East Timor, July 16, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – “The Church,” said Bishop of Dili, Dom Alberto Ricardo Da Silva, “has a duty and a call to contribute to the well-being of women and children and their families.”
For this reason Catholics should work for the health of both mother and the unborn child, despite the “fashionable trend” of promoting abortion as a means of population control, as a number of NGO’s –including at least two that are funded by the Canadian bishops’ official development arm – have recently done in East Timor.
East Timor is more than 95% Catholic.
The country only recently staved off an attempt to significantly liberalize its abortion laws.
The bishop made the remarks on July 11 at the “National Conference on Reproductive Health, Family Planning, and Sex Education,” which was attended by several members of the Timorese national government.
The issue of foreign pressure on East Timor on sexual and population issues has a lengthy and sordid history. The country claimed independence from Indonesia in 2002 after years of occupation, during which Indonesia had covertly sterilized thousands of women in East Timor.
“In [East Timor’s] case the people fought hard for our human rights, the right to life and the right to have children during the occupation days,” said Bishop Da Silva. “Many sacrifices were made, but with the hope that our prayers would be answered and that one day we would be in control of our destiny.”
Among the traditional Timorese values for which they fought, he said, was the right to life of the unborn.
“In our mother tongue Tetum,” he said, “when a woman becomes pregnant, ‘isin rua’ meaning ‘two-bodies’, the status of the fetus is immediately recognized as a human person.”
He said that national wellbeing also requires civil laws based on the moral law. What is “good for the human person is good for the family and what is good for the family is good for the society,” he said. “Furthermore, what is good can only be founded on strong moral values based on natural law.”
“East Timorese values are not inconsistent with women’s right to health. One must not confuse right to health with right to eliminate life.”
He saluted the Government and National Parliament because “they have not opted for the easy way out and joined the fashionable trend of promoting abortions for population control at the detriment of a child’s life and its human rights.”
East Timor’s new penal code forbids abortion, while permitting pregnancy to be “interrupt[ed]” in extreme cases when it is the “only way” to save the life of the mother.
The new code is dramatically more pro-life than the code passed by the East Timor Council of Ministers in April, which would have permitted abortion when the physical or mental health of the mother or unborn child was in danger.
Ironically, at least two of the East Timorese feminist organizations that were spearheading the effort to legalize the abortion laws are funded by the Canadian bishops’ official development arm, the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace.
Bishop Da Silva also promised that the Catholic Church would soon “inaugurate a Maternity hospital to provide maternal health to mothers,” and help train families in Natural Family Planning.
“As we have done in the past,” he said, “we will continue to provide caring, counseling advice to pregnant young women, mothers, families and patients, improve maternal health and bring down infant and maternal mortality rates.”
In many countries around the world, the current funding program of Development & Peace is enabling and perhaps even directly financing pro-abort political activities, helping to advance the culture of death at a frantic pace. Socon or Bust and other faithful Catholics are taking pro-active measures to alert bishops of these countries of what the official development and aid arm of the Canadian bishops is doing to overturn pro-life laws in these countries.
To date, over 18 months since the start of this scandal, neither the bishops of Canada nor the management of Development & Peace have admitted any wrong-doing. They continue to collect money – sometimes under the auspices of ‘disaster relief’ – and send it to the pro-aborts.
Faithful Catholics have never been told the truth by our leaders or the “social justice” bureaucrats of this country. If we haven’t heard an admission by now, we likely never will.
How sad and pathetic that our bishops and those entrusted with the management of Catholic sacrificial offerings don’t care or don’t care to confess.
This October, things had better get sorted out…or else there will be consequences. This not a threat — just a reality that being pro-life entails. We cannot go on being the lapdogs of the pro-abortion industry while most Catholics stay in the dark on what is going on in the Church.
Do the bishops of this country really know what is at stake?
LifeSite Coverage here:
- Fokupers is currently lobbying the East Timorese government to legalize abortion in the strongly Catholic country.
- Maria Barreto, program manager for advocacy at Fokupers, told the UN’s news agency, IRIN News, last month that, “Abortion is one of the options that is appropriate when the mothers are victims of sexual violence. We are working to protect women. We should understand that we should give options to mothers based on their circumstances.”
- A representative of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) confirmed in early April with CRS’s contact on the ground in East Timor that Fokupers is helping spearhead the lobbying effort to legalize abortion in East Timor, and that the East Timor bishops have strongly denounced the pro-abortion effort.
- In 2005 REDE FETO, along with the Alola Foundation, issued a list of recommendations, including the recommendation to legalize abortion in cases of rape, incest, or risk to the health of the mother.
- REDE FETO is cited by the UN committee responsible for the implementation of CEDAW as one of the groups (along with the Alola Foundation) that has been working towards legalizing abortion in East Timor, despite the virulent opposition of the Catholic Church.