In preparation for the coming celebration of the feast of the Holy Innocents on December 28, the bishops of Spain have issued a statement fervently calling on families to protect their roots and to defend life.
“Care for your roots and defend life,” the title of document which was prepared by the bishops’ Subcommittee for the Family and Defense of Life, repeats the words of John Paul II in his last trip to Spain during which he told families, “Do not lose your Christian roots.”
The bishops state that “the family has in itself much potential as it is an institution solidly rooted in the very nature of man.
The Christian family has the grace of the Holy Spirit received in the sacrament of marriage, who will never abandon it in its vocation and mission. The deepest roots of marriage and the family are in God.”
The document also points out that “marriage, the family and life are of special concern to the Church of our time, because the dangers are very grave in the areas of philosophy, morality and some civil legislation that threatens them.”
After explaining that “some are attempting to impose false concepts of marriage and the family based on a concept of freedom that ignores the truth about the nature and dignity of the human person,” the bishops warn that today “the very identity of the family is questioned.”
The document goes on to state that “the genealogical tree of each one of us has a trunk, our parents; the roots, our grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. The branches need a strong trunk—a marriage based on love that is totally human, faithful and fruitful—and deep roots that provide the necessary sap of values and the meaning of life, inherited from the best traditions and experience of one’s ancestors. These roots are given life by the love of God ‘from whom all fatherhood is derived’.”
After recalling that “children are the fruit of spousal love” and that “human life is a gift received to be given in return,” the bishops make mention of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, “defender of the life of the unborn,” who one time said, “All life belongs to God. Abortion destroys peace in the world.”
In conclusion, the bishops recall that Mother Teresa called on young people to live chastely and purely saying, “If you make a mistake, I ask you to not destroy the child. Help each other to love and welcome this unborn child. Don’t kill him, because you cannot erase a mistake with a crime.” “If you do not want the children, give them to me,” she said.