Paul Schratz, spokesperson for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver, appears to be the latest in a long lineup of tin-eared church apologists.
A recommendation presented by a panel at the Vancouver annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science called for basic rights for Whales and Dolphins–life, liberty and well-being.
Mr. Schratz is quoted as saying: "I sometimes wonder whether we've got our priorities mixed up when we treat animals and the environment with more respect than human beings. There are billions of people around the world who deserve our attention."
According to Mr. Schratz, the Archdiocese "generally supports the ethical treatment of animals."
I guess the suggestion that rights for dolphins and whales, who are endowed with high intelligence, self-awareness and socially complex systems, is too much for the Church.
"Where will this lead," asked skeptics, according to reports in the National Post?
Hopefully to a recognition that the environment and it's other occupants have basic rights too.
And, perhaps, to an expansion of compassion that will benefit the "billions of people who deserve our attention."
© Patrick O’Neill 2012. All rights reserved.