Monday, July 18, 2005

Crow Eaten Here


It's always a thrill when good stuff happens because you're wrong and don't mind admitting it. I'm getting to experience one of those rare moments.

I noted yesterday that Birgit Wansing "wrote an essay for L'Osservatore a few years back condemning animal cruelty as incompatible with Christianity."

Well, a piece was written about animal cruelty, but not by Birgit.

Thanks to a friend with Regensburg cred, I was reminded of Marie Hendrickx, a Belgian theologian, the senior woman at CDF -- where, until 2003, she outranked even Georg. Hendrickx authored "For a More Just Relationship with Animals," published in the Holy See's journal in December 2000, and was also intimately involved in the controversial CDF document On the Collaboration of Men and Women. (The latter is a favorite of Big Sis'.)

As for the animal piece, link and snip:
[W]e must repeat with the Catechism that man is not justified in "causing animals to suffer needlessly". He should therefore re-frain from doing so if he can avoid it, or if there are no serious reasons for doing so. The right to feed one's family or large populations can certainly justify it, but not the profit motive alone. Moreover, to take pleasure in the suffering of a living creature is al-ways unhealthy.

Physical suffering is the tangible sign of an attack on life; life is expressed as the biological support of relations. Now even should this seem somewhat cryptic, two categories of relationships can be distinguished: those we have with people and those we have with non-personal beings. A being with whom we can relate to as an end is a human or divine person.

An attack on life, suffering inflicted on the human being who is an end in himself, is not morally justifiable unless it enables the one suffering it (and, possibly others as well) to live better, to intensify and improve his human relations, to draw nearer to God. In the case of animals, suffering cannot be legitimately inflicted except under similar conditions.
Snowflakes, Papa Ratzi wants you to know that animals play an important part in building a culture of life. Amen.



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