OCEANIA/PAPUA NEW GUINEA - Open Letter of the Bishops to politicians: "Let us protect life together for the common good"

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Port Moresby (Agenzia Fides) - A joint effort of the government and churches for the protection of life is urgent: the Church reaffirms its opposition to abortion and the ideology that links development to population control, confirming its contribution "to the common good": are the contents of an "Open Letter" sent by the Bishops of Papua New Guinea to the politicians of the nation.
The text of the letter, sent to Fides Agency by the Communications offices of the Episcopal Conference, recalls the good relations and the fruitful partenership between Church and state in the field of social services, health and education. Remaining faithful to the most important ministry, which is the proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Bishops bring to the attention of the community crucial issues "for the spiritual and material welfare of society".
After having spoken about the death penalty, today they will talk about abortion and protection of unborn life, remembering that the local culture is traditionally "open to new life" and that abortion remains illegal in Papua New Guinea because it is considered "repugnant" by the majority of the population.
"However, political leaders, because of great pressures, want to take another path". Faced with this danger, the Bishops refer their concern, which also touches "the political ideology that connects development with population control".
The letter condemns practices that go in this direction such as to "sterilize a large number of women as a way to slow population growth". And launch a warning to political leaders: "Have you thought about what it means and where this strategy leads to?".
The Church recalls the great wealth of the country and the great energy of the population: "A considerably better plan would be to connect these two things, our wealth and the growth of a vibrant population", to achieve prosperity, peace and justice for all. To do this, however, the Bishops conclude, we must "fight corruption and the factors that affect sustainable development". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 22/05/2014)