By Carmen Elena Villa
ROME, NOV. 21, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Efforts to substitute and alter fundamental values such as respect for life from conception until natural death are intensifying in Latin America, laments a pro-life expert.
Argentine Father Juan C. Sanahuja, founder and director of the news service Noticias Globales, told ZENIT that he believes the anti-life mentality found on there can be traced back to the 1974 Kissinger Report.
The report, he said, introduces "a more subtle, and therefore more effective way to form the anti-life mentality in people" by speaking "of the rights of sexual and reproductive health."
The author of "El Desarrollo Sustentable. La Nueva Ética Internacional" (Sustainable Growth: The New International Ethics), and member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said other factors include "the change in cultural patterns of the Third World countries," and the influence of anti-life politicians.
Although proponents of abortion are having success, Father Sanahuja said it's "slower in Latin America because the Catholic Church is very weighty and because many Christian Churches also spread the pro-life mentality. Together with catecheses, Christian conferences have been able to defend family values."
"We have the great force of truth," added. "These cultural changes are based on an accumulation of lies and manipulations."
Father Sanahuja said he sees the greatest pressure to promote the legalization of abortion in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.
He said both President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil and President Cristina Kirchner of Argentina are "determined to legislate in favor of abortion." In Mexico, the priest noted, it's different. While Mexico City, a self-governing city-state, legalized abortion through the first trimester, President Felipe Calderon is not for the liberalization of abortion laws.
The priest said he believes that what's behind the promotion of an anti-life culture is "gender ideology." He explained this to be that "which states that the biological sex one is born with doesn't matter. Sexuality is constructed in the course of life and each one does what he wishes with his life and body."
He noted that the 5th General Conference of the Latin American Episcopate, held last year in Aparecida, Brazil, clarified that this ideology has "gravely wound the dignity of marriage, respect for the right to life and the identity of the family."
Christianity, the priest added, "has served as a wall of containment" against these ideologies.
"However," he added, "we must be conscious of the fact that this is not about a religious question alone. Do not kill, the right to educate one's children, homosexuality as an anti-natural attitude, are three questions that belong to the natural law God inscribed in man's heart.
"This should be evident in all people, whether or not they are believers. The Church proclaims the natural law, but we must keep in mind that we are defending natural values, not religious ones."
[Adapted by Karna Swanson]