Promoting solidarity in the culture of life

Monday, November 24 1997

Vatican City (CCCB) — Bishop James Matthew Wingle of Yarmouth, in an intervention at the Synod of Bishops’ Special Assembly for America, told delegates human life is suffering such violent assaults on our continent that “we risk becoming hardened by familiarity to the horrors of death.” “Those deaths,” he continued, “occur in the millions and we end up considering every death simply as an inevitable and a daily occurrence.” The Bishop said our response is “to recognize how every human person is of unique value, since each human life is uniquely created in the image of God. The Church speaks unceasingly of human dignity and the integrity of life.”

Bishop Wingle was intervening at the Synod on Nos. 28 and 66 of the Instrumentum Laboris dealing with aspects of society requiring conversion and solidarity and the promotion of the culture of life. “When we listen to the voices of our brothers and sisters who are suffering because of poverty, marginalization and other social ills,” he said “we are hearing the voice of Jesus asking, ‘Why do you seek to kill me?’ (John 7:19).” “Now is the time to show how the truth of the Gospel applies in every aspect of human life,” he continued. “Confronted by the contemporary challenges of science, technology, law, medicine and social policy, throngs of people are asking how best to respond in a way that is worthy of the human person.” “Every social evil that oppresses the poor and the weak must be denounced,” he insisted. “Too often our society falters in recognizing the integrity and dignity of human life, and insists instead on judging the values of the human person by false standards.”

Bishop Wingle then asked the Synod delegates to be in solidarity with everyone who struggles to defend both life and the quality of life. He cited the example of the Canadian bishops in establishing, with the Knights of Columbus, the Catholic Organization for Life and Family that concerns itself with the value and dignity of the human being from the moment of conception until death.