.- The Bishops’ Conference of Venezuela concluded its Plenary Assembly this week with a call to engage in dialogue to defend life from the moment of conception against efforts to legalize abortion in the country. A statement by the Conference deplored the actions of certain “persons and groups” who do not recognize the right to life as “fundamental and unrenounceable. We profoundly deplore this and we invite them to reflection and dialogue.”
The bishops recalled that “the Gospel leads us to strongly proclaim that life is the most fundamental right. The followers of Jesus Christ, together with other believers and men and women of good will, are called to be defenders of this right, in its beginnings, in its development, in its end.”
Those who would promote attacks against life are “the authors of a particular form of the culture of death,” they stated.
“The proposal to change the Penal Code in order to legalize abortion in certain cases deserves special attention. As the Church we reaffirm our position in defense of life,” the bishops said, adding that it “is not acceptable to sentence to death the most defenseless, those recently conceived.” “We plead for proper attention to be given, in diverse areas, to those women suffering from these abuses and we demand the strict application of justice in those cases that merit it.”
In their statement the bishops’ reiterated the Church’s “option for a culture of life and of peace,” and they called on Venezuelans to allow the values of their faith to “illuminate the paths on which the country should walk.”