OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA - October 5:
Melbourne (Agenzia Fides) – There is a real threat to unborn lives and a danger to Catholic hospitals says Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne in his Pastoral Letter. The Archbishop has also called for a Day of Intercession dedicated to the defeat of the Abortion Law Reform Bill, which will be voted on this October 7 in the Legislative Assembly of the state of Victoria (southern Australia), which allows for an abortion to take place in the first 24 weeks.
The law, the Archbishop says, does not offer protection to the unborn child and neither does it offer support for "women in vulnerable positions."
The Archbishop has written a letter to the members of the Legislative Assembly encouraging them not to approve the new norm on abortion, in light of the fact that it concerns the respect of human rights, of the child and the woman.
There is also a danger for all Catholic health care services because if the law were approved, it would place all Catholic hospitals and doctors who are conscientious objectors in a serious plight, forcing them to have to go against the law in order to act according to their conscience and faith values. And this is a real problem, as the Catholic hospitals are responsible for nearly one-third of all births in Victoria.
With all this in mind, Archbishop Hart has asked Catholics to join in the Day of Intercession for Life, which will take place on October 5, on the eve of the vote in the Assembly, throughout the Archdiocese, in all the parishes and associations. There will be a Prayer Vigil presided by the Archbishop, in St. Patrick's Cathedral, at noon on Sunday, October 5, in order for all who wish to join in praying for the respect for life and for the rights of children and mothers.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 26/9/2008)