Culture of Death Making Inroads in Mexico

Veracruz Bishops Issue a Somber Lenten Message

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VERACRUZ, Mexico, MAR. 13, 2001 ( Mexico is facing the advance of the «culture of death,» reflected in violence, guerrilla activity, corruption and constant attacks on the sacred value of human life, say bishops in the state of Veracruz.

In a joint Lenten message, the nine bishops of the dioceses of Veracruz exhort the Catholic faithful, authorities and society in general to join efforts and work for the culture of life.

In the message, being read in the parishes of Veracruz, situated in the east of the country, and with a population of almost 7 million, the bishops paint a stark view of the cultural situation.

«This reality is characterized by everything that is opposed to life,» the message says, «such as murders, abortion, euthanasia, suicide; as well as that which violates a person´s integrity, including kidnappings; rapes; street, home and office assaults; physical and mental torture; kidnapping of children; alcoholism; drug addiction and drug trafficking; guerrillas and terrorism.»

«All this — added to misery and extreme poverty, impunity, corruption, arbitrary imprisonment, prostitution of women and children; massive imposition of sterilization of women in various sectors; and massive distribution of contraceptives, as well as subhuman work, living, health and social security standards — profoundly offend human dignity,» the bishops stress.

The bishops manage to see cause for optimism, nevertheless.

«We are certain,» they write, «that, despite difficulties and uncertainties, with the light of reason and even more so with the help of faith, every man sincerely open to truth and goodness can succeed in discovering in the natural law inscribed in his heart, the sacred value of human life from its conception to its natural end, and affirm the right of each human being to see this primary good totally respected.»

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