Thursday 5 June 2014

Catholic knights in Nigeria do major pro-life projects

Antonia Tully, my SPUC colleague for over 30 years, and I are in Abuja, Nigeria. We are speaking at a pro-life conference organised by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria. Last night we were the guests of the Knights of St Mulumba of Nigeria and our host is Sir Alexander Bazuaye, a doctor and the Supreme Physician of the Knights of St Mulumba. We are joined by Obianuju Ekeocha, the founder of Culture of Life Africa, who is the eminence grise behind the bishops' conference. In the second picture we are joined by Professor Anthony Emeribe, chief executive officer of the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria and secretary of the Knights of St Mulumba. The Knights carry out major pro-life projects, including speaking in schools about abortion, as well as pro-life marches and religious processions on the Feast of the Annunciation each year involving their 24,000 members and 202 local Councils.

I presented Sir Alexander with a letter from Ron Lynch, the Supreme Knight of the Knights of St Columba, which, like the Knights of St Mulumba, is a member of the International Association of Catholic Knights. Among other things, Ron wrote:
"I was delighted to hear that John Smeaton, who is a member of the Knights of St Columba here in Britain, will have the privilege and pleasure of meeting you during his trip this week to Abuja for the pro-life conference organised by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria.

John is also, of course, the chief executive of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, the oldest pro-life group in the world, with which the Knights of St Columba works closely.

Our Order is very much aware of the huge pressures on African nations from powerful western governments - including the US and the British governments as well as the European Union, of course - to legalise abortion. We also know that abortion is anathema to Nigerians. Your love of children, your championing of the traditional family, your respect for the role of parents and grandparents, are qualities which are known throughout the world. We will be praying that your love and respect for life, for marriage and for the family will strengthen you in your resistance to abortion, euthanasia, same-sex marriage, and of classroom sex education usurping the role of parents as primary educators."
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