PA needs to be more proactive on planning ‘rather than occupying its time processing development applications’, says Church
● Calls for more research to overcome infertility ‘without jeopardising human dignity’
The Church Environment Commission (KA) yesterday published a position paper on the environment and human life on the occasion of the end of the Church’s Season of Creation.
In the paper, the KA noted the fast change that the country’s physiognomy is undergoing: “Malta has become one huge building site. Despite a lot of talk about sustainability, it seems that the environmental impact of the construction industry is not being given the importance it deserves. The KA feels that it is high time the Planning Authority becomes more proactive with regard to planning rather than occupying its time processing development applications. In this respect, the involvement of local councils and consultation with the residents of the area concerned are indispensable.”
True development goes beyond financial gain, the Commission said, “and should safeguard the quality of life and dignity of one and all. Genuine developers commit themselves to promoting the common good and therefore, among other things, ensure that the workers under their responsibility are treated with dignity. In the light of what Pope Francis says about work, the KA considers as inappropriate the objections raised by the commercial sector in our islands with regard to the minimum wage, maternity leave, the employment of people with special needs and the restrictions on sick leave benefit. “
The KA said it does not agree with the notion of gauging the progress of our country by how much it has come to resemble other countries.
“Unfortunately, any means to reach this end may become justifiable, even the violation of human dignity. Upholding our values and boldly denying any means of human exploitation should be our stance in local and international fora.”
Church calls for more research to overcome infertility without jeopardising human dignity
The Commission also shared some thoughts inspired by Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si, on the value of life and the need to respect it in all its aspects.
It said it believes that Malta should cherish and safeguard those values that have always distinguished it as a nation, “and that local, national, regional and global governments should provide the necessary protection to the vulnerable, especially those who are unable to defend themselves because of their social, physical or psychological condition and this in a time when many end up accepting fallacies and misconceptions presented in the media, which are nothing but a distortion of reality,” the KA said.
“Recognising the value of life implies the appreciation of the dignity of all forms of life, which stimulates us to acknowledge its vulnerability and do everything possible to protect it. This principle should apply not only when the life of animals and plants/trees is threatened but also, and particularly, with reference to human life in its very early stages.
“During the debates about the very early stages of life, the KA cannot accept rhetoric aimed at eliminating guilt feelings by hiding the truth. It strongly believes that a human being’s rights need to be respected, ir- respective of size, stage of growth and development, physical or mental ability and condition of health. In a just and democratic society, the rights of everybody are safeguarded, whether one is an adult or a vulnerable creature that cannot defend itself.
“In this aspect, the KA fears that, if we are not careful, there is the risk that the pharmaceutical and medical industry will end up giving priority to economic interests rather than to moral rules and values. One needs to invest more in research that explores methods which would overcome infertility without jeopardising human dignity.”