Argentine Bishops Held Pro-Life Mass as President Has Plans to Legalize Baby Killing
Thousands of Argentines attended a pro-life Mass on March 8, 2020 at the Basilica of Our Lady of Lujan.
This came at a time when the country is considering the legalization of abortion.
The Mas Vida Foundation estimated that the attendance at this mass was more than 100,000 people.
Catholic News Agency reported that the Argentine bishops’ conference organized the Mass with the overarching theme of “Yes to women, yes to life.” The main organizer is Bishop Oscar Vicente Ojea Quintana of San Isidro, who is the president of the conference.
The event was organized in opposition to a bill to legalize abortion that President Alberto Fernandez sent to the Congress earlier in the month.
According to Argentine law, abortion is allowed only in cases when the mother’s life or health is in danger, or in cases of rape.
Bishop Ojea said in his homily that “in this Eucharist we have come to celebrate and express our gratitude for the lives of so many women united in the sentiment of so many people in the world on this international women’s day.”
“We value your irreplaceable presence in families and we celebrate the increasingly greater place you have in our society,” the prelate stated. He added that all have come to Luján to “pray for all women so their lives, their safety and their rights are respected, overcoming every kind of exclusion.”
“But in a special way, we want to celebrate and appreciate women’s closeness and commitment to life,” he said, and especially those “intelligent and brave women who commit their lives day after day, that life that sometimes makes it presence known with an unplanned pregnancy, which perhaps doesn’t come at the best time, but they are completely committed to care for this new being they have received.”
The bishop put emphasis on how “there are millions of Argentine men and women, believers and non-believers” who “have the profound conviction that there is life from conception and that a different person than the mother is developing in her womb.” Additionally, he highlighted that “it is unfair and distressing to call them anti-rights or hypocrites.”
“In reality, we value and defend the rights of each and every life, of every woman and every unborn child,” the president of the bishops’ conference commented.
He underscored that “It’s not right to eliminate any human life, as our National Constitution affirms,” and that “violence and death are the exact opposite of Jesus’ plan.”
“Life is the first right and without it no others can be given. We claim it for everyone at any age or in any situation that life finds itself in, and especially those who are weak, unprotected and defenseless,” he stated.
Furthermore, Bishop Ojea said that the members of the Church “wholeheartedly deplore the cruelty of femicide and every kind of violence and discrimination against women” such as “abuse in all its forms whether sexual, psychological or the abuse of power, whatever the environment where it occurs, the family, work, school, the street, and painfully we must also say in the Church.”
“Let us renew at this Eucharist our commitment to banish from us a culture that can foster cover up and any kind of complicit silence in face of this crime,” the bishop stated.
The bishop also asked that people be civil when debating public policy and speak against silencing or stigmatizing people which only polarizes Argentine society.
The bishop asked that the clergy support “the implementation of sex education that is truly integral” and “policies that recognize the equal dignity of men and women in society.”
Bishop Ojea voiced support for public policies to assist pregnant women, especially those finding themselves in precarious situations and noted that “we’re already doing it in a lot of our communities.”
A bill legalizing abortion through the first 14 weeks of gestation passed the Chamber of Deputies in 2018 by a slim margin, but the Senate ended up rejecting it.