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Take Two Tablets

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Apr 12, 2005

Fr. James Hanvey, S.J., on the need for a small-c catholic culture (from The Tablet):

We need to cultivate a truly catholic heart. It is clear that in his deep sense of the human, John Paul II sought to do this. Yet there are questions that our culture refuses to let us forget. Somehow it perceives in them the deeper issues of the heart, of truth and justice: the dignity and status of women; the pastoral need of the divorced and remarried; homosexuals who have found their voice to claim justice and dignity; the continuing cry of the victims of abuse; the devastation of Aids in Africa, where the Church’s policies still seem too Eurocentric in their concerns and approaches.

Let's just take the last of Doc Hanvey's dismayingly predictable "deeper issues," the crisis of AIDS in Africa. The Church's "concerns and approaches" lead her to focus on Africans as human beings, endowed with an intellect and a free will, and aimed at an eternal destiny. The Uni-health alternatives treat the Africans as aggregates of disease vectors -- as "dogs in heat" in Mark Steyn's phrase -- incapable of restraint and controllable only by programmed mass application of an alien technology linked to sterility. So why does the Church come up short? Her policies seem too Eurocentric.

Hanvey is director of the Heythrop Institute for Religion, Ethics and Public Life, Heythrop College, London.

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