PopeWatch: Disposable Objects

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Each year the Pope gives an address to the approximately 180 ambassadors to the Vatican.  The speech for 2014 was given by Pope Francis last week.  It has many passages of interest for those seeking to determine the priorities of Pope Francis.  PopeWatch was struck by this passage:

Peace is also threatened by every denial of human dignity, firstly the lack of access to adequate nutrition. We cannot be indifferent to those suffering from hunger, especially children, when we think of how much food is wasted every day in many parts of the world immersed in what I have often termed “the throwaway culture”. Unfortunately, what is thrown away is not only food and dispensable objects, but often human beings themselves, who are discarded as “unnecessary”. For example, it is frightful even to think there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day; children being used as soldiers, abused and killed in armed conflicts; and children being bought and sold in that terrible form of modern slavery which is human trafficking, which is a crime against humanity. Nor can we be unmoved by the tragedies which have forced so many people to flee from famine, violence and oppression, particularly in the Horn of Africa and in the Great Lakes Region. Many of these are living as fugitives or refugees in camps where they are no longer seen as persons but as nameless statistics. Others, in the hope of a better life, have undertaken perilous journeys which not infrequently end in tragedy. I think in particular of the many migrants from Latin America bound for the United States, but above all of all those from Africa and the Middle East who seek refuge in Europe.

That the Pope would place abortion in this paragraph is understandable when one comprehends that one of the prime concerns of Pope Francis is that too many times people are viewed as abstractions, as statistics.  Stalin, during the famine he created in the Ukraine chillingly observed,  “If only one man dies of hunger, that is a tragedy. If millions die, that’s only statistics.”  In regard to how people should be treated, Pope Francis should be viewed as the anti-Stalin.

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  1. “Stalin, during the famine he created in the Ukraine chillingly observed, “If only one man dies of hunger, that is a tragedy. If millions die, that’s only statistics.” In regard to how people should be treated, Pope Francis should be viewed as the anti-Stalin.”
    Stalin turned 30 million souls into a statistic. Roe v, Wade turns fifty six million souls into a statistic. Fifty six million souls scraped from the nutrition and nurturing of the womb. I am obsessed with the Right to Life.

  2. I wonder why I do not recall Francis referring to abandoned spouses as “disposable objects”, or our marriages, after many are, wrongly, found null, as “disposable objects”, or our faith, when we watch the Catholic Church find our marriages valid, yet still welcome with open arems and without a word of correction for their adultery our spouses and their lovers, as “disposable objects”?

    This faithful spouse is waiting for you to catch on to reality, Pope Francis. What will it take? Perhaps if I was gay and felt crushed that I could not marry my lover, then you might listen?

    Why are you deaf to our pleas? Why is the hierarchy deaf to our pleas? Why will a bishops or parish priests, for that matter, not correct my wife and her lover for their unrepentant adultery of over two decades?

    Why, because to you and them, we ARE “disposable objects”. I see no other conclusion that fits our treatment.


    A Disposable Object

  3. I was sorting through old things and photos. Some were disposable. i thought of “saving”. I save the ones I think precious and want to keep with me.
    I thought about Jesus saving me. I am not an object. I am a subject. I have a say in it when he reaches out to me– to accept his saving or not. He saves me, and keeps me close to Him.
    We all want to be saved, to be thought precious and kept close. Our pope reminds us to treat others as we would like to be treated.

  4. From the pope’s remarks:
    “I recall in particular the establishment of diplomatic relations with South Sudan, the signing of basic or specific accords with Cape Verde, Hungary, and Chad, and the ratification of the accord with Equatorial Guinea signed in 2012.”
    Four African nations are named in that one sentence alone. South Sudan is newest to the international community, and we are all likely familiar with its recent separation from the north and the current state of violence and unrest there.
    The Republic of Chad is predominately Muslim, so I understand the accord as strengthening of ties with an expectation of protection of religious freedoms there, but I am not really certain from the brief news excerpt.
    Chad’s constitution protects religious liberty and the open practice of Christianity seems healthy is not viewed as subversive. I was not able to find the actual text of the accord, searching in English, Italian and French, so unable to really understand the significance of the agreement.
    Cape Verde and Equatorial Guinea are a bit of a mystery to me because Catholicism is already the predominant religion in those counties. The recent accords referenced by Pope Francis are similar to each other in that they provide legal protections for Catholics to marry, receive religious education and worship openly.
    What I do not understand is why the agreements are needed in 2013, but not meaning to look a gift horse etc. Just curious.
    In Evangelii Gaudium and in remarks on the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, the pope has put the spotlight on the persecution and violence faced by Christians in many Africa nations, in the suffering of many displaced by war, and in the perils faced by the poor who attempt to migrate from (or within) Africa in search of a better life. In this address to the ambassadors, Pope Francis devotes a portion to the people of Nigeria, Central African Republic and Mali, calling on Christians to be leaders in building a climate of reconciliation and of peace:
    “In other parts of Africa as well, Christians are called to give witness to God’s love and mercy. We must never cease to do good, even when it is difficult and demanding, and when we endure acts of intolerance if not genuine persecution.”
    Mostly, I am hopeful the pope continues to build these diplomatic bridges in Africa that ultimately help the Church grow there.

  5. While not a new term to me in my reading of Pope Francis, I am still struck by this poignant phrase “disposable objects”. It certainly applies to the millions and millions of unborn babies aborted across the map of the world, most especially in our own country’s holocaust. It also applies to the many policies, laws etc which relegate whole ‘categories’ of human beings because of some aspect of their lives-be it gender, race, nationality, religion, social and economic status into a category of those who have ‘less rights” or even ‘no rights’. They too are disposable. These are all manifestations of the culture of death, We are all infected by it, to a greater or lesser extent. It is in ‘the atmosphere’ we breathe which Josef Ratzinger (at the time not Pope Benedict) wrote tha this is how ‘the Powers and Principalities’ both work and oppress us.

    The counter to this is the Gospel of Life, Evanglium Vitae, in which it is in and only in the Incarnate Christ that the true dimensions of the dignity of the human person can be discovered. As the Second Vatican Council taught: “In a mysterious way, the Incarnate Christ identifies Himself with each and every human being”, and we would add fifty years later: from the moment of conception until natural death.

    In Christ, each person finds their true dignity (whether they are Christians or not). In Christ there can be no ‘disposable object’, only a brother or sister, a fellow human being, another self whose dignity in Christ begins at conception and is revealed by Christ that each is called to communion with our Triune God.

  6. We know that a woman who wants a child is so excited when she first learns of the BABY who is alive in her. BUT if she does not want to be with child she calls it her choice to abort the unwanted child. Can anyone see that this is just a lie told by satan. Why do these people lie to themselves? The things that I really find difficult to believe is that educated doctors and nurses do the same and it’s called their medical decision but when a teenager put her baby in the trash , she is a murderer. God help our young people have more sense than their educated “adults” with all of their knowledge and education! I think it should be a law to make the mother see her child first via ultrasound and after make a decision to murder.

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