DAILY CATHOLIC TUESDAY November 10, 1998 vol. 9, no. 220
NEWS & VIEWS
COLOMBIA BISHOPS URGE LAWMAKERS NOT TO WEAKEN PRO-LIFE LAWS AS POPE URGES IN EQUALITY, DIALOGUE IN COLOMBIA WHILE PRO-LIFE ORGANIZATION OPERATION RESCUE HEAD DECLARES BANKRUPTCY
BOGOTA (CWNews.com) - The Catholic Church bishops of Colombia have asked pro-life legislators not to accept new proposals which could weaken the penalties for abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia.
Bishop Fernando Sabogal, an auxiliary in Bogota, testified before a legislative committee which is considering proposed changes in the country's penal code. He observed that the changes would provide lighter sentences for abortion in cases involving rape or severe malformation of the fetus, as well as for euthanasia, mercy killing, and genetic manipulation.
"For the Church this "mercy killing" is unacceptable, as is abortion in all circumstances," Bishop Sabogal said, "because the 'problem' which they seek to eliminate is life itself--and that, of course, is contrary to the law of God." The bishop argued that rather than easing criminal penalties for such offenses, the legislature should actually make the law stricter, in order to counteract the current climate of indifference toward the dignity of human life. He also expressed the fear that, if criminal penalties are eased in some cases, the way might be cleared for elimination of all criminal sanctions, and thus for the effective legalization of abortion and euthanasia.
Bishop Sabogal reminded the legislators that they are not obliged to approve the proposed changes in the criminal code, and urged them to make an independent judgment, mindful of the threats to human life.
Regarding the situation in Columbia, Pope John Paul II condemned the terrorism which has struck innocent victims in that country, including several missionaries and Church workers as he greeted the new ambassador to the Holy See from Columbia.
Speaking to Guillermo Leon Escobar-Herran, who presented his diplomatic credentials on November 7, the Pope argued that "social disequalibrium" caused by "marked discrepancies in the distribution of material resources" had contributed to the growth of violence in Colombia. He urged a process of "national reconciliation" based on "the art of dialogue."
The Pope expressed his outrage over the recent acts of violence by terrorist groups seeking to overthrow the government, as well as the ugly phenomena of drug traffic, abandoned children, and family breakdown.
Meanwhile, in Syracuse, New York the former head of Operation Rescue filed for bankruptcy protection on Friday, citing enormous debts owed to pro-abortion groups and abortion clinics after a civil judgement against him.
Randall Terry said in his Bankruptcy Court filing he has
$1.7 million in debts, including $1.6 million he has been
ordered to pay to the National Organization for Women and
Planned Parenthood. "I cannot in good conscience permit the
National Organization of Women, Planned Parenthood, and
others who have profited from abortion to harass my wife
and family, and possibly get money from me to continue
their crusade against unborn life," he said.
Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
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