Monday, 8 November 2010

Pope leads the way for bishops with pro-life/pro-family catechesis in Spain

Pope Benedict XVI, visiting Spain this past weekend, made a series of strong statements on pro-life and pro-family issues, which I list below. His statements were clearly aimed at the Spanish government and parliament, which in recent years have passed legislation extending abortion and creating homosexual* rights. Pope Benedict's prophetic message in Spain is the very same catechesis extolled by Cardinal-elect Raymond Burke in his historic address last month to the World Prayer Congress for Life in Rome:
“Catechesis is a most fundamental responsibility which the Bishop exercises on behalf of the good of the faithful entrusted to his care, ultimately, of their eternal salvation ... Pope John Paul II declared ‘It is therefore the duty of every Bishop to give real priority in his particular Church to active and effective catechesis. He must demonstrate his personal concern through direct interventions aimed at promoting and preserving an authentic passion for catechesis’”.
Pope Benedict in Spain:

Welcome ceremony, Saturday:
"Like the Servant of God John Paul II, who from Compostela exhorted the old Continent to give a new impulse to its Christian roots, I too wish to encourage Spain and Europe to build their present and to project their future on the basis of the authentic truth about man, on the basis of the freedom which respects this truth and never harms it, and on the basis of justice for all, beginning with the poorest and the most defenceless."
Mass at Santiago de Compostela, Saturday:
"Allow me here to point out the glory of man, and to indicate the threats to his dignity resulting from the privation of his essential values and richness, and the marginalization and death visited upon the weakest and the poorest. One cannot worship God without taking care of his sons and daughters"
Mass at the Sagrada Familia, Saturday:
"[T]here also need to be moral advances, such as in care, protection and assistance to families, inasmuch as the generous and indissoluble love of a man and a woman is the effective context and foundation of human life in its gestation, birth, growth and natural end. Only where love and faithfulness are present can true freedom come to birth and endure. For this reason the Church advocates adequate economic and social means so that women may find in the home and at work their full development, that men and women who contract marriage and form a family receive decisive support from the state, that life of children may be defended as sacred and inviolable from the moment of their conception, that the reality of birth be given due respect and receive juridical, social and legislative support. For this reason the Church resists every form of denial of human life and gives its support to everything that would promote the natural order in the sphere of the institution of the family."
Angelus, Sunday:
"Today I had the great joy of dedicating this church to him who, being the Son of the Most High, emptied himself and became man, and who, under the watchful care of Joseph and Mary, in the silence of the home of Nazareth, taught us without words of the dignity and the primordial value of marriage and the family, the hope of humanity, in which life finds its welcome from conception to natural death."
Visit to special education school, Sunday:
"In recent decades, remarkable advances in medicine have greatly contributed to the care of those in greatest need, advances which have been accompanied by a growing conviction of the importance of dedicated and humane treatment for the positive outcome of the healing process. Therefore, it is indispensable that new technological developments in the field of medicine never be to the detriment of respect for human life and dignity, so that those who suffer physical illnesses or handicaps can always receive that love and attention required to make them feel valued as persons in their concrete needs.
I always remember in my prayers those who are dedicated to helping the suffering, and those who work tirelessly so that the handicapped can take their rightful place in society and not be marginalized because of their limitations."
* The late Pope John Paul II, the great pro-life champion, taught in paragraph 97 of his 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae that it is an illusion to think that we can build a true culture of human life if we do not offer adolescents and young adults an authentic education in sexuality, and in love, and the whole of life according to their true meaning and in their close interconnection.

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