under the patronage of St Joseph and St Dominic
By the rivers of Babylon there we sat and wept, remembering Zion;
ABORTION––WHAT THE AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS CONFERENCE SHOULD SAY, BUT WON’T
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The wealth of this country lies in its people––not in its possessions, but in its people.
Government only exists for the sake of the people. It may not subject the rights of any person to another. It may not endorse slavery. It may not order, or sanction, or permit, or assist, the killing of any of its innocent members.
There is no doubt of the humanity of the unborn child from the moment of conception. From that moment, each human being (and in this he differs from brute animals) is invested with a spiritual soul by which is constituted the human person. Nothing is added to the conceptus thereafter but nutrition, time and the opportunity to develop. Abortion, at any stage of gestation involves, therefore, the killing of a human person.
No one with a rightly formed conscience could vote in favour of abortion, or vote to tolerate its continuance on the statute books.
That any government, State or Federal, should legislate so as to allow abortion, or fail to enforce a law prohibiting it, is reprehensible. Any politician, from Prime Minister or Premier down, who acts in this way, or condones such action, deserves ongoing public condemnation.
Far from facilitating the use by its citizens of the facilities of abortion clinics, government, both State and Federal, should act so as to remove the incentives for them to do so including, where necessary, providing essential financial assistance.
Abortion should be removed from the schedule of medical benefits under Medicare. It is grossly unjust that the taxes of Australia’s citizens should be applied to fund the killing of the innocent unborn.
Crimes such as abortion cry to heaven for vengeance. The systematic condoning of abortion constitutes a curse on this great country which affects, even now, all its citizens. It is inevitable that the consequences of this great evil will be felt more and more unless action is taken to remove it and reparation is made to Almighty God for the grave sins involved.
All this being said, there is no sin which Almighty God cannot forgive, provided only that the sinner acknowledges his sin and seeks His forgiveness. Every priest of the Catholic Church throughout the country who has faculties from a bishop of this Conference, is available to see and to discuss with any person, whether Catholic or not, in complete confidence, issues of conscience in this matter of abortion that are troubling him. Such a priest has the power, moreover, if the person involved is baptised, to hear his confession and to give him absolution.
There should be established throughout the country in every diocese a systematic program of Masses, of adoration of the Blessed Eucharist, of prayers and penance on the first Saturday of each month and the Sunday following for the ending of this curse. Each bishop of this Conference will put in place in his diocese such a program.
This Conference intends that there should be established a shrine of reparation to Almighty God for the sins of abortion committed throughout the country similar to the basilica, Sacre Coeur, in France. The bishops will give consideration to establishing such a shrine and where it will be established.
This Conference notes that this evil of abortion is allied, as effect to cause, to the contraceptive mentality which dominates Australian society and will speak on this subject more fully hereafter.
This Conference notes further that in vitro fertilisation, which involves the medical interference in human procreation, and the abuse of the fertilised human embryos which the process produces, and the further abuse and destruction of these fertilised human embryos in embryonic stem cell research, are a gross interference in the rights of Almighty God. Again this is a subject on which this Conference will speak further and more fully hereafter.