Catholics of Colombo: Lent for unborn children
By Melani Manel Perera –
It is the initiative of the Archdiocese to oppose the Government’s proposal to legalize abortion. Official figures Ministry of Health speak of 300 thousand abortions in 2011. Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith: “To protect children we must help their mothers. Human life must be respected from conception
Colombo (AsiaNews) – “Abortions are increasing in Sri Lanka. To protect children and their place in the world, we need to help mothers in every way possible”, said Card. Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo, announcing the decision to allocate the collections of Lent for a fund dedicated to the unborn child. Launched last March 25, the fifth Sunday of Lent, the initiative is sponsored by the Archdiocese of Colombo and Caritas. The project is entitled “Protection of life, to ensure children’s right to life” and is part of a campaign by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka against the government proposal tolegalize abortion.
The Catholic archdiocese said they were very happy with this initiative: “Using the Lenten offerings is a great idea. Protecting life is a need of our age. As Christians, we know that life is a gift from God and we must safeguard it always, without exceptions. ”
Tissa Karaliyadda, Minister for Child Development and Women’s Affairs decided to legalize abortion “only” for minors who are victims of rape, for conceptions the result of incest, for fetuses with physical deformities.
“The Catholic Church – the Archbishop told AsiaNews – is categorical: human life must be respected and protected absolutely from its conception to its natural end. From the first moment of his or her existence, the fetus is a human being and as such has the inviolable right to life. With its proposal, the government is attempting to legalize murder. ”
Fr. Jude Raaj, Director of Seth Sarana, explains: “Our mission is to sensitize the people on the value of being human. For this, we are conducting seminars for teachers and formators on issues of abortion, how to protect life and how to save life “.
Although abortion is illegal in the country in recent years, the Sri Lanka Family Health Bureau (a body set up by the Ministry of Health, ed) recorded an increase of cases: in 2008 there were about 700 cases a day, for a total of 250 thousand; in 2011 the number rose to a thousand, for a total of 300 thousand abortions a year. The same figures from the Ministry of Health even speak of 500 abortions a day in Colombo, the capital of the state. The total population of the island is about 20 million.
According to NGO activists and members of secular and religious, these official figures have been inflated on purpose to support the government bill.