DAILY CATHOLIC     THURSDAY     March 4, 1999     vol. 10, no. 44

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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POPE CALLS FOR AMERICAN PRO-LIFE INVOLVEMENT WHILE DUBLIN ARCHBISHOP SPEAKS OUT ON HUMANAE VITAE AND JAPAN AGAIN REFUSES APPROVAL OF BIRTH CONTROL PILL

          VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- In a letter addressed to Cardinal William Keeler of Baltimore, Pope John Paul II has said that Christians should be active in educational and political efforts to defend human life.

          The Pope's message, directed toward a pro-life conference meeting under Cardinal Keeler's leadership, stressed the special challenge involved in pro-life work in the United States. America is "fertile soil" for such work, the Pontiff said. He called for "generous and constant efforts" to overcome the dominance of a "culture of death," and exhorted Catholics to make their voices heard in the nation's political debates.

          In a related story out of Ireland, the archbishop of Dublin said on Tuesday that the acceptance of contraception has lead to a general moral decline in society and opened up the doors to abortion.

          Archbishop Desmond Connell addressed the Life Society in St. Patrick's College, Maynooth on the topic of the 30th anniversary of Pope Paul VI's encyclical "Humanae Vitae." The archbishop acknowledged that the Church's opposition to artificial means of regulating births has tested the faith of many, "even of many who want to believe." But he added that contraception is the key all of sexual morality. "Acceptance of contraception has encouraged such resentment of new life in the womb as to create blindness to the injustice of abortion," he said.

          Ireland is one of the last countries in Europe to continue to ban almost all abortions, while restrictions on both contraception and abortion have been under assault by groups that wish to liberalize the country's laws.

          Meanwhile in Japan, the Japanese government on Wednesday again refused to approve the birth control pill for distribution in the country, citing fears of side-effects and unwanted effects on society.

          The Health Ministry's Central Pharmaceutical Affairs Council last considered an application to allow the sale of birth control pills in 1992. The country does allow doctors to prescribe high- and medium-dose pills for medical disorders, but has not approved low-dosages for contraceptive purposes.

          Some groups have criticized the Health Ministry for promoting a double standard because the impotence drug Viagra received approval after just six months of consideration. However, supporters of the ban on the birth control pill said Viagra is different because it treats a medical disorder whereas pregnancy is not a disease or disorder.


Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales. Both CWN and NE are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

March 4, 1999       volume 10, no. 44
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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