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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Monday, October 09, 2006
Today is the World Apostolate of Fatima’s World Day of Prayer that the sacredness of human life from conception to natural death may be upheld. Last week in the United States an important statement entitled That They May Have Life was published by a leading group Catholic and Evangelical Protestant thinkers. Here’s some extracts from the first half – the full text can be seen at

In the present statement we intend, however briefly and inadequately, to make the case for what is commonly called “a culture of life”—and to do so in a way that invites public deliberation and engages questions of public policy. Our primary purpose, however, is to explain to our communities why we believe that support for a culture of life is an integral part of Christian faith and therefore a morally unavoidable imperative of Christian discipleship …

We invite those who disagree, including those who do not share the gift of faith in Christ, to join with us in attempting to move beyond “culture wars” to a reasonable deliberation of the right ordering of our life together.

As Christians, we are informed, inspired, and sustained by our faith in a commitment to a culture of life, which includes the protection and care of the unborn, the severely disabled, the dependent elderly, and the dying. The culture of life encompasses also the poor, the marginalized, and those who, for whatever reason, are vulnerable to neglect or exploitation by others. This is not a uniquely Christian commitment. Disagreement on our obligations to those in need should not be viewed as a conflict between Christians and non-Christians.
The moral and political dispute is over which human beings, at whatever state of development or decline, possess rights that we are bound to respect. The question is this: Who belongs to the community for which we accept public responsibility?

Every human life is, from conception, created by God and is infinitely precious in His sight.We can no more abandon our contention for a culture of life than we can abandon our allegiance to the lordship of Christ, for our contention is inseparably part of that allegiance.

At the same time, we contend that the public policies pertinent to the defense of the humanum are supported by reasons that are accessible to all and should be convincing to all … Copyright (c) 2006 First Things 166 (October 2006): 18-27.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 9:54 am