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Remarks of His Eminence Renato Raffaele Cardinal Martino
President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace

Groundbreaking Ceremony of the New Facilities of the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life

Amarillo, Texas
August 26, 2006

Your Excellency Bishop Yanta;

Father Pavone;

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 creation.

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 to fulfillment!

Priests for Life
PO Box 236695 • Cocoa, FL 32923
Tel. 321-500-1000, Toll Free 888-735-3448 •