This year marks the 25th anniversary of Saint John Paul II’s telling encyclical Evangelium Vitae, otherwise known as the Gospel of Life. There the great defender of life calls each one of us to love, respect, protect and defend every human life from conception to natural death.
In New Zealand, the need to respect and defend life has never been stronger, or more urgent. The Abortion Legislation Act was quickly passed in March. Unborn children are now denied the right to life and may be aborted for any reason at all right up until birth. The only test takes place after 20 weeks where the doctor must take into consideration the mother’s well being and consider the abortion appropriate.
At the other end of life, the End of Life Choice Act has been given Royal Assent, and awaits the vote of citizens in just a few weeks time. This is a poorly formed Act. It is not safe. It can not be safe as it is solely about permitting doctors to kill their patients or assist them to commit suicide.
Over the month of October, we will offer a variety of reflections and practical actions you can undertake to help restore a culture of life. Saint John Paul II tells us “Society as a whole must respect, defend and promote the dignity of every human person, at every moment and in every condition of that person’s life.”
Let that respect begin with us, fearlessly proclaiming the Gospel of Life as we go about our daily lives.
An excerpt from Saint John Paul II’s homily at World Youth Day, Denver USA, 1993.
“Christ needs you to enlighten the world and to show it the “path to life“ (Ps 16,11). The challenge is to make the Church’s “yes” to Life concrete and effective. The struggle will be long, and it needs each one of you. Place your intelligence, your talents, your enthusiasm, your compassion and your fortitude at the service of life! Have no fear. The outcome of the battle for Life is already decided, even though the struggle goes on against great odds and with much suffering.”
Begin Respect Life Month by spiritually adopting a pre-born child. Pray for this child (and their mother and father) for the next nine months. For more information on spiritually adopting a pre-born child, including prayers, please follow this link.