‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you came to birth I consecrated you..’ Jeremiah 1:4-5
Life begins at conception and ends with natural death. Any attempt to deny this truth is wrong and misleading.
The Catholic Church has stated again and again that human life begins from the moment of conception and ends with natural death. The servant of God Pope John Paul II taught that: “Even in the midst of difficulties and uncertainties, every person sincerely open to truth and goodness can, by light of reason and the hidden action of grace, come to recognize in the natural law written in the heart the sacred value of human life from its very beginning until its end, and can affirm the right of every human being to have this primary good respected to the highest degree” (The Gospel of Life, no.2).
It follows therefore that the recognition of the right to life is the foundation in which every human community and the political community is based on. Based on this foundational principle, the Catholic Bishops in Kenya presented to the Committee of Experts on the Constitutional Review the following immutable statement in regard to Article 35 – Right to Life of the draft Constitution:
The Catholic Church upholds the fundamental principle of the Sanctity of life. We believe life is sacred and God-given and therefore propose the following legislation on this basis:-
1. Every person has a right to life
2. Life starts from the moment of conception and ends with natural death
3. There shall be no abortion
4. There shall be no capital punishment
5. There shall be no euthanasia
It comes therefore as a surprise that at this very moment when the people of Kenya are looking forward to a new Constitution, those entrusted with the task are removing the only one basic pillar and the corner stone that the entire structure of the constitution hangs on – the inviolable sanctity of human life that begins at the moment of conception.
To insert in the constitution a clause that shifts the moment of life from conception to the time of birth defeats reason and without doubt is to open the way to legalized abortion.
The acceptance of abortion - an unspeakable crime - in the popular mind, in behavior and even in law itself, is a telling sign of an extremely dangerous crisis of the moral sense, which is becoming more and more incapable of distinguishing between good and evil, even when the fundamental right to life is at a stake. Procured abortion is the deliberate and direct killing, by whatever means carried out, of a human being in the initial phase of his or her existence, extending from conception to birth. When it comes to abortion we are dealing with murder. The one eliminated is a human being from the very beginning of life.
Consequently, a constitution that does not protect life in all its phases is irremediably faulty and ceases to demand any recognition. Conscious of our divine mandate to promote the culture of life and to stand for inviolable right of every person to life from the moment of conception to natural death, we strongly feel that we cannot be party to any legislation that supports a culture of death.
We therefore call upon our members of Parliament and all concerned to correct the anomaly and recognize, in the Constitution, that life begins at the moment of conception.
Signed by the Mandate of
His Eminence John Cardinal Njue
Archbishop of Nairobi & Apostolic Administrator of Ngong
Chairman, Kenya Episcopal Conference
Rt. Rev. Philip Sulumeti
Bishop of Kakamega/
Vice Chairman, Kenya Episcopal Conference
1. Most Rev. Zacchaeus Okoth (Kisumu)
2. Most Rev. Boniface Lele (Mombasa)
3. Most Rev. Peter Kairo (Nyeri)
4. Rt. Rev. Paul Darmanin (Garissa)
5. Rt. Rev. Cornelius K. Arap Korir (Eldoret)
6. Rt. Rev. Joseph Mairura Okemwa (Kisii)
7. Rt. Rev. Philip Anyolo (Homa Bay); (Apostolic Administrator (Nakuru))
8. Rt. Rev. Alfred Rotich (.Military Ordinariate)
9. Rt. Rev. Maurice Crowley (Kitale)
10. Rt. Rev. Norman Wambua King’oo (Bungoma)
11. Rt. Rev. Peter Kihara, IMC (Marsabit)
12. Rt. Rev. David Kamau Ng’ang’a- Aux. Bishop (Nairobi)
13. Rt. Rev. Anthony Ireri Mukobo, IMC (Isiolo Vicariate)
14. Rt. Rev. Patrick Harrington (Lodwar)
15. Rt. Rev. Virgilio Pante . (Maralal)
16. Rt. Rev. Salesius Mugambi (Meru)
17. Rt. Rev. Luigi Paiaro (Nyahururu)
18. Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Okombo (Kericho)
19. Rt. Rev. Martin Kivuva Musonde (Machakos)
20. Rt. Rev. Anthony Muheria (Kitui)
21. Rt. Rev. James Wainaina (Muranga)
22. Rt. Rev. Paul Kariuki (Embu)
23. Rt. Rev. Maurice Muhatia – Bishop Elect (Nakuru)
Thursday, January 21, 2010
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