Our readings for Mass this weekend contrast the so-called wisdom of the world with the wisdom of God. You will not see a more vivid illustration of the difference between the two kinds of wisdom, than in the recent attack by a UN Commission on the Catholic Church’s teachings. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child grilled Vatican officials for eight hours last month and told the Catholic Church that it had to get over its opposition to adolescents having sex and that it needs to change its teachings on abortion and homosexuality.
Here are a few of the demands made by the UN committee in its report:
(1) The committee specifically told the Church “to review its position on abortion which places obvious risks on the life and health of pregnant girls and to amend Canon law 1398 relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services can be permitted” (This by the way from a committee supposedly set up to protect the rights of the child!!)
(2) The Committee lamented “the negative consequences of the Holy See’s position and practices of denying access to contraception, as well as to sexual and reproductive health and information.” The Committee directed the Church “to access the serious implications of its position on adolescent’s enjoyment of highest attainable standard of health and overcome all the barriers and taboos surrounding adolescent sexuality” – (so “adolescent” meaning what exactly: 11, 12, 13 years of age ? And “all barriers and taboos” presumably means incest and bestiality as well?)
(3) The Committee is also displeased with the Church for not recognizing same-sex families: “The Committee recommends that the Holy See ensure that Canon Law provisions recognize the diversity of family settings and do not discriminate against children based on the type of family they live in. The Holy See’s past statements and declarations on homosexuality contribute to the social stigmatization of and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adolescents and children raised by same-sex couples” (No evidence is produced to back up this accusation, by the way)
Thankfully, the UN Committee has no authority to enforce any of its recommendations. However, the report will just add fuel to the fire critics direct against the Church on a continuous basis these days. The committee’s recommendations are a clear manifestation of the wisdom of the world. However, we as Catholic Christians follow, not the wisdom of the world, but “God’s wisdom…which God decreed before the ages for our glory…(and which) none of the rulers of this age understood” (from second reading today) but which is present to us through the teachings of Jesus, who says in the gospel this Sunday over and over again “You have heard it said …But I say to you ….”