Conscience Has Rights, With or Without Law

Catholic Lawyers Have 1st Conference

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MADRID, Spain, SEPT. 21, 2009 ( There is a right to conscientious objection, even if there is no specific law to protect this right, according to a speaker at the first conference of Catholic lawyers held in Spain.

The first edition of the Congress of Catholic Lawyers, held Friday and Saturday, aimed to bring together professionals to share their concerns and create forums of debate that foster discussion. The conference was co-sponsored by Madrid’s St. Paul University
Organizers highlighted among the conclusions of the meeting: the rejection of the secular vision of today’s world, which attempts to relegate religion to the individual realm; implications in the concepts of the human being; the value of a metaphysical anthropology; and the importance of the value of the family, marriage, paternity and maternity.

Rafael Navarro Valls, professor of ecclesiastical law and an academic of the Royal Academy of Jurisprudence and Legislation, spoke Saturday on the right of conscientious objection, given the debate taking place in Spain. He rebutted the idea held by some Supreme Court justices that conscientious objection is only effective if there is a law expressly recognizing it.
He also addressed other issues, such as the new law on abortion being prepared by the government. He said the law is unconstitutional and presents abortion as an «imposition of a will.»

Navarro Valls challenged the Spanish government to truly defend the will of pregnant women, offering, besides abortion, a series of loans to support them during pregnancy.

With these aids, the lawyer contended, which could be channeled through social security, «the lawmaker would demonstrate that his intention is not to massacre thousands of fetuses, but to really comply with the mother’s will.»

Another contributor at the conference, Jesús Trillo-Figueroa, lamented that the concept of law is being substituted by the idea «what matters is what pleases me.»

On this, he said, «is built the aberration of saying that one has a right to a child. Can a child be the object of right?»
In this connection, he mentioned not only the most recent law on abortion and others such as the one that regulates homosexual «marriage,» but other legislation defined in recent years by the constitutional court.

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