January 12, 2015

Responding to "Petition opposes modern agriculture" (WCR, Dec. 15).

I am a farmer interested in learning more about the Development and Peace petition for saving seed. After Mass, I studied the petition and signed it without hesitation.

My purpose wasn't to oppose modern agriculture; it was to embrace the Church's preferential option for the poor.

I know from the teaching of our faith that just because I believe strongly in something, I can't close my eyes if those who are most vulnerable are being hurt directly or indirectly by my actions or the actions of the industry that I am a part of.

It is too easy to dismiss the needs of those most at risk, especially when I've invested a great deal of who I am to guarantee the success of my efforts.

But the Church as a beautiful mother is always tenderly looking after the disadvantaged and reminding the rest of us of our responsibility to look after their welfare too. She teaches us the importance of always considering the common good.

I learned a number of years ago that there was real wisdom in listening to my mother. It wasn't too much of a stretch to realizing how important it is to respect and listen to the teachings of our mother the Church.

God gave each human being the right to plant, grow and save seed. This truth was recognized and maintained through the millennia.

What value is there in now globally enshrining the obvious (unless there is a profit to me made) especially when it results in restricting seed access to the most vulnerable? It's time we ponder the wisdom of the Church and take responsible action to ensure the common good is the net result of all we do.

Timothy Axe