HIS EXCELLENCY ARCHBISHOP RENATO R. MARTINO
Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See
to the United Nations
at the Blessing and Dedication of the John Cardinal O'Connor
International Headquarters of Priests for Life
20 June 2001
Staten Island, New York
Believe me when I tell you that your work makes a difference in the
international arena, where respect for human life in all its stages is
threatened on a daily basis.
As we bless and dedicate the International Headquarters of Priests for Life,
I wish to congratulate Father Frank Pavone, and indeed his entire staff, who
devote so much of their time and energy to strengthening the Catholic witness to
life in the world. Each of you here is committed to the cause of life, and I am
personally very proud to be able to share in the blessing of this new facility
which will serve the mission of Priests for Life.
The education of people of all ages, races, and creeds on the inestimable
value of human life from conception to natural death is, I believe, one of the
most critical needs of the human family today. In my capacity as Permanent
Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, I witness that need every day.
As you know, the Holy See is proudly pro-life, but in defending life, my
collaborators and I must often endure the insults of those who have given
themselves to politically correct language, and even contempt for the truths
about the human person that we are bound to uphold in the international arena.
Indeed, life is a splendid and beautiful gift. All life has meaning.
Unfortunately, not everyone is aware of its precious value. And so, we must
press onward, never wavering in our personal and corporate witness to life,
which comes from our Creator.
We must do so, however, always striving for that consistent ethic of life
which the Church teaches. Our voice must be heard not only in the fight against
abortion, but in the fight against euthanasia and capital punishment as well. We
can never condone the deliberate taking of a human life created in love by God
and redeemed in Jesus Christ. Our striving for consistency in this regard
is critical for the integrity of your message and the effectiveness of your
mission. God bless you.