Moratorium on death penalty should lead to one on abortion, bishop says

Moratorium on death penalty should lead to one on abortion, bishop says


Bishop Munilla Aguirre of Palencia (Spain) praised the approval by the UN of a non-binding moratorium on the death penalty, but he pointed out that moral consistency would demand a moratorium on abortions also be passed. The bishop said that “just as it is asked that the life a criminal be respected, all the more should the life of an innocent person be respected as well.”

In a letter released this week, the bishop refered to the campaign led by the Italian delegation to the United Nations Forum to secure a moratorium on the death penalty.  The campaign was launched by lay and religious associations under the motto, “Nobody Touch Cain,” and was backed by the Holy See.

“The success of the Italian campaign, culminating in the approval of the moratorium by the UN, has motivated the Italian daily Il Foglio to propose another campaign in favor of a second moratorium: abortion.  If we think respect for the life of Cain is a moral value, even if he was capable of a crime of blood, how much more should there be respect for the life of Abel, the life of the unborn,” Bishop Munilla said.

He pointed to an article written by the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Archbishop Elio Sgreccia, who praised the initiative by Il Foglio and said a moratorium on abortion “is not a return to the past, but rather step forward.”

“Just as slavery, discrimination between blacks and whites, or rich and poor, was combated, the right to life in a vertical sense as well should continue to be recognized, those who are unborn and those who are born, the guilty and the innocent,” Archbishop Sgreccia wrote.

Bishop Munilla criticized the promoters of abortion who call the fetus “a lifeless blob of cells that has no identity,” and he said there was much work to be done “to advance the culture of life.”  “A fundamental aspect should also be education in responsible sexuality” in order to combat the terrible consequences of the “use and throw away” culture that values “unrestrained and instant gratification.”

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