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"Cherishing Life" - UK Bishops issue moral teaching

UK: The Bishops of the UK have issued a new document designed to explore Catholic moral teaching in an accessible fashion. The document, "Cherishing Life", was issued last Wednesday.

"I hope that (Cherishing Life) will prove to be an antidote to a caricature of Christian, and specifically Catholic, morality that has developed over the years, " Cardinal Murphy O'Connor said. "It is wrong, for example, to imagine that Catholics are unusually preoccupied with sin. It would be more accurate to say that we are preoccupied with the notion of forgiveness."

The Teaching is structured with reference to the appeal of Micah to "love tenderly, act justly, walk humbly with our God". The first section, "Walking Humbly", underlines the vital placement of our relationship with God at the centre of our lives. The second section "Love Tenderly" explores what the Cardinal describes as the 'truthful' ways in which love may be expressed, with special reference to marriage. In the final section, on "Acting Justly", is concerned with euthanasia, abortion, the use of force, war and terrorism.

However others regard the document as limiting moral responsibility to the individual in a way not in accord with the traditional teaching of the Bible. Rev Canon Peter Challen, head of the Christian Council for Monetary Justice, says that "Cherishing Life" lays such heavy emphasis on personal relationships that we may overlook the social morality so urgently required. "Morality must be explored in 'faith based experiments' in "alternative economic discipleship" at all levels (land, labour and capital) and society (household, congregational life and structural engagements)," Peter Challen says. "Without this societal aspect of morality there will be a sustained tendency to pursue palliatives whilst ignoring the structural underpinnings of immorality and unethical behaviours."

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The Guardian

See also Independent Catholic News

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