Portuguese bishops pledge to promote life, protect right to conscientious objection

.- The Portuguese bishops said they cannot support new legislation, which legalizes abortion and presents it as a legal right.

"It is an unfair law, which we cannot support. It is our duty to go on insisting, in a positive way, on the value of life," the bishops said.

Bishop Jorge Ortiga, president of the bishops’ conference, issued the statement in his opening remarks for the plenary assembly of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, taking place in Fatima April 16-20.

The bishops “will continue to uphold the value of all life” and defend the rights of doctors and other medical professionals to object to performing abortions on the grounds of conscience, said Bishop Ortiga.

The new bill, which legalizes abortion up to the 10th week of pregnancy, was approved by parliament and promulgated by President Aníbal Cavaco Silva even after a national referendum was thrown out due to the unwillingness of Portuguese citizens to support it.  

A document on the transmission of life, the formation of the laity, the formation of clergy and children’s catechisms are also on the bishops’ agenda for their four-day meeting.

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