ABUJA, Nigeria, September 20, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has unanimously and unequivocally expressed its support for the protection of life and human dignity, and denounced the attempts by Western countries to impose the culture of death on Nigeria.
"We have observed with keen interest the continuous attempts made by foreign agencies to introduce unwholesome values to our society in their campaign for abortion, supply of condoms and promotion of same-sex unions," the Nigerian bishops wrote in a communiqué titled "Our Faith Commitment in Action." The document was issued at the conclusion of their second plenary meeting for the year 2013.
"We hereby condemn such moves," they stated. "We appeal to the good people of Nigeria to also reject such moves, lest we stand to lose our faith, cultural identity and pride. We reiterate our commitment to the sanctity of human life from the very moment of its conception to the time of natural death."
"We reject vehemently the slightest attempt by anyone to promote the culture of death and call on such people to repent of their ways," the bishops declared.
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The CBCN praised the Nigerian government for standing firm against the push for normalization of homosexuality, saying, "We sincerely congratulate the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for her firm stand and outright rejection of the Bill on Same-Sex Union. Natural law and our faith tell us that same-sex union is truly unnatural, unwholesome, and contrary to the plan of God."
The Nigerian bishops said that the defense of human life and dignity also encompasses a rejection of capital punishment, because "the lives of condemned criminals remain sacred and demand deep compassion."
"The use of capital punishment as the easiest way to rid the society of dangerous criminals is improper," the bishops wrote, noting that "capital punishment does not offer criminals the opportunity for repentance in accord with the vision of God about man’s salvation."
The Catholic bishops of Nigeria have consistently spoken out against international agencies that are inundating Africa with condoms and contraceptives and are persistently lobbying African leaders to introduce and enact anti-life laws.
“The right to life is the first of all fundamental human rights,” the bishops stated in a document published at the end of this year's first Plenary Assembly held in February, under the theme of "Faith and Dignity of the Human Being."
The bishops pointed out that every threat to life is a violation of human dignity.
"In this regard, we must not fail to emphasize that the primary responsibility of government is the protection of life and property,” they said.
“Respect for human dignity includes respect for the human body,” the bishops added. “It precludes unwholesome sexual relationship outside the plan of the Creator. It also calls for responsible parenthood. We therefore condemn the sad novelty of our government spending public funds on an artificial family planning program that sacrifices morality on the altar of techniques of population control.”
"Protection and promotion of the dignity of every human person is integral to faith in God," the Catholic bishops of Nigeria concluded. "These constitute the only way in which we can build a better world, a better Nigeria."