Three emails came in today, from Italy, Australia and the USA, all dealing with the dignity of the life of those not yet born.
The email of the Vatican-based Agenzia Fides carried a report of Pope Benedict’s talk to members of the Italian Movement for Life on 12 May. The occasion was the 30th anniversary of the legalization of abortion in Italy. Here are some points the Holy Father made. Highlighting is by your blogger.
‘It is necessary to bear concrete witness to the fact that respect for life is the first form of justice that must be applied. For those who have the gift of faith this becomes an imperative that cannot be deferred.’
‘Looking back on the past thirty years and considering the present situation, we cannot but recognize that, in practical terms, defending human life has become more difficult today, because a mentality has been created that progressively devalues human life and entrusts it to the judgement of individuals. A consequence deriving therefrom is lessened respect for the human person, a value that lies at the foundation of any form of civil coexistence, over and above the faith a person may profess.’
Considering the many causes that lead to such an unfortunate decision as abortion, the Church ‘never ceases to repeat that the sacred value of the existence of every man finds its origins in the design of the Creator,’ the Holy Father said, while also encouraging ‘every initiative in support of the woman and the family in creating favorable conditions for the acceptance of life, and the protection of the institution of the family which is based on the marriage between a man and a woman.’
Benedict XVI also recalled that, ‘The possibility of terminating a pregnancy not only has not resolved the problems afflicting many women and no small number of families, but it has opened another wound in our societies, already so afflicted by profound sufferings.’
The Holy Father also acknowledged that in spite of the great effort carried out during these years, and not only by the Church, in trying to remedy the needs and difficulties of families, ‘diverse problems continue to afflict our modern-day society, impeding many young people from nurturing the desire to marry and form a family, due to the negative conditions in which they live. The lack of job security, laws that often lack a consideration for motherhood, the uncertainty of being able to support children, are among some of the obstacles that seem to stifle the demands of a fruitful love and open the door to a growing sense lack of confidence in the future.’
Two separate incidents in universities, one in Australia and one in the USA, illustrate what Pope Benedict said: ‘we cannot but recognize that, in practical terms, defending human life has become more difficult today’.
The Australian reports Student body forbids 'anti-abortion' poster. The particular poster, put up by the Newman Society, a Catholic organization, ‘did not mention abortion but featured a photograph of an eight-week old fetus in the womb. The campaign was pitched as being "pro-women" and "pro-pregnancy"’.
Apparently students are not allowed to express pro-life views at the University of Queensland because of a student referendum in 1993 in which only 3,500 out of 30,000 voted. 1,900 voted in favour of abortion on demand.
You can also read this story at CathNews .
Meanwhile, www.lifenews.com reports that a student leader at the University of Wisconsin ‘allegedly’ trashed a pro-life display on campus. However, a video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5NeLyMZUYM ('embedding disabled by request') shows what happened. The pro-life students in Wisconsin got a much more positive response from the authorities that did those in Queensland.