The Feast of Mary’s Annunciation has been officially proclaimed as “The Day of the Unborn Child” in Argentina. The initiative came from the President of the Republic who wanted to fulfill a promise he made personally to the Pope in the Church of the Argentine community in Rome.
The official proclamation was made in Buenos Aires on March 25, 1999 in the presence of the Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Bernard Law, the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family, the Most Rev. Francisco Gil Hellin, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, the Most Rev. Renato Martino, the Apostolic Nuncio in Argentina, the Most Rev. Ubaldo Calabresi, the President of the Argentine Bishops’ Conference, the Most Rev. Estanislao Karlis, and many bishops. The event was attended by priests, women religious, ambassadors, members of parliament, etc. in addition to Orthodox, Anglican, Evangelical, Jewish and Moslem representatives.
The American Cardinal Bernard Law commented that in his country “2,000 legal abortions are performed every day”. He condemned the aid given by governments and pseudo-philanthropic institutions for this purpose. “How can it be that life at its very origin is in such danger in our world today? However, the fact is that millions and millions of dollars are spent yearly by governments and philanthropic foundations to support programs that not only present abortion as acceptable but as an expression of freedom”. To this he added, “The lies that are used to justify abortion must be unmasked. Depriving an innocent human being of life has always been a monstrous moral evil”.
During the ceremony, a letter was read asking the Presidents of Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the Philippines to adhere to this cause in favor of life.
On his part, H.H. John Paul II sent a message which is reproduced in part below: “The Catholic Church sees in the attacks against human life a grave offense against the Creator (cf. Gaudium et Spes). In this sense, I have not spared any efforts in proclaiming the value and inviolable character of life”. “Lastly, in addressing in particular that beloved continent in the Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in America, I wished to reaffirm this doctrine and launch my appeal, from the Basilica of Guadalupe, to banish for ever every attack against life and to express the hope at the same time that ‘the continent of hope’ will also be the continent of life…a life that is worthy for all! With our sight on the now approaching Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, I express my best wishes that the celebration of ‘The Day of the Unborn Child’ will favor a positive choice in favor of life and the development of a culture in this direction which will assure the promotion of human dignity in every situation”.
From this Secretariat, we express our hope that similar initiatives will be made not only in Latin America but in all the countries of the world, especially in those countries where abortion unhappily has become a usual thing in consciences and institutions.