Today's Telegraph piece, on which comments are welcome over there as well as here:
When Pope Benedict XVI comes to Britain next year, then I hope that he will have plenty to say about social justice, a term which the Church invented. Plenty to say about peace. And plenty to say about sex.
He will, after all, be visiting a country where condoms are practically thrown at children. Yet sexually transmitted infections are at epidemic levels among teenagers and twentysomethings. One woman in three will have an abortion at some point in her fertile life. No one really knows how many underage pregnancies there are, because abortions on underage girls are frequently recorded as other things, if at all, in order to distort the figures. Hardcore pornography is everywhere. Lap-dancing clubs, unknown here (except perhaps in Soho, I don’t know) even only ten years ago, are now all over the place.
Everyone, and I mean absolutely everyone, should read my friend Ann Farmer’s Prophets and Priests: The Hidden Face of the Birth Control Movement (Saint Austin Press, 2002). In addition to its unyielding racism, the war against fertility is, and has always been, the war against the working class, the war against the poor at home and abroad, the war against the electoral base of the Left, the war against the social provisions for which the Left exists, and, above all, the war against women.
The idea of fertility as a medicable condition, requiring powerful drugs or even surgical interventions to prevent a woman’s body from doing exactly what it does naturally, is basically and ultimately the idea that femaleness itself is such a condition, a sort of XX Syndrome. I can think of nothing that is actually more misogynistic than that, although some things are equally so, notably the view that the preborn child is simultaneously insentient and a part of the woman’s body. Is it the whole of a woman’s body that is insentient, or only the parts most directly connected with reproduction?
No one did more work than the then Cardinal Ratzinger on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which magnificently presents the inseparability of the sanctity of life, sexual morality, social justice, and the pursuit of peace. When he comes here as Pope, let that be his theme.