The president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, on Friday lamented the decision by Italy’s government to allow the distribution of RU-486, which is a drug that aborts a developing child. The Church will never accept it, he said.
In an article published by L’Osservatore Romano, the archbishop pointed to the urgency of defending human life from conception to natural death, an issue addressed by Pope Benedict XVI in his new encyclical Caritas in Veritate.
Archbishop Fisichella also warned that “whether the use of this pill is less traumatic that undergoing an operation [surgical abortion] has yet to be demonstrated. The initial trauma occurs when the pregnancy is not accepted and what must be done is to intervene and help the woman understand the value of unborn life.”
The embryo, he went on, “is not a mass of cells or a ‘thing,’ as some have defined it. It is a true and complete human life. No one can be allowed to kill it without fully understanding the consequences.”
After noting that the drug is just another method for obtaining an abortion, the archbishop underscored that this anti-life practice “is an evil in and of itself because it takes a human life. This life, which is only visible through the assistance of technology, possesses the same dignity inherent in every person.”
For this reason, he added, “the respect due the embryo cannot be less than that that is given to every person walking down the street, and it demands to be accepted for what it is: a person.”
The Church “can never be passive to what is happening in society,” Fisichella stated. “She is called to always make present the proclamation of life that has enabled her to be throughout the centuries a tangible sign of the respect for the dignity of the person.”
The task of forming consciences for the defense of life and human dignity not only entails a commitment from every person but also demands that one speak out and be convincing, he explained.
“The Church’s opposition to all methods of abortion is a 'yes' to life and everything that it entails,” he added.
In concluding his message, the archbishop called for better formation of young people in the defense of life, and that they be encouraged to embrace a correct understanding of sexuality, affection, and love, “rather than succumbing to worry, anxiety and distress.”