.- Cardinal Camillo Ruini, Vicar for the Archdiocese of Rome opened yesterday the assembly of Italian Bishops Conference, at the Vatican. Cardinal Ruini took the opportunity to recall the Church's strong commitment on ethical issues.
He opened his statement recalling the Italian soldiers who died in recent attacks in Irak: "Our pain is great and intense for these upright and brave men, who fell while carrying out their duty, and for their family members."
Cardinal Ruini then undelined the spirit and practice bishops and priests should conform to, along the words of Benedict XVI to the priests of Rome “not to put ourselves and our opinions forth, but the mystery of Christ, through the measure of a true humanism.”
He then went through the situation of Italy, particularly “the compromise for human life, from the first moments of its conception until its natural end, and legitimate families founded upon matrimony.”
Cardinal Ruini listed the important issues to which the Church remains deeply committed such as “the rejection of abortion, an abominable crime, that remains an intrinsically illicit act, that nobody, under any circumstances, aim or human law, can justify, as with Euthanasia, and the manipulation of human embryos.”
“We equally oppose the idea to give an inappropriate and non-necessary juridical status to forms of unions who are radically different from the family, and who therefore undermine its social role, and only contribute to destabilize society,” the Cardinal declared.
Cardinal Ruini pointed out to those “non negotiable” principles, the Pope referred to when he addressed the European People’s Party in March 2006., foremost for their ethical weight.
Moreover, Ruini voiced his doubts about the European Parliament and its "continuous declalations that don’t respect the cultural and proper traditions of its different members.” He took as an example the resolution signed on January 18 on homophobia in Europe, which requires equal rights for homosexual couples, as those of legitimate families.
"It is hard not to have the feeling that their success has a relationship to the feeling of self-hatred, or at least loss of self-love, which invades our civilization," Ruini said in a reference to Western societies' turning of their backs on their Christian heritage, which Pope Benedict XVI has attacked.
Lastly, Cardinal Ruini depicted works such as The Da Vinci Code as " above all a commercial operation, that also constitute a radical and baseless challenge to the very heart" of the Christian faith.
Ruini said the church should seek to use the occasion of the release of the film to "enlighten consciences" and embark on "a deep work of Christian instruction".