Chile is called to respect life from its very beginning, says archbishop

Santiago, Chile, Sep 20, 2011 / 01:56 pm (CNA).- The president of the Bishops’ Conference of Chile, Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati, said the most important legacy that Chileans must pass on is “absolute respect and love for life,” because everyone “has the right to a life of fullness, as children of God.”

He noted that children and young people “represent an enormous potential for the present and the future of our country.”

Archbishop Ezzati made his comments on Sept. 18 during an ecumenical prayer service at the Cathedral of Santiago.

“Work is a fundamental right and good for the person … Chile’s magnificent and exuberant outdoor and natural resources are part of her patrimony. For this reason we thank the Lord for the gift of creation,” the archbishop continued.

He also praised Chileans for the solidarity and faith that unified the country in response to events such as the 2010 earthquake, the rescue of the miners trapped in the San Jose Mine, the deaths of prisoners at the San Miguel Prison and the recent plane crash in the Juan Fernandez islands.

The difficulties that Chile has faced, Archbishop Ezzati said, “are unrepeatable and challenging opportunities to reflect upon the most beautiful and noble part of our identity and to let it shine forth.”

“Everyone is needed in this task,” he added.

The ecumenical service, which marked Chile’s independence, was attended by the president of the Chilean Biblical Society, Pastor Pablo Alvarez, Archbishop Sergio Abad of the Orthodox Church and members of the Muslim and Jewish communities in Chile.