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REMARKS OF

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

Dear Friends,

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.

Priests for Life
PO Box 141172 • Staten Island, NY 10314
Tel. 888-735-3448, (718) 980-4400 • Fax 718-980-6515
mail@priestsforlife.org