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Letters

Pope misrepresented

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 Contents - Nov 2013AD2000 November 2013 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Pope Francis' call to holiness - Peter Westmore
Human rights: Zoe's Law and the right to life - Eamonn Keane
News: The Church Around the World
Culture: Cardinal Pell: defend religious freedom - Cardinal George Pell
Schools: The future of Catholic education - Archbishop Timothy Costelloe
Youth: Emmanuel Community: youth ministry powerhouse - Br Barry Coldrey
Interview: G.K. Chesterton's cause for sainthood - Dale Ahlquist
Marriage: Humanae Vitae: for an excellent love - Anne Lastman
Marriage: English bishop warns on same-sex marriage law - Bishop Philip Egan
Letters: Pope misrepresented - C. O'Driscoll
Letters: Australia's new Prime Minister - Arnold Jago
Letters: Three to get married - Cedric Wright
Letters: Total love - Madge Fahy
Letters: Clutching at straws - Anne Lastman
Letters: Finding balance - Walter H. Kirk
Books: Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer and Sex changed a Nation at War - Gabrielle Walsh (reviewer)
Books: WHO NEEDS GOD?, by Barbara Stockl with Christoph Cardinal Schönborn - Br Barry Coldrey (reviewer)
Books: THE CRAFT OF CATECHESIS, by P. Wiley, P. de Cointet and B. Morgan - Br Barry Coldrey (reviewer)
Support: 2013 Fighting Fund Progress Report - Peter Westmore
Books: Order books from www.freedompublishing.com.au
Reflection: Bishop Anthony Fisher: Do you want to be a saint? - Bishop Anthony Fisher

Recent reports in the press and on television about Pope Francis' supposed shift in relation to homosexuality, abortion and contraception are either misinformed or mischievous.

On 20 September, the Pope addressed a large number of Catholic doctors who had attended the Matercare International Conference in Rome. His address was reprinted in the Catholic Online website (www.catholic.org/hf/family/story.php?id=52468).

In a clear reference to the contraceptive mentality which is so prevalent in modern society, he quoted the encyclical Caritas in Veritate, "Openness to life is at the centre of true development."

He added, "There is no true development without this openness to life. If one loses the personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of a new life, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away."

In relation to abortion, he said, "A widespread mentality of utility, the 'culture of waste', which now enslaves the hearts and minds of many, comes at a very high cost: it requires the elimination of human beings, especially those who are physically or socially weaker. Our response to this mentality is a decided and unhesitating 'yes' to life."

The Pope then quoted the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's 1974 Declaration on Procured Abortion: "The first right of the human person is his life. He has other goods and some of them are very precious, but life is the fundamental good before all others."

The Pope added, "Many times, we find ourselves in situations where we see life being devalued. For this reason, in recent years attention to human life in its totality has become a real priority of the Magisterium of the Church, particularly in regard to the most defenceless, that is, the disabled, the sick, the unborn, the child, the elderly, those whose life is most defenceless."

Francis called on the Catholic doctors and medical services, including hospitals, to be outspoken witnesses for "the culture of life".

He said, "Being Catholic entails greater responsibility: first of all to yourself, for the effort to be consistent with the Christian vocation, and then to contemporary culture, to help recognise the transcendent dimension in human life, the imprint of the creative work of God, from the very first moment of conception.

"This is a commitment to the new evangelisation that often requires going against the current, paying the cost in person. The Lord counts on you to spread the 'Gospel of Life'."

C. O'DRISCOLL
Darwin, NT

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 26 No 10 (November 2013), p. 14

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