Monday, 10 January 2011

Honduran cardinal's boldness for life and family is a model for bishops

Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has conducted an interview (see extracts below) with Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodriguez Maradiaga, archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Among things Cardinal Rodriguez said:
  • "[The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF)] is one of the worst organizations and I have no fear in denouncing them"
  • "[O]nce you accept abortion, the next step will be to accept euthanasia. This is [the anti-life lobby's] global plan."
  • (about the right response to population questions): "What we need is not to reduce the guest at the table but to increase the seats so people can sit at the table to eat."
Cardinal Rodriguez's boldness in speaking out against the culture of death is a model for other bishops. Similarly, Cardinal Raymond Burke was asked recently: “What can the European bishops do against abortion?” Cardinal Burke replied that the bishops must “[e]ducate people about the reality of abortion” and “the intrinsic evil of destroying an innocent and defenceless human life”. Cardinal Burke added that:
“Very often bishops are silenced, or there is the attempt to silence bishops with the claim that the teaching on abortion is a peculiar belief of the Roman Catholic Church and therefore bishops are wrong to introduce this discourse into the public square, into civil discourse. But the fact of the matter is that the inviolability of innocent human life is part of the natural moral law that is written in every human heart; so that not only do bishops have the right to make this discourse in public and to insist upon the common good - which is first and foremost secured by the respect for human life itself - but they have the duty, for the sake of the world (which the Church is called to serve and to save) to announce this moral truth ... [Europe’s bishops must] insist with civil officials that if they are true servants of the common good, then they must first and foremost protect the right to life of the unborn.”
So I pray earnestly that bishops throughout Europe and the world will listen to Cardinals Rodriguez and Burke, rejecting any active or passive acquiescence with abortion (as we see with the Catholic bishops' conference of England and Wales) and become strong men who do their duty on behalf of the weak.

Extract from ACN interview with Cardinal Rodriguez, published 10 January 2011

ACN: Some Latin American countries have focused their strategies of poverty reduction through birth control. Can you tell us, is this a misguided approach and where is this approach coming from?

Cardinal: This has been for a very long time - perhaps fifty years - in the UN Population department. They decided that we were growing too fast. Of course we did in Honduras! We were only 1.5 Million in 1959 and we are now 7 Million, but we were under populated because of civil wars. We had a century of civil wars and sickness. When health conditions improved we started to grow, but we are still under populated as a country. We need labour to develop. There is a nation in South America. This country started birth control in the beginning of the 1950’s. What is the result? They never grew, and there is no industry that succeeds without consumers. They are so dependent on the bigger countries that surround them. This is a mistake. What we need is not to reduce the guest at the table but to increase the seats so people can sit at the table to eat.

ACN: "You just mentioned that the UN has had a hand in this. Would you say that the influence on birth control policy is coming from within the local government or is it coming from organizations such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation, that are external but imposing their policy on the continent?

Cardinal: "That is one of the worst organizations and I have no fear in denouncing them because they are using very dirty methods and even insulting those who do not agree with them. They’re paying, sometimes bribing and misinforming the population. We do not need this. We need help for development. We do not need bribes to corrupt the people in government. We need resources to be employed in favour of the people and not destroying the people."

ACN: "What would be the reasons for the IPPF and other organizations? What would be their agenda in the continent like Latin America?"

Cardinal: "They have decided that we are not good partners for their businesses because, as you know, since our continent is mainly a Catholic continent, we will never accept their “Philosophy” which is against Creation, against God. We are not comfortable with their reasoning, and of course, I’ve said it truly, and I have said it in the UN. For example my country decided that marriage is something according to natural law - the union between a man and a woman. Since there are lobbyists who do agree with this they will press our congresses, they will attack the Church saying that we are wrong but we know that we are not wrong and that we want to live in peace like human beings with no deviations."

ACN: "Abortion is a big issue at the moment. There is a great pressure on many of the Catholic countries in Latin America to entrench abortion in the law. Can one say that we are losing the battle in this regard? Do you see that the governments in the countries in Latin America will impose abortion?"

Cardinal: "They are trying to do it every two or three years and we have to be always alert. I’ve been a bishop for thirty years and I’ve been always opposing and talking in a reasonable way to the representatives of the Congress and until now we were able to stop that kind of law because once you accept abortion, the next step will be to accept euthanasia. This is their global plan. So what is the purpose? Is to destroy life. This is the culture of death that John-Paul II was always warning us about."

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