Statement from Nigerian pro-life conference bemoans the "encroaching of the Culture of Death"
Editor’s Note: The following is a statement from Nigerian Bishop Emmanuel Badejo and pro-life advocate Obianuju Ekeocha following last week’s pro-life conference held in Nigeria.
In response to the encroaching Culture of Death, the increasing violation of the sanctity of human life around the world, and in line with Pope Francis’ call for the need to sustain and support marriage and family life, the Catholic Bishops, priests, religious and laity of the Ibadan Ecclesiastical Province in Nigeria, convened an International Pro-Life and Pro-Family conference from April 13 – 15 with the theme “Protecting Human Life and Family Values in the Rising Tide of the Culture of Death.”
This conference brought together about 1500 participants from every corner of the Ibadan province who benefited greatly from the wide array of topics pertaining to the issues of sanctity of human life and the defense of marriage and family, presented by reputable pro-life and pro-family speakers, leaders, advocates, activists and researchers from Europe, America and Africa.
Based on these discussions and presentations at the Conference,
We hereby declare that:
i. Every human being is created in the image and likeness of God. Life is God’s gift and this life begins at conception. Thus, every nation, every Institution, every man and woman must respect, protect and uphold the dignity of every human life from the moment of conception until its natural end.
ii. Sacramental marriage is instituted by God as an indissoluble union between one man and one woman, open to life and love. Thus, other forms of unions such as homosexual unions, polygamous unions, and adulterous unions are inimical to the mind of the creator. They undermine the integrity of the human being, the family and as such should never be promoted or supported in our society.
iii. The family is the cradle where life is nurtured and protected. Thus, every family, with marriage at its core, must create a conducive environment where the inestimable value of life is emphasized and upheld.
iv. Chastity and fidelity are core virtues that are indeed at the root of every culture oflLife and civilization of love. Therefore they should be promoted in our society as a core aspect of pro-life and pro-family activism.
v. Professional, men and women especially in the fields of medicine, sciences, law, politics, academia and media are obliged to use their experiences and expertise to promote and protect the sanctity of life, the dignity of human sexuality, the blessings of motherhood and the beauty of family-togetherness in our society.
• The encroachment of the Culture of Death in many African countries.
• The radical promotion of Abortion and contraception by various international organizations through international platforms and humanitarian aid.
• The hyper-sexualization of our youth through morally objectionable campaigns by these organizations.
• The intentional disregard for our cultural identity and values especially on issues relating to the sanctity of life and the dignity of human sexuality.
• The persistent and pernicious attempts to impose population control on Africa by wealthy philanthropists, donor nations and international organizations.
• Tthe lack of emphasis on the importance of faith and family in human development, public education and in the social order.
Pope Saint John Paul II clearly pointed out that "Society as a whole must respect, defend and promote the dignity of every human person, at every moment and in every condition of that person’s life.
To be truly a people at the service of life we must propose these truths constantly and courageously".[Evangelium Vitae 81-82]
On this note and strengthened by this message, we therefore invite every member of our human society to the noble service of constantly and courageously defending the sanctity of human life, marriage and family. With the hope that in so doing, we would stop the encroachment of the Culture of Death even as we have, through our conference, sown the seeds of an authentic Culture of Life for today and for the generations to come.
Most Reverend Emmanuel Badejo
Bishop of Oyo
Chairman, Communications Department
Ibadan Ecclesiastical Province Bishops Conference
Ms Obianuju Ekeocha
Pro-Life Advocate & Biomedical Scientist