Saturday, 12 February 2011

Catholic Church in South Korea offers powerful defence of human life

The Catholic Church's witness to the sanctity of all human life is the most powerful force in the world for protecting vulnerable human beings. In this connection, I draw great encouragement from the courageous leadership currently being displayed by the Church's leaders in South Korea.

Rebecca Millette, of, recently reported:
In an effort to promote a culture of life, the South Korean Catholic Bishops’ Conference (CBCK) has announced it will provide shelters and financial support for single mothers and free delivery for unmarried pregnant women in Catholic-run hospitals.
The initiative, called “New Life Project,” was inaugurated by the CBCK on February 7 at a Mass presided over by Bishop Gabriel Chang Bong-hun of Cheongju (pictured), president of the CBCK Committee for Bioethics.
“The Catholic Church teaches that human life begins from fertilization,” said Bishop Gabriel Chang Bong-hun of Cheongju. “Abortions and destruction of human embryos are grave crimes that destroy life.”
As Bishop Gabriel Chang Bong-hun suggests, this sort of action taken by bishops to defend life is the response demanded by the Catholic Church's teaching:
Where life is involved, the service of charity must be profoundly consistent. It cannot tolerate bias and discrimination, for human life is sacred and inviolable at every stage and in every situation; it is an indivisible good. We need then to "show care" for all life and for the life of everyone. Indeed, at an even deeper level, we need to go to the very roots of life and love.
It is this deep love for every man and woman which has given rise down the centuries to an outstanding history of charity, a history which has brought into being in the Church and society many forms of service to life which evoke admiration from all unbiased observers. Every Christian community, with a renewed sense of responsibility, must continue to write this history through various kinds of pastoral and social activity. To this end, appropriate and effective programmes of support for new life must be implemented, with special closeness to mothers who, even without the help of the father, are not afraid to bring their child into the world and to raise it. Similar care must be shown for the life of the marginalized or suffering, especially in its final phases. (Evangelium Vitae, 87)
I look forward to the day when the Catholic bishops of England and Wales will respond to the ongoing crisis in this country, which results in the unspeakable tragedy of hundreds of human lives lost each day. Unfortunately, for this day to arrive we will need to witness a huge transformation in the current policy of the Catholic bishops of England and Wales.

Our bishops are failing to speak out on life issues and to reach out to some of the most vulnerable people in our society - women under pressure to have an abortion - in the way that the bishops of South Korea are doing. Not only this, but our bishops are actually co-operating with anti-life forces.  They do this by making abortion accessible to Catholics and non-Catholics through CEDAR, an initiative of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, and Connexions, a government agency which is committed to giving schoolchildren, under the age of 16, access to abortion and abortifacients without parental knowledge or permission. Connexions is a body welcomed into Catholic schools by the Catholic Education Service, working on behalf of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.

I am praying for the day when England and Wales will have Catholic bishops that seek to defend their flock and our nation in the way the bishops of South Korea are doing.

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