.- With a Mass celebrated by the President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, the II International Pro-Life Congress concluded Sunday in Lima, Peru. Before the closing Mass, representatives of 21 countries signed the Declaration of Lima, calling on the governments of the world to base their development plans on the total respect for human life and the family.
The statement reiterates that “the right to life is the first human right that must be respected and protected from the moment of conception to natural death, as the American Convention on Human Rights recognizes.”
“If the right to life is respected, all other rights of a social, economic and political nature will be respected. The first responsibility of leaders is to unconditionally defend the life of each human and to recognize that the family based on marriage between a man and a woman is the natural place in which every human should be born and educated,” the document states.
Participants in the event also expressed their commitment to eliminate all forms of abortion, eugenics, euthanasia and mutilation. They reiterated that parents should always be the primary educators of their children, with the state having only a subsidiary role.
Young people also gathered for the I Youth Pro-Life Symposium, where they committed to living authentic love and seeking the good of the other in relationships, rather than seeking to satisfy oneself at another’s expense.
“We are in a stage of formation and personal development in which we need to exercise control over ourselves and in this way live fully our youth and not behave as if we were married when we are not. Conceiving a child is a great responsibility and an act of generous love,” they added.
Some five thousand people participated in both the Congress and the Symposium. Organizers announced the next International Pro-Life Congress would be held in Mexico in November of 2007.