WASHINGTON, D.C., NOV. 19, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The decline in respect for human life has had “catastrophic effects” on the unity and integrity of the United States, which are evidenced by the presidential election, says a Vatican official.
Baltimore-native Cardinal James Stafford, major penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary, affirmed this in a lecture on “Humanae Vitae” last Thursday at the Catholic University of America. His lecture, “Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II: Being True in Body and Soul,” pointed out the need for Catholics to return to the true values of marriage and human dignity faced to the current challenges.
“Because man is a sacred element of secular life,” the cardinal said, “[…] a person’s life cannot ultimately be controlled by government.”
“On Nov. 4, 2008, America suffered a cultural earthquake,” continued the cardinal. He pointed out that president-elect Barack Obama campaigned on an “extremist anti-life platform,” and described his agenda as “aggressive, disruptive and apocalyptic.”
Now Catholics will experience the Agony of the Garden through the next few years of Obama’s presidency, the cardinal said, and will have to endure the “hot, angry tears of betrayal.” He invited people to live this time “with Jesus, sick because of love.”
The lecture, hosted by the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, concluded by emphasizing authentic family values. The relationship between husband and wife is the truest reflection of the love between the believer and God, the cardinal affirmed. Contraception does not fit into the framework.
Cardinal Stafford served as the archbishop of Denver for 10 years before being called to Rome. He was the pastor of that archdiocese when Pope John Paul II went there for World Youth Day in 1993.