Thursday 13 January 2011

Pope Benedict denounces pressures on health professionals to participate in abortion

In his new year address to the Vatican's diplomatic corps, Pope Benedict XVI has highlighted the increasing pressure on individuals throughout the world to co-operate with laws that abuse and destroy human life. Pope Benedict said that:
"Christians are even required at times to act in the exercise of their profession with no reference to their religious and moral convictions, and even in opposition to them, as for example where laws are enforced limiting the right to conscientious objection on the part of health care or legal professionals."
Pope Benedict highlighted the recent success of the pro-life lobby in the Council of Europe in securing a right to conscientious objection to unethical practices for medical professionals .
"In this context, one can only be gratified by the adoption by the Council of Europe last October of a resolution protecting the right to conscientious objection on the part of medical personnel vis-à-vis certain acts which gravely violate the right to life, such as abortion."
Pope Benedict is referring to the reversal of the Christine McCafferty report last October. The council's parliamentary assembly rejected a proposed crack down on medical staff who refuse to be complicit in abortion and other anti-life practices, and instead voted for a resolution that protected the rights of medical workers. Prior to that vote, SPUC had written to its supporters and contacts in the member-states of the Council of Europe.

Despite successes such as these, it is vital that we all continue to follow Pope Benedict's example in speaking out against the increasing pressure from state authorities to co-operate with anti-life practices. Pope Benedict also spoke boldly about the need to oppose sex education which "reflect[s] an anthropology opposed to faith and to right reason". It is thought that Pope Benedict's comments refer to the situation in Spain, where the government introduced mandatory sex education classes for children between the ages of ten and sixteen in 2007.

However, Pope Benedict could just as easily have been speaking about the situation in this country where the government are assisted in their bid to provide children with contraception and abortion by the Catholic Education Service, through their co-operation with Connexions - an agency that trains its employees to promote contraception and to refer school children for abortion without their parents knowledge.

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