulations of human rights one can have the impression that their requirements are only addressed to Christian countries, the countries of the West that accept their very principle. Eugenia Roccella writes that when ‘one reads the list of countries that have ratified CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women) one can immediately see that it concerns a weak influence of the contents of the convention on the real situation of women in the majority of the countries that have signed it.’ As a rule the Western countries have accepted this convention without any objections (except for the USA that most frequently juxtapose their political strength with the UN globalism). The Islamic countries have often raised some objections, but they indicated that having accepted the convention they would interpret and use it according to the principles of their religion. And for the Western partners the real rights for women occurred to be less important than the anti-birth priorities. The example of Iran is excellent in this respect. These fragments from the book ‘Against Christianity’ can constitute an interesting commentary to the Polish disputes concerning the right to live, conducted in the 1990s. How many times did we hear the warnings against ‘second Iran’? But during that period Iran initiated a very fruitful collaboration with the UNFPA. The foundation was fatva (doctrinal statement) of Ajatollah Chomeini, recognising anti-conception as being in conformity with the Muslim ethics. The research conducted in 1992 showed that over two thirds of Iranian women used contraceptives, and that legal abortions were increasingly common. That ‘progress’ was partly sponsored: in Muslim countries great anti-birth organisations sponsor research proving the conformity of the mechanical limitation of births with the Koran. But no matter whether the progress was sponsored or not, it evoked the appreciation of UNFPA as well as its understanding for the country of the Islamic revolution. The organisations promoting birth control stopped being interested in real rights for women, which were obvious for the people of the Christian West. They did not notice that after the Islamic revolution women’s employment had an over 30% decrease, which was very severe considering the fact that the number of women with higher education increased; that the Islamic law drastically limits women’s rights: they cannot travel alone without having written consents of their husbands or fathers; that men have ‘the right’ to leave their wives when they wish to divorce them; that the age of legal (often compulsory) marriage is some 10 years. All these problems were third-rate.

What conclusions?

We must draw conclusions: Benedict XVI teaches that facts in Catholicism lead to obligations. Therefore, we cannot be indifferent towards facts. Therefore, the fact is the organised anti-Christian action, undermining the right of the Church to proclaim the truth of the Gospel, tolerating anti-Christian persecutions in the communist or missionary countries, striking Christian life by attacking family, public morality and upbringing, involving huge public means taken from countries as well as power and influence of international organisations. Another fact is the indifference of the West. Since the problems mentioned in the book ‘Against Christianity’ are only issues of semi-private regret, sometimes rare and inconsistent protests and not a systematic consistent political reaction. Whereas only the organised Christian opinion, for which matters of Christian life are priorities and which defines the attitude towards other opinions on the basis of their attitude towards civilisation of life, family rights and Christian morality, can effectively oppose the organised de-Christianisation. Naturally, it is not enough to oppose evil. One must conquer evil with good, which means our involvement for the cause of civilisation of life. Building the Christian opinion in Europe must become an indispensable dimension of Polish politics; not defending ‘Polish specificity’ – as the radical central-right wing party wants – since Christianity is not some specificity but a fundamental dimension of our universalism. Even if we must rebuild this universalism.
The authors of the book, the Italian journalists, have thoroughly discussed the sources of human rights and their place in international communities and organisations. They deal with reproductive rights and show the situation of women from this perspective. ‘Human rights – reality and utopia’ and ‘Do not develop, do not multiply’ are the titles of two parts of the book, which illustrate the above-mentioned problems.
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"Niedziela" 43/2008

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