Sunday 20 April 2008

Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, defender of the family and human life, dies

Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo, one of the world's greatest defenders of the sanctity of human life, died yesterday.

In 1994, when the United Nations threatened to reach an international agreement supporting the right to abortion, the cardinal sparked a lightning storm of activity around the world which transformed the pro-life battle at an international level. As president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, his response to Pope John Paul II's urgent appeal concerning the dangerous situation at the United Nations, changed pro-life history.

He and his indefatigable staff in Rome held international meetings of experts and activists, published authoritative works on key questions such as population trends and on Catholic church teaching on the transmission of human life in Humanae Vitae, and urged bishops worldwide to follow his fearless leadership.

Hundreds of delegates from pro-family and pro-life NGOs from around the world, including the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, personally encouraged by the Cardinal, went to the United Nations Conference on Population and Development in Cairo to lobby. The pro-abortion lobby's objectives for the Cairo conference were defeated.

Since then, the cardinal never failed to support the efforts of pro-life and pro-family movements around the world, continuing to publish authoritative documents and to bring together the world's foremost experts and activists working in the service of life and the family. In so doing, he introduced the leaders of the pro-life world to each other and helped to forge a genuinely worldwide pro-life movement.

His Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality definitively presents Catholic church teaching on the anti-life, anti-family sex education which tragically prevails in so many schools, sadly including Catholic schools, throughout England and Wales. Happily, in the UK, Bishop Patrick O'Donoghue has picked up the Cardinal's baton in Fit For Mission: Schools? in the diocese of Lancaster, as I posted earlier.

He visited the UK twice at the invitation of SPUC - the second time in association with the Guild of Catholic Doctors to speak on sex education.