Chile must not accept laws against life and the family, cautions bishop

Santiago, Chile, Sep 19, 2011 / 06:03 pm (CNA).- Bishop Gonzalo Duarte Garcia of Valparaiso, Chile recently urged Christians in his country to reject laws that allow abortion or weaken the family.

“One of the greatest weaknesses of Chilean society is the fragility of the family. And the churches undoubtedly have a basic responsibility in this area.  But so does the entire country.  We need to show greater love and respect for the family,” Bishop Duarte said during an ecumenical prayer service on Sept. 15 at the Cathedral of Valparaiso.

He said special care should be shown to the difficult family situations of thousands of Chileans, especially children, young people, the elderly and single women.

He called on Chileans to reject laws in favor of abortion. “While some medical procedures to help the mother result in the death of the fetus as an unwanted and unintended effect, we must not accept any direct attack upon the life of an unborn child for supposedly therapeutic reasons,” the bishop said.

“The Chilean nation has repeatedly proven it is up to the challenges it must face. We are most certainly facing a time of great challenges and immense possibilities. We have the wonderful opportunity to take courageous and decisive steps toward building a more equitable and inclusive society for all, but especially for those who have historically been left on the sidelines.

“Let us not lose this wonderful opportunity that the Lord is giving us,” he concluded.