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Values in a time of upheaval

Catholic Union Deputy Director, James Somerville-Meikle, writes:

In the chamber of the United Nations Security Council there is a striking piece of artwork entitled the Mural for Peace.

At the centre of the image is a married couple, because as my tour guide explained, “peace begins at home with the family.” Things have changed quite a lot since the artwork was commissioned in 1952.

Nowadays the UN and its various bodies seem to shy away from talking about the family. Indeed, their reports and statements are becoming increasingly hostile to the values of the mural that hangs above their heads.

Upcoming work from the World Health Organization on transgender guidance, and a new Convention which would label efforts to prevent abortion as a ‘Crime Against Humanity’, are just some of the latest challenges.

Similar developments are being seen at the nation state level as well, including in the UK. At our latest Pub Talk on Wednesday this week, the Labour MP Jon Cruddas spoke about the waning influence of Catholic heritage and tradition in his party, which he attributed to the rise of “utilitarianism.” This can be seen in the Conservatives and other parties as well.

The Catholic Church, like the mural, remains as a constant, and sometimes awkward, reminder of the timeless truths and values in which we believe.