Remarks of His Eminence Renato Raffaele Cardinal
President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
Groundbreaking Ceremony of the New Facilities of the Missionaries of the Gospel
August 26, 2006
Your Excellency Bishop Yanta;
Dear Friends in the Lord,
As we gather together today to celebrate the beginning of
this new facility, we do so with bittersweet emotions. We are filled with
gratitude on the one hand for the faith which animates the Priests for Life, and
indeed all people of good will, with the courage to witness to the truth about
the dignity of the human person. On the other hand, the fact that we must do so
in the face of such flagrant disregard for God's gift of life, is a distressing
reality and a cause for sorrow.
How could it be that life at its beginning is at such risk in
our world today? What a perversion of meaning it is to support abortion in the
name of freedom of choice or reproductive rights!
Yet, this facility, this organization, and our very lives
must stand in testimony of Jesus' words of challenge and consolation: "You shall
know the truth and the truth will set you free." (Jn. 8:32).
The lies that are used to justify abortion and euthanasia
must be unmasked. It is always a monstrous moral evil to take the life of an
innocent human being. When the fundamental right to life is at risk, then all
life is at risk, and all other rights are in jeopardy. There is no freedom where
the right to life of the innocent is violated.
What we do here today has meaning only to the extent that
each of us renews our commitment to respect the life of every human being, from
the first moment of conception to the last moment of natural death.
Through the mystery of the Incarnation we see more clearly
the image of God in every human being. Not only does Jesus reveal God to us, but
he also reveals us to ourselves. In Jesus we see revealed the dignity of every
human being; in Jesus we see the primacy of the human person in the order of
Each of us is called to be an icon of that mystery; a window
into which others may look and see and experience the beauty of God who created
us in love and redeemed us in Jesus Christ.
Today on this auspicious occasion, we are granted yet another
opportunity to be witnesses to the truth, and to recommit ourselves to the right
to life; a cause that has credibility only to the extent that it is linked to a
support of all other human rights.
May the Lord, who has begun this good work in you, bring it