In our current world where there are so many complex problems like poverty, the racial divide and immigration issues to solve, which one should be prioritised?
A Roman Catholic Church prelate from the United States recently provided an answer: The priority should always be the protection of life.
In a recent teleconference hosted by Carmel Communications, U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke said "focusing our attention to other issues like immigration or the environment before protecting and defending life and the family will be an absolute contradiction."
Burke also gave particular importance to the preservation of marriage as the union between a man and woman, because it is where life begins.
"All of these questions have moral importance, but there can be no question — also in the long tradition of not only the Church's thinking but also of philosophical reason — that the fundamental question has to be the question of human life itself, the respect for the inviolable dignity of human life, and of its cradle, its source, in the union of a man and woman in marriage, which according to God's plan, is the place where new human life is welcomed and nurtured," Burke said, as quoted by Life Site News.
The American cardinal, who will release a new book entitled "Hope for the Word," added that he is "very concerned" about the seeming shift of priorities nowadays away from the protection of life.
"I would be very concerned that in any way the questions about the protection of human life, either at its beginning — here questions regarding abortion and other questions regarding the artificial creation of human life, etc. — or at its conclusion — questions regarding euthanasia — be in some way seen to be at the same level as questions regarding immigration and poverty," he said.
Cardinal Burke also stressed the fact that the protection of life will trigger solutions to other problems, like poverty and immigration concerns.
"We have to give the first priority to the respect for human life and for the family in order to have the right orientation in addressing all of the other questions which are involved with poverty and immigration, the many challenges that any human being faces in life," the Catholic Church official said.
"The first justice accorded to any human being is to respect the gift of life itself, which is received from God. And so, that the unborn should be protected and at the same time those whose lives are burdened either by advanced years or special needs or some grave illness, their lives also are to be equally protected," he added.