In the document, in 12 points, the Bishops of Chile use the occasion of Christmas to urge people to be aware of the proposal to decriminalize abortion in certain cases. The text, inspired by the teaching of the Church, intends to contribute to the thinking of legislators and political leaders on “an issue that deeply affects the national soul, as it is the fundamental right to life.”
This, according to the Bishops, is how to respond in the best way, always being respectful of the life of mother and child, through health services, the legal sector and society as a whole, so that they may reflect a deep respect for the right to life of every human being. At the same time we must reflect on how these issues can educate all people about related basic human values, such as respect for life, caring for the weak, solidarity, compassion and justice. “We believe,” the Bishops write, “that these are the questions for discussion. Because the answers that we as a society and as a Country give, mark the life of the mother and child, as well as the national soul and the culture that we build.”
“We believe,” follows the text, “that the level of development of a community is measured by its ability to take care of the weak and the sick. A society that allows them to be eliminated gives way to violence as a way to resolve conflict, becoming a dictatorship where the strongest also make decisions for the weak. Nobody has the right to claim the power to decide which life deserves to see the light of day and which does not.” The document concludes with an invitation to relive Christmas in the perspective of the defence of life and is signed by all the Bishops of Chile
UCAN REPORT: Residents of a home for the aged managed by a Hindu radical group in Bhopal, central India, yesterday thanked a Christian group for sharing a Christmas lunch with them.
“I am grateful to you for the sumptuous lunch,” A. Banerjee, a 78-year-old resident of Anand Dham(abode of happiness), told a delegation of the Madhya Pradesh Isai Mahasangh (confederation of Christians).
Banerjee said she has six children but none wanted to look after her and “dumped” her in the aged persons’ home 15 years ago.
|Archbishop Leo Cornelio cuts a Christmas cake with residents of the RSS-run old age home in Bhopal on Dec. 30|
The prelate, who heads the Catholic Church in Madhya Pradesh state, told the residents, all Hindus, that Christ loves everyone regardless of their religion, caste or color.
Harendra Verma, another resident, said he was delighted to be in the company of Christians. The 83-year-old man said he came to the center after his children abandoned him.
Sheela Santiago, who heads the women’s wing of the ecumenical forum, said they organized the lunch to share “our love and concern for abandoned old people.”
Such gestures will convince others that Christian love has no boundary, she told ucanews.com.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS, national volunteers’ corps), the umbrella body of Hindu radical groups, manages the home.
R. P. Mishra, its president, welcomed the Christian gesture, which he said would help dispel misunderstanding between Christians and RSS.
RSS-affiliated groups are blamed for attacks on Christians and Muslims in India.
Mishra denied his organization harbors ill feeling toward Christians. “On the contrary, (RSS) believes that the whole universe is a home that has no room for hatred but where everyone lives in harmony,” he told ucanews.com.
NEWS.COM.AU REPORT: THE military is rushing supplies to the flood-stricken city of Rockhampton today before the last road link is cut, as evacuation centres prepare for up to 1000 evacuees.
The Fitzroy River rose to nine metres overnight, sending a tide of dirty water into more homes in the central Queensland city. Rockhampton's airport runway is already underwater and road links to the south and west are cut.
The push to bring relief to the city and its 75,000 residents came as Queensland braced for more floods.
The Courier-Mail reports that with catchments across the state at record peaks and dams overflowing, concerns are mounting that severe wet weather and the high chance of another cyclone will see towns ravaged more than once this summer.
There also fears that countless snakes are hampering the rescue effort as they make a beeline for higher ground - often inside people's homes.
St. Basil the Great
CONFESSOR, ARCHBISHOP OF CAESAREA
Feast: January 2