The Bible does have an awfully broad agenda for humanity: global salvation. To narrow political interests to one, two, or three seems narrow indeed, and unless you're actually getting the Empire to, say, abolish slavery, it's hard to justify such narrowness.
Well, Francis doesn't want his church to be narrow. Given his roots in South America, he doesn't share the American context of culture wars over issues that, yes, do matter (although I certainly don't share the Catholic view of a lot of matters that matter to many of the hierarchs, whether contraception, male and unmarried clergy, Marian devotion, and more), but don't matter to the exclusion of, say, child poverty.
Francis hasn't been saying, in fact, that abortion doesn't matter as much as child poverty. I don't see how he could, frankly. Of course abortion matters: caring about children only after they have emerged from the womb has never struck me as ethically coherent. But once they have emerged, it is also incoherent not to care for them as much as we can. He seems to me to be saying that he wants his church to have an ethical concern as wide as the world, as wide as the Bible commands.
And that, even if the news media can't always get that clear, is good news indeed.
The entire post can be read here.
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