PONTIFICIUM OPUS A SANCTA INFANTIA
THE DAY OF THE UNBORN CHILD
The Feast of Mary’s Annunciation has been officially
proclaimed as “The Day of the Unborn Child” in Argentina. The initiative came
from the President of the Republic who wanted to fulfill a promise he made
personally to the Pope in the Church of the Argentine community in Rome.
The official proclamation was made in Buenos Aires on March 25, 1999 in the
presence of the Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Bernard Law, the Secretary of the
Pontifical Council for the Family, the Most Rev. Francisco Gil Hellin, the
Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, the Most Rev. Renato
Martino, the Apostolic Nuncio in Argentina, the Most Rev. Ubaldo Calabresi, the
President of the Argentine Bishops’ Conference, the Most Rev. Estanislao Karlis,
and many bishops. The event was attended by priests, women religious,
ambassadors, members of parliament, etc. in addition to Orthodox, Anglican,
Evangelical, Jewish and Moslem representatives.
The American Cardinal Bernard Law commented that in his country “2,000 legal
abortions are performed every day”. He condemned the aid given by governments
and pseudo-philanthropic institutions for this purpose. “How can it be that life
at its very origin is in such danger in our world today? However, the fact is
that millions and millions of dollars are spent yearly by governments and
philanthropic foundations to support programs that not only present abortion as
acceptable but as an expression of freedom”. To this he added, “The lies that
are used to justify abortion must be unmasked. Depriving an innocent human being
of life has always been a monstrous moral evil”.
During the ceremony, a letter was read asking the Presidents of Latin America,
Spain, Portugal and the Philippines to adhere to this cause in favor of life.
On his part, H.H. John Paul II sent a message which is reproduced in part
below: “The Catholic Church sees in the attacks against human life a grave
offense against the Creator (cf. Gaudium et Spes). In this sense, I have not
spared any efforts in proclaiming the value and inviolable character of life”.
“Lastly, in addressing in particular that beloved continent in the Apostolic
Exhortation Ecclesia in America, I wished to reaffirm this doctrine and launch
my appeal, from the Basilica of Guadalupe, to banish for ever every attack
against life and to express the hope at the same time that ‘the continent of
hope’ will also be the continent of life…a life that is worthy for all! With our
sight on the now approaching Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, I express my best
wishes that the celebration of ‘The Day of the Unborn Child’ will favor a
positive choice in favor of life and the development of a culture in this
direction which will assure the promotion of human dignity in every situation”.
From this Secretariat, we express our hope that similar initiatives will be made
not only in Latin America but in all the countries of the world, especially in
those countries where abortion unhappily has become a usual thing in consciences