During his remarks at the opening of the 88th Plenary Assembly of the Mexican Bishops’ Conference, the country's Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Christoph Pierre noted that the “right to life is an issue that pertains not only to Catholics, but to all.”
Not only is it “a secular value,” he added, “it is the foundation of secularism.”
The archbishop explained that the Church is often accused of “hegemony, that is, of wanting to insert herself into an area that is not hers: that of individual rights.”
Thus, he continued, “when opposition is expressed to legislation that protects an element of individual rights, for example, the ‘right’ to abortion, it is considered by some to be an attack on democracy.”
This mentality represents the “secular paradigm” of the day, according to which, “the well-being of a democracy is proportional to the extension of individual rights—a theory which in substance is aimed also at limiting the public presence of the Church, inviting believers to keep religion a private matter and to behave like citizens ‘with a Gospel’,” the prelate added.
And yet, the nuncio said, “the defense of the individual which has taken on preeminence in modern times, has its roots in the right to life. In our times, secular thought has forgotten this dimension, transforming life into a variable dependent on demographic development, on a woman’s choices, on the evolution of customs.”
“That the Pope and the Church confirm life as the absolute it is, for the secular fundamentalist, it is the strongest, most scandalous and incomprehensible statement.” However, “at the same time, it is that which is most listened to and appreciated by the Catholic laity and increasingly more so, by non-believers,” the nuncio concluded.