“The Church regards as worthy of praise and consideration the work of those who, as a service to others, dedicate themselves to the public good of the state and undertake the burdens of this task.”

This sentence, from a document of the Roman Catholic Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), is quoted by Pope John Paul II in his recent statement on the laity.  Have any of the Catholics in the Liberal government of Ontario read it?

Are any of them worthy of praise?

Vine and Branches

In his apostolic exhortation on the laity, the Pope makes considerable use of the parable of the vine and branches.  Chapter I is headed “I am the vine and you are the branches,” Chapter II “All branches of a single vine,” and so on.  Recall that the branches which do not contribute to the good of the whole, that did not bear fruit, were to be pruned away and burned.

John Paul II writes that “every violation of the personal dignity of the human being cries out in vengeance to God and is an offence against the Creator of the individual.”  He goes immediately on to one particular imperative:  respecting the inviolable right to life.  Here no compromise is possible.


The moral conscience of humanity “is not able to turn aside or remain indifferent” in the face of assaults upon it.  The legislator has an obligation to protest.

Respect for the dignity of the person, the Pope continues, implies the defence and promotion of human rights.  These, in turn, demand the recognition of the religious dimension of the individual.  Faith cannot be separated from life, and the Gospel from culture.  The split between the faith which many profess and their daily lives “deserves to be counted among the more serious errors of our age.”