At a conference entitled ‘Saving our Common Home and the Future of Life on Earth’, Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, said: “Today our common home is on the brink of ruin and we are faced with many unprecedented challenges.

“We celebrate the third anniversary of Laudato sí, a document for the defence of the environment and our common home which contains a truly prophetic message. Our home was created by God, but if we do not protect this gift and do not change our production patterns, our lifestyle will harm not only the environment, but particularly the most vulnerable.

“We need to promote sustainable development. Our generation has responsibility for our common home and the future of humanity. We have to act together; we have to create a global alliance for the future of our common home. We want to create a network of passionate people.”

Abortion: ‘not a right, but a tragedy’

“Abortion is not a right but a tragedy,” said Bishop Oscar Ojea, president of the Argentine bishops’ conference. He was addressing tens of thousands of faithful gathered in Argentina’s most famous shrine to participate in a Mass and pray that a Bill that would legalise abortion on demand will not be passed.

The Bill would allow 16-year-old girls who were raped to have an abortion up until the ninth month of pregnancy, without informing either her parents or the authorities.

Ojea also denounced a “consumer culture” that transmits a message of “you think as you want, but allow me to do what I want”.

“It’s not true that you can do whatever you want and that we shouldn’t care,” the archbishop said. “This reasoning is the result of a culture that forces us to ignore others, as if our nation was a conglomeration of individuals in which no one cares if the other is hurt.”

Bishops condemn ‘perverse system of government’

The bishops of Venezuela condemned what they described as the perverse ideology and the system of government that is being used in their country. Archbishop José Luis Azuaje, head of the Venezuelan bishops, pointed towards the thousands of ‘daily protests’ that show the great “discontent that exists before the submission to improvisations” by the government, which indicates a “lack of rationality of decision makers”.

“These protests indicate the failure of a model that the people have been denouncing and for years,” said Azuaje. “But when a fuse has been lit, it won’t go out, it becomes stronger towards its final destination: Integral liberation.”

(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)


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