Pope Benedict Calls Christians to Protect Human Life From Abortion, Euthanasia
by Steven Ertelt
September 20, 2010
London, England (LifeNews.com) — During his visit to England, Pope Benedict XVI called on Christians worldwide to do more to protect human life from abortion and euthanasia. He issued a clarion call for Christians and all people to promote the pro-life ethic and respect for the worth of every human being.
Pope Benedict, speaking at a residence for the elderly, said, "Life is a unique gift, at every stage from conception until natural death and it is Gods alone to give and take."
During his speech to pilgrims in Hyde Park, the Pope also said: "No one who looks realistically at our world today could think that Christians can afford to go on with business as usual."
"Each of us has a mission, each of us is called to change the world, to work for a culture of life, a culture forged by love and respect for the dignity of each human person," he added.
The president of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), one of the leading pro-life organizations in the U.K. welcomed the words from the Holy Father.
"The underlying text of the Pope addresses recent moves to allow euthanasia and assisted suicide. His words also imply that there is a lack of support for the pro-life cause among Christians," John Smeaton said.
He also challenged the Catholic leaders in Britain to speak up more loudly and forcefully for pro-life values in a nation where they are not appreciated.
"The Catholic bishops of England and Wales must look long and hard at themselves and ask themselves whether they have really opposed the culture of death," he said.
"The bishops’ conference was complicit in the passage of the Mental Capacity Act by Tony Blair’s government, which enshrined euthanasia by neglect into English statute law," he said. "More recently, Peter Smith, archbishop of Southwark, whitewashed the director of public prosecutions’ policy on assisted suicide, a policy which effectively decriminalizes assisted suicide."
"I could give many further examples of how the Catholic bishops’ conference of England and Wales have let down the pro-life cause. They need to reflect deeply on Pope Benedict’s words and realize that they ‘can[not] afford to go on with business as usual,’" Smeaton told LifeNews.com.
Before his visit to England, more than 50 prominent Britons published a letter criticizing the event, which is his first ever to the U.K., because of the Vatican’s record on abortion.
"We believe that the Pope, as a citizen of Europe and the leader of a religion with many adherents in the UK, is of course free to enter and tour our country. However, as well as a religious leader, the Pope is a head of state," the letter says.
They accuse the Catholic Church of "opposing the distribution of condoms and so increasing large families in poor countries and the spread of AIDS" and "denying abortion to even the most vulnerable women."
Signatories on the letter to the newspaper included atheist biologist Richard Dawkins, comedian Stephen Fry, and writers Terry Pratchett and Philip Pullman.
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