Laudato Si’ Challenges All Who Would Objectify Human Life

While the concerns expressed by Pope Francis in Laudato Si’ about climate change have garnered a lot of media attention, other aspects of the encyclical have been largely ignored. The recent controversy about the trade in fetal body parts makes passages such as the following even more timely:
“The culture of relativism is the same disorder which drives one person to take advantage of another, to treat others as mere objects, imposing forced labour on them or enslaving them to pay their debts. The same kind of thinking leads to the sexual exploitation of children and abandonment of the elderly who no longer serve our interests. It is also the mindset of those who say: Let us allow the invisible forces of the market to regulate the economy, and consider their impact on society and nature as collateral damage. In the absence of objective truths or sound principles other than the satisfaction of our own desires and immediate needs, what limits can be placed on human trafficking, organized crime, the drug trade, commerce in blood diamonds, and the fur of endangered species? Is it not the same relativistic logic which justifies the buying the organs of the poor for resale or use in experimentation, or eliminating children because they are not what their parents wanted?”

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