Lilongwe, Malawi, Mar 17, 2016 / 23:06 pm
Malawi’s bishops on Sunday released a pastoral statement on the Year of Mercy, Catholic social teaching, and its relevance for their country, reaffirming respect for the sanctity of life amid a pro-abortion push.
“In a country little by little marked by trends in the declining respect for human life, the Catholic Church proclaims that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. Our belief in the sanctity of human life and the inherent dignity of the human person is the foundation of all the principles of social teaching.”
Abortion rights activists with international support are working to legalize more abortions in Malawi, saying legal restrictions drive women to commit illegal abortions that are unsafe for the women’s health.
“Through the agents of the culture of death, campaigning for abortion legislation, human life is under direct attack,” the bishops lamented. “In these circumstances, we wish to reaffirm that every person is precious, that people are more important than things, and that the measure of every society is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person.”
The bishops’ words come in the Episcopal Conference of Malawi’s March 13 pastoral statement "Mercy of God as a Path of Hope".
They reflected on the Church’s Year of Mercy, saying Christ is “the face of the Father’s mercy” and that mercy is “the wellspring of Christian joy, serenity, and peace.”
They encouraged those who undergo the “tormenting experience” of abortion to seek God’s mercy.
The pastoral statement reflected on many other difficulties in Malawi: persistent hunger, corruption, a lack of security, poor economic development, and tribal divisions.