The two babies: Charlotte and Francesca Marina

The two babies: Charlotte and Francesca Marina


No one will ask: Charlotte who? Everyone knows who Charlotte is.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have called their new baby daughter – born Saturday - Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. Media reports were quick to explain that the middle names, of course, hark to her great-grandmother, the current queen, and her paternal grandmother, Princess Diana, who died in 1997. Charlotte, a feminine form of Charles, is likely a nod to her grandfather, Prince Charles.

Charlotte Elizabeth Diana is fourth in line to the throne -- after Prince Charles; her father, Prince William; and her brother, Prince George.

Francesca Marina.

I am certain that most of my readers will ask who she is.

Francesca Marina is the baby girl who was born to a Nigerian mother on an Italian navy vessel after her mother became one of nearly 6,800 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean in three days.

Media commentators said that the name was a nod to her naval rescuers, the Italian Marina Militare. She is the sixth baby to be born on a navy vessel since 2013, one of which arrived on Christmas Day last year.

Francesca Marina is part of no royal lineage. She made news because of the circumstances of her birth but will soon be forgotten.

In the dominant discourse of our culture one is royalty, the other is a commoner. But in any humanistic or Christian culture both are two babies, children of God. They are equal in dignity as both share in the same human nature created and blessed by God.

But will their dignity be respected in the same way by a society where unjust and exploitative structures dominate? There is no need to answer since the riposte is crystal clear, nay obvious. Is it right that some have in front of them all the possibilities and opportunities while many others have to confront an uphill struggle where the hill is more akin to a cliff?

We take for granted that some are more privileged than others. Being a Christian does not only imply refusing to take for granted such a state of affairs but staunchly fighting against it.

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