IMAGE: CNS photo/Giorgio Onorati, EPA
By Junno Arocho Esteves
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A culture that
protects life from
conception to natural death
is the only answer to the
idea that some lives are expendable due to inconvenience or population
control, Pope Francis said.
in the path of St. Teresa
of Kolkata, Christians are called to stand up and defend the lives of
the unborn and the vulnerable, the pope said Feb. 5 in his remarks after the recitation of the
are close to and pray together for the children who are in danger with the termination
of pregnancy, as well as for people
who are at the end of their lives; every life is sacred,” he said.
commemorated the Day for Life celebration promoted by the Italian bishops’ conference. The theme of
the 2017 commemoration was “Women and men for life in the footsteps of St.
Teresa of Kolkata.”
Mother Teresa’s call to fight for life, the pope joined the Italian bishops’ appeal
for “courageous educational action in favor of human life.”
us remember the words of Mother Teresa: ‘Life is beauty, admire it; life is
life, fight for it!’ both for the baby about to be born and the person who is
close to death,” he said,
“Every life is sacred!”
reciting the Angelus prayer with pilgrims, the pope reflected on the Sunday
Gospel reading in which Jesus tells his disciples they are “the salt of
the earth” and “the light of the world.”
Christians are called to be reflection of Christ’s life “not in words, but
by our deeds,” they must also take on the characteristics of salt, which gives
“flavor to life with the faith and love that Christ has given us.”
fundamental quality of salt that Christians should adopt, he continued, is its
ability to preserve from corruption, keeping away “the polluting germs of
selfishness, envy and malicious gossip.”
Francis’ call for an authentic witness free from gossip and maliciousness came one day after copies of a poster were
plastered around the Rome city center criticizing Pope Francis.
Roman dialect and featuring a stern-faced picture of the pope, the poster said:
you’ve taken over
congregations, removed priests, decapitated the Order of Malta and the
Franciscans of the Immaculate, ignored cardinals … but where is your mercy?”
posters, which were placed anonymously, were taken down or covered with a sign
that read “illegal posting” by the city of Rome. The Vatican issued no
response to them.
of selfishness and gossip, the pope said in his address, “ruin the fabric
which instead should shine as places of hospitality, solidarity and
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Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.
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