Catholic Cardinal Oswald Gracias of India recently preached a strong message about the battle between the culture of life and culture of death in the world today.
Gracias, the Archbishop of Bombay and the head of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, spoke about abortion, euthanasia and other family issues addressed in Pope Francis’s “Amoris Laetitia” during a conference Oct. 13 to 15 in Mumbai, India, Crux reports.
“Unfortunately, today there is a growing cultural, ideological, social and spiritual crisis faced by many families due to the negative influence of the mass media, the hedonistic culture, relativism, materialism, individualism, secularism, atheistic ideologies and an excessive and selfish liberalization of morals,” Gracias said.
He lamented how the killing of unborn children in abortion, sexual promiscuity and other sins are supported in the media while moral values such as abstinence until marriage are looked down upon.
“… we face a struggle between the culture of life and the culture of death,” Gracias said.
“Amoris Laetitia makes it very clear that since the value of human life is so great, no one can justify a decision to terminate the right to life of an innocent child growing in the mother’s womb. Similarly, the Church asserts the right to a natural death without aggressive treatment and euthanasia,” he continued.
Gracias also brought up the terrible problems in his own country with abortion, infant abandonment and child abuse. In India, girls especially are targets of sexual abuse, abortion and infanticide. Experts estimate millions of girls are missing in India due to sex-selection abortions and infanticide.
“Further, street children in India are not cared for and supported by their families and their loved ones, mainly because of their difficult economic situation; they do not have sufficient food and water to survive,” he continued. “Many of them are sexually, physically and mentally abused by their parents, and living on the streets makes them vulnerable to being further exploited to child labor and prostitution.”
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Gracias praised families who are working to end these problems by opening their homes to children in foster care and adopting children.
He said their service is “a powerful sign of family love and an opportunity to give witness to one’s faith and to restore the dignity of a son or daughter to a person who has been deprived of this dignity.”
The archbishop urged every Catholic to do their part to help restore a culture of life in the world.
“We need to reawaken the individual moral conscience of people and also the moral conscience of society, the thirst for God and consequently a return to the culture of life,” Gracias said.
The Catholic Church has been a strong voice for life across the world. Christians believe that every human life is created in the image of God and therefore is valuable from the moment it begins at conception until natural death.