Cardinal Edward Egan Speaks on "the most elementary of human rights"
(The following is an excerpt from Cardinal Egan's opening statement at the
10th Synod of Bishops in Rome in October, 2001, as printed in
Catholic New York, November 2001.)
All of these issues of social justice render us ever more sensitive to
certain evil and growing practices in our time which violate the most elementary
of human rights, the right to life. No bishop committed to teaching, sanctifying
and shepherding his people according to the truth and spirit of the Gospel can
fail to oppose in word and deed the killing of human beings at any stage of
their development, from conception to natural death.
Until rather recently all of this was quite clear and straightforward. We
spoke and struggled against abortion, euthanasia and capital punishment; and
most of humanity understood our positions and our reasoning. Now, with new
discoveries especially in the biological sciences, issues are more complicated
and at times quite beyond the comprehension of most who are experts in the
matters under discussion. Nevertheless, in patient dialogue with well-informed
scientists who seek and speak the truth, we renew our resolve to defend life in
its every phase as a blessing from God never to be sacrificed, never to be
compromised. Our people expect nothing less.