Maximilian Menichetti is an important man in the Vatican services. It was he who, from 2015, launched the process of transforming local media to make it a multimedia hub more in tune with the times. It is in his capacity as head of the Vatican Radio media and the Vatican News information website that he published this Wednesday, February 6, an editorial which looks much more like an op-ed, assessing the challenge posed by the planned modification of the French constitution to enshrine the right to abortion.
An important statement, even if it does not relay and synthesize in a journalistic way the point of view of many Roman theologians and pastors, starting with that of Pope Francis. It also comes at a time when, in France, the text adopted by the National Assembly arrives in the Senate. The latter will have to decide on the inclusion of abortion in the Constitution on February 28. The text, published on the official media of the Holy See, powerfully summarizes the point: it is the temptation of a “Constitution contrary to life” which is affirmed there.
After recalling the positive momentum that had blown through the Marseille Vélodrome a few months ago during the visit of the Argentine Pope, Maximilien Menichetti recalled that the latter had also used two strong words to designate two attitudes that threaten our societies. That of cynicism and resignation. “Scourges” which are expressed towards human life at all its most crucial stages: in the experience of poverty, exile, the end of life and also the beginnings. To read the editorialist, the breath of the Vélodrome is not that of French political forces.
“How is it possible to juxtapose in the fundamental charter of a State the law which protects the person and that which sanctions their death? We live in a technologically advanced, computerized and connected society. The growth of the human being from its conception has not been a secret for decades. We use words such as pre-embryo, embryo, infant, child, adolescent, adult, elderly to indicate stages of development in which the number of cells changes, in which the “the cognitive aspect, the need for assistance, evolves but it is still a person.”, recalls the man who, after studying law, became a journalist particularly attentive to bioethical and family issues.
In fact, the text only repeats with the energy of an opinion column what Pope Francis repeats without firing a shot: abortion is not a trivial gesture. Worse, it voluntarily ends a human life and, legally, cannot be considered anything other than murder. The image of the hitman that Pope Francis used when addressing journalists on the plane bringing him back from Bratislava to Rome three years ago has remained in people’s minds. To the point of shocking many defenders of the right to abortion. While the Vatican News site gave the floor a few days ago to Mgr d’Ornellas on the subject, the editorialist recalls that “the French bishops, at the start of the parliamentary process, expressed their concern about this modification of the Constitution and reaffirmed that all life is a gift, a fragile and precious gift, infinitely worthy, to be welcomed and served from its beginning to its natural end.”