Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pope’s message on resistance to tyranny is timely, says pro-life group

London, 16 September 2010 – Pope Benedict’s first address on British soil this morning contained a timely warning about anti-life laws and governments, said the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC).

The Pope, addressing Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, said: “Your forefathers’ respect for truth and justice, for mercy and charity come to you from a faith that remains a mighty force for good in your kingdom, to the great benefit of Christians and non-Christians alike. We find many examples of this force for good throughout Britain’s long history. Even in comparatively recent times, due to figures like William Wilberforce and David Livingstone, Britain intervened directly to stop the international slave trade ... Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live.”

Commenting on the Pope’s words, John Smeaton, SPUC director, said: “Abortion, destructive embryo research and euthanasia are types of slavery and tyranny in our own age. Britain has rightly been described as the geopolitical epicentre of the culture of death. Catholics, other Christians and all those concerned for our common humanity must join Pope Benedict in resisting threats to the lives of the unborn, the sick, the disabled and the vulnerable.” [see note 1 below]

“British Church leaders must not undermine Pope Benedict’s message by seeking an easy accommodation with the British government. The new coalition government has already declared the promotion of abortion internationally as one of its priorities. [see note 2 below] The Catholic Church, in particular in Britain, must not seek an illusory balance between the truth and a nebulous religious freedom, in which the Church avoids resistance to anti-life/anti-family policies in exchange for toleration by a secularist state.”

Note 1: Pope Benedict marked the 60th anniversary of the European Convention on Human Rights by saying that Catholic "principles, faithfully maintained, above all when dealing with human life, from conception to natural death ... are necessary conditions if we are to respond adequately to the decisive and urgent challenges that history presents".

Note 2: Department for International Development, 27 July 2010