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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Pope calls for support for the pro life movement

19 September 2010

Pope calls for support for the pro-life movement London, 19 September 2010: Pope Benedict has issued a clarion call for Christians and all people to be pro-life, says the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC).

Pope Benedict, speaking at a residence for the elderly yesterday evening, said: "Life is a unique gift, at every stage from conception until natural death and it is God’s alone to give and take." Speaking to pilgrims in Hyde Park, the Pope also said: "No one who looks realistically at our world today could think that Christians can afford to go on with business as usual ... Each of us has a mission, each of us is called to change the world, to work for a culture of life, a culture forged by love and respect for the dignity of each human person." Commenting on the Pope's words, John Smeaton, SPUC director, said: "The underlying text of the Pope addresses recent moves to allow euthanasia and assisted suicide. His words also imply that there is a lack of support for the pro-life cause among Christians. The Catholic bishops of England and Wales must look long and hard at themselves and ask themselves whether they have really opposed the culture of death. "The bishops' conference was complicit in the passage of the Mental Capacity Act by Tony Blair's government, which enshrined euthanasia by neglect into English statute law [see note 1 below]. More recently, Peter Smith, archbishop of Southwark, whitewashed the director of public prosecutions' policy on assisted suicide, a policy which effectively decriminalises assisted suicide. [note 2] "I could give many further examples of how the Catholic bishops' conference of England and Wales have let down the pro-life cause. They need to reflect deeply on Pope Benedict's words and realise that they "can[not] afford to go on with business as usual".

Notes:

1) SPUC

2) SPUC director's blog, 25 February 2010


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