Rome (Fides Service) - “Life to be Desired and Loved” is the title of a message in view of the 29th Day for Life in Italy first Sunday of February, 4 February 2007 issued by the Standing Council of the Italian Bishops’ Conference.
“It is impossible not to love life: the human person’s first and most precious gift- the bishops say at the beginning of the message -. Life springs from love, and desires and demands love. This is why human life can and must be given … it must never be despised and even less destroyed”. Fatigue, illness or old age can render life a burden “however life cannot be judged only on the conditions or sensations which characterise its first stages; it is always a precious good for self and for others and as such a good which is not at our disposal, we can never say life is ‘ours’.”
The message underlines that “life is the supreme good which no one can take in their own hands”. For those who have the gift of the faith, life “originates from an act of love on the part of the One who call parents to be “co-operators with the love of God the creator” (Familiaris Consortio n. 28). Every human life bears God’s image and is destined for eternity. Life must be loved with courage, not only respected, protected, celebrated, cared for, educated. It must also be desired. We must desire its true good because life is entrusted to us, rather then the absolute owners, we are its faithful and passionate guardians”.
The right to life does not include “the right to decide how and when to put an end to life”, those who truly love life, work hard to eliminate pain, suffering, degradation, but on no account do they think “life is at disposal, it is legitimate to ask for life to be terminated with euthanasia, perhaps masking it with a veil of human pity … One who loves life in fact instead of taking it, gives it, instead of it keeping it for self, puts it at the service of others. Loving life means not denying it to anyone, not even to the smallest and most defenceless person, the unborn child, even the child with serious a disability”.
The Italian Bishops say “nothing is more inhuman than eugenetic selection, direct or indirect, ever more frequently evoked and at times practiced” and they reaffirm “no human life, even at its very first spark, can be considered of less value and available for scientific research fosse”. “A desire to have a child does not give the right to have one at all costs. A child can be conceived in the womb, but it can also be adopted or fostered for a while: and this will be another birth, just as wondrous”.
Faced with present day threats to life - abortion, attempts to legitimate euthanasia, population decline, exploitation of many men and women, especially immigrants - the Bishops say “There must be a decisive turning point to take the virtuous path of love for life. “No” are no good unless there are long and farsighted “yeses” in support of the family founded on marriage”.
The Bishops express “great attention and hope with regard to young people”, “capable of unconditioned love for life” but also prey to dramatic crises “even risking their life, or considering it an unbearable burden”: the bishop thank and encourage those of care for young people, parents, priests, educators, teachers, civil society leaders. The bishops conclude “Human life is an adventure for people who love without reserve or calculation, without conditions, or interests; but it is above all a gift in which we recognise the love of the Father and of which we feel the sweet and joyful responsibility to nurture, particularly the weakest and most defenceless lives ”. (S.L.) (Agenzia Fides 22/11/2006; righe 44, parole 661)