Archbishop speaks on the importance of protecting children
The Roman Catholic Church did not only make it clear how they felt about abortion but also the need to provide basic and other needs for children. The Archbishop did not only want to provide education for the children but also spoke of recreational resources and emotional support.
PUBLISHED TUESDAY, MAY 21, 1974
RC Church restates stand on abortion
THE unequivocal stand of the Roman Catholic Church in Jamaica against any liberalisation of the abortion law of Jamaica was declared to more than 1,000 people attending the Second Synod of the Roman Catholic Church at its opening on Sunday last in the Holy Trinity Cathedral by His Grace the Most Rev. Samuel E. Carter, S.J., C.D., Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kingston in his homiletic.
“There is a strong move afoot to legalise abortion. Many of our people, including not a few doctors, see this as an inevitable development and the sole solution, almost a panacea, to our population and economic problems. Their voices are strong and influential. The result could very well be “abortion on demand” even though in theory, this is denied.
"Our church in the Archdiocese of Kingston will in no way tolerate abortion as a means of family limitation or population control as an instrument of attaining the good life or uplifting the quality of life.
"The message of the Gospel, which deals with life, has urged religious leaders, Bishop Clarke and myself included, to exert a concerted effort in order to prevent an avalanche of abortion on demand.’ Not as a Catholic not as a Christian, but in the name of humanity, in the name of dignity of the human person – for abortion involves the life of a human person – I appeal that our country be spared from 'abortion on demand, the scourge and affliction of the so-called modern advanced society'.”
Continuing, the Archbishop said:-
“Sometimes the very amount of discussion which takes place on a subject can make an issue seem doubtful when there really is no doubt at all.
“The time has come for the Catholic to air on the subject so that can have the slightest to where the Catholic stands on this question.
“The teaching of the Catholic Church about abortion has not changed at all. The right of the innocent human being to live is the most basic of all his rights. It is a gift of God given to one not even his mother has the right to take away.
“Despite all the talk that has gone on concerning the subject, there is no provable need for liberalinsg the present Jamaican Law.”
In addition to stating the stand of the Church on the question of abortion, the Archbishop also devoted considerable time to other topics of importance to the social and economic life of the country.
The Archbishop spoke strongly on the subject of “the little children in our society.”
“This area of our consideration is vast. To get children off the streets is one thing. The problem is to provide sufficient schools, as well as other services like day nurseries, neighbourhood playing fields, cultural centres and clinics, which would help the future citizens of our country to grow in body, mind, and spirit.
“It really might not make sense to our condemnations were we to champion the cause of the defenceless and unborn and stop there. As Catholics, we must, at the same time, fight relentlessly for the equally defenceless children.”
On a “cognate aspect” of the defenceless, Archbishop Carter said:-
“While I am on the issue of national endeavours, it should be quite evident to all of us that one of these endeavours ought to be updating and concern for institutions like Bellevue in order to help out unfortunate brothers and sisters for whom life is an overwhelming burden with which they cannot possibly cope.
“How do we take the Good News to them? Again, should not we, the Church, press for some definite improvement in this area on the part of the Government? Remember the demoniac of the Gerasenes who, after his cure, sat at the feet of Jesus to drink in the Good News. So, too, should the condition of these deranged brothers and sisters of ours cause us to feel terribly uneasy, to seek ways and means to encourage a national attitude of compassion and care.
“Without this very national attitude, it is inconceivable how we as the Church can evangelise; can take the Good News of man’s participation in the life of God to disturbed people who walk the streets, sometimes naked, other times clothed in rags, rummaging through trash cans to find food.”
Archbishop Carter also spoke on “family life in Jamaica” and of the steadily increasing trend towards “rampant, crippling materialism, which dulls one’s mind to things spiritual.”
“Materialism prohibits one from viewing with a very clear vision the equality of life. Is it not enslavement to materialism coming short of idolatry, which motivates many of our people to engage in activities illegal and/or immoral without any regard for other people or, for that matter, our island country?”
Prior to the concelebrated mass in the Cathedral, pastors and delegates from the varied ecclesiastical parishes in the Archdiocese, both urban and rural, gathered in McAulay Hall, Alpha, where reports were read from the parishes on activities there since the procuring synod.
Afterwards, led by the Alpha Band, the pastors and delegates, with the Archbishop bringing up the rear, marched in procession down South Camp Road and along North Street to enter the main gate of the Cathedral.
The pastors and altar boys occupied places in the beautifully decorated sanctuary; the delegates numbered more than 120 occupied the front pews, and religious and laity, the remainder of the Cathedral which was nearly full.
The Archbishop, who was seated on his throne with Rev. Fr. Charles Judah. S.J., and Rev. Fr. Stanley occupying chairs on his right and left, respectively, celebrated mass, the other concelebrant priests, of various orders as well as diocesan clergy, to the number of nearly 40, being associated with him in the Liturgy.
The First Lesson was read by Mr Barrington Robinson: the Second by Miss Arlene Smith; and the third by by Deacon Leslie.
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