ABUJA, Nigeria -- The Catholic Bishops of Nigeria have called for the Church to be “more courageous and consistent in Pro-Life activities in favour of human life, marriage and the family as counter-cultural antidotes to anti-life ideologies and practices.”
The call came in a communiqué issued following an international pro-life march and conference organized by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria and held in Abuja from June 5-7.
“The relentless promotion by some international organizations of ‘sexual and reproductive rights’, a euphemism for abortion, is deceptive and unacceptable,” the communiqué asserts.
The bishops demand that “legislation for abortion, which is the intentional killing of innocent babies in the womb, be denounced and abrogated,” and promise that they “remain resolved in our efforts to ensure that abortion is never legalized in our country.”
The content of the communiqué echoes speeches made by bishops at the conference, which was attended by approximately 1,500 delegates and speakers from across Africa, Europe, and North America.
In a stirring speech, Archbishop Anthony Obinna of Owerri told the conference, “We have become aware of aggressive, ideological and practical assaults on human life, sexuality, marriage and the family.”
“By publicly repudiating the aberration of same-sex ‘marriage’ and prohibiting it in law, to the anger of several anti-life European/American governments and agencies, Nigeria, through its current President, Goodluck Jonathan, has placed itself in the position of a global defender of life and proper family values,” said the archbishop.
These points were emphasized by Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama, president of the Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, who told the conference, “We cannot be terrorized into doing anything to diminish life and the family. ... We don't want an abortion industry. We want industries which produce food, roads, transport systems and other practical things which people need.”
The threat posed by international governments and agencies was stressed in a speech John Smeaton, chief executive of the UK’s Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, delivered to the Nigerian Bishops Conference on the eve of the two day event.
Smeaton warned the bishops that “the most powerful politicians and pro-abortion organizations in the world are absolutely determined that Nigeria should follow Britain, America, and other powerful western nations by legalizing abortion and by destroying the moral welfare and happiness of your children.”
Smeaton told the bishops that compared to the West, Nigeria was a “wealthy nation.” In Britain, he told them, children are given access to abortion at school and are subjected to pornographic anti-life sex education. Many teachers were receiving training from Stonewall, a militant homosexual “rights” group. All these things, Smeaton stressed, were taking place in Catholic schools with the co-operation of the Catholic authorities.
The assembled bishops responded to his honest and forthright speech with a standing ovation.
Smeaton told LifeSiteNews, “Archbishop Kaigama, and his fellow Nigerian bishops, are at the centre of the global defence of life and moral values. Bishops around the world should follow their lead and speak out for strong policies against the subversion of the truth and meaning of human sexuality.”
The Nigerian bishops’ communiqué can be read here.
John Smeaton’s full speech can be found here.