.- The Apostolic Administrator of Valencia in Spain, Cardinal Agustin Garcia-Gasco, has issued a strong call to Catholics to defend life, marriage and the family, as well as religious freedom and freedom of conscience.
In his most recent pastoral letter, the cardinal said that the promotion of human dignity today should focus on three essential natural rights which should be respected and promoted by all: “the defense of human life, the recognition of religious freedom and freedom of conscience, and the defense of marriage and the family.”
“The affirmation of human dignity implies the affirmation of the inviolable right to life from conception to natural death,” he continued.
Therefore, “the absolute right to life reminds us that each person is unique and unrepeatable, and his or her mere presence, whether healthy or sick, strong or weak, powerful or lowly, enriches others. No state or individual can put a price on the dignity of human beings or legitimately decree that their lives can be suppressed,” the cardinal said.
He went on to stress that man is by his very nature a religious being, and that “any nation that wants to truly ensure the wellbeing of the person and of society should effectively recognize the right to freedom of conscience and of religious liberty, with complete awareness that this is one of the highest goods of public life.”
“In today’s current cultural context,” the cardinal added, “the commitment to defend marriage and family acquires special urgency.” Both institutions are unique and irreplaceable for proper the development of society, he said.
The cardinal closed his letter encouraging “all of the faithful and all people of good will to exercise these three natural rights that serve to build a better world for the benefit of society.”