AMERICA/CHILE - “We feel the moral imperative which cannot be renounced to raise our voices to affirm the dignity of life ": Catholic Bishops’ statement on new National Norms on Birth Control. Friday 15 Catholic Youth pro-life March

Wednesday, 13 September 2006

Santiago de Chile (Agenzia Fides) - " We feel the moral imperative which cannot be renounced to raise our voices to affirm the dignity of life" the Catholic Bishops of Chile say in a statement titled “Where is Chile going ?” concerned about government "National Norms on Birth Control " issued on 2 September: "This is not the policy the country expected. We are dismayed by the path chosen". They express concern for one regulation in particular: the ‘morning after pill, or emergency contraception may be given in request to girls of fourteen even without parent’s consent.
The Bishops say they intend to make a serious study of the regulations with the help of experts on the subject: "We wish to offer families, society and the authorities, a serious judgement on these Regulations with the help of scientific, social, juridical, ethical and moral opinions to better understand the criteria exposed and the danger and negative consequences of these regulation ".
The Bishops say these latest Regulations evoke the memory of public policies “established by totalitarian regimes which claimed that the State could regulate the intimate life of the person according to authoritarian criteria against the respect for the dignity of the human person". With these regulations the government speaks to young people of freedom "but freedom without responsibility", and parents are denied the right and obligation to "to educate, guide and accompany the life of their children at the important time of adolescence". The Bishops say a future of justice, equality and solidarity can only be built on the basis of "human values which promote respect for human dignity". The statement ends with a call to priests, religious and all men and women of good will "to inform and form the faithful to respect human life and promote the family in Chile ".
The Bishops’ statement has been sent to dioceses and communities and groups all over the country. Youth Pastoral Office has organised a Peaceful March to defend the right to life on 15 September for students and school children. "For us as Catholics these decisions are wrong and contrary to the good of Chile. We cannot stand and do nothing. It is our duty as Catholics to collaborate actively and with joy with the work of building a better and more human society -the Organisers say. (RG) (Agenzia Fides 13/9/2006; righe 30, parole 423)