At National Catholic Reporter Robert Mickens comments on the American-style "pro-life" march, the National March for Life, that took place in Rome last Sunday. As he notes, Cardinal Raymond Burke attended the rally, and Cardinal George Pell addressed a group gathered on Saturday in anticipation of the conference, assuring these traditionalist Catholics that the synod on the family
won't do a blessed thing won't change any of the "tradition" that Pell and other traditionalists imagine is written in stone and derived from the gospels, though much of it is a late development in the history of Catholic thought.
But like many groups that identity as pro-life in the United States, numerous organizations that joined the Italian march were clearly not pro-life at all, at least not in the broad sense. The slogans they displayed on banners or sang in protest-like chants added up to saying no to three things and three things alone: abortion, euthanasia and same-sex marriage.
One would have looked in vain for even a single sign calling for an end to the death penalty. And unless the sun was just too blinding to see them, there were no banners to ban the bomb or protest placards to put an end to war. As for outcries against the immorally lucrative international arms trade that continues to stoke the "piecemeal" Third World War, as Pope Francis calls it, none could be heard.
Astonishingly, in response to Mickens, some of NCR's regular commentators of a libertarian bent and with an animus to anyone publishing articles at NCR who is openly gay or lesbian, argue that because this march occurred on Mothers' Day, it's entirely understandable that the "pro-life" marchers ignored any other life issues than abortion, euthanasia, and same-sex marriage.
As if mothers clearly have no vested interest in seeing the world free of war, and addressing the issues of social injustice that fray fragile social networks and elicit violence . . . !