.- Duringhis Te Deum homily at the Cathedral of Santiago for the installation of Chileâs new president, Michelle Bachelet, Cardinal Javier Errazuriz said that âWith trust we pray to God that our leaders and legislators will always protect the sacred gift of life, and that we all may learn to properly respect each human existence.â
The cardinal said respect for life must always be extended, particularly to the sick, the handicapped and the defenseless, âso that each human life maybe desired and loved.â
âConsidering that the right to life is the foundation of all other human rights,â Cardinal Errazuriz said, âhow can we show scorn for a life? How can we not allow it to be born? How can we cut it off when it is defenseless?â Likewise he wondered aloud how it was possible for one person to determine whether or not another has the right to live or whether or not their life would be of value.
âHow can we ignore some lives and even mistreat them, as if some deserved respect and others didnât,â he asked. âThe 20th century is, among other things, a painful documentary of the terrible injustices which provoked such discrimination.â
Cardinal Errazuriz also emphasized the role of fatherhood and motherhood in society, which, he said, imply âa strong commitment to that joint collaboration between man and womanâaffectionate and at the same time reciprocalâthat is the family, the source and sanctuary of life.â
The cardinal also noted the problems that arise when married couples close themselves off to the âfruit of their loveâtheir childrenâ and called on the countryâs new leaders, âalerted by the last census and providing the valuable service that they wish to offer to women and the family,â to encourage âa change in this situation. To God we pray for the necessary wisdom for this,â he said.
Cardinal Errazuriz also expressed the Churchâs best wishes for the new Chilean president and that âGod would grant her collaborators who enjoy the respect and gratitude of all Chileans,â and that in the midst of a cultural globalization, with its advances and its setbacks, the country might yet preserve its values, culture and institutions while learning at the same time from other countries in a spirit of dialogue and collaboration and in âfidelity to Chileâs tradition of honesty, sobriety, family life, and religiosity.â