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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.

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