Manaugua, Nicaragua -- 2001 -- Archbishop Renato Martino, Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations, was in Managua, Nicaragua on March 25 to commemorate the National Day of the Unborn Child. He gave an address to over 20,000 Nicaraguans, including civil and religious authorities. The text of his speech was published today in both Spanish and English.
Nicaragua is now only the second country in the world which has dedicated a day specifically to the life of the unborn child. The first country to do so was Argentina in 1999.
Archbishop Martino recalled that this celebration occurs on March 25, the feast of the Annunciation when Mary, receiving and welcoming the news that she would become the mother of Our Saviour "knew immediately that her life would now be different, and she accepted the awesome responsibility, the challenge and the joy of becoming a mother."
He said this National Day of the Unborn Child "gives the world tremendous hope," because "it reminds us that religious values are not limited to personal morality and religion. The founding principle of society is the dignity and worth of every individual. ... There is (also) a popular misconception that the development of public policy is a purely secular or political endeavor, or merely technological in scope. ... However, there are important moral and religious dimensions to each of the problems facing the human community."
Referring specifically to abortion, the apostolic nuncio affirmed that "abortion violates two central tenets of the Christian moral view. It is the direct attack on innocent life. It is also a failure to observe the command that we love the least among us."
The state, he added, has a responsibility not only "to protect innocent life from attack," but to "enhance human life at every stage." He stated that there are 45 million abortions yearly in the world, of which 1.2 million take place in the United States.
Archbishop Martino remarked that, as Holy See observer to the U.N. for 15 years, he has "seen first-hand how pro-abortion groups attempt to impose their death-dealing agenda on the Family of Nations. Make no mistake about it, there are powerful groups throughout the world lobbying to make abortion a human right, to destroy the cherished institution of the family, to dissolve the rights, duties and responsibilities of parents, and to portray motherhood as an outdated and oppressive vocation as well as pregnancy as a disturbing sickness."
He encouraged all those present in their pro-life, pro-family work and pointed out that "Nicaragua has consistently and gallantly supported the Holy See in this stand, as have Argentina, Honduras and Guatemala."
Source: EWTN; March 31, 2001