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“Both believers and non-believers are called to protect life from its conception to natural death. There can be no place for killing other people, especially disabled and sick children! This is not only a matter of worldview or religion but above all of science which unambiguously shows that human life begins at the moment of conception.” We read this in the Message of the Presidency of the Polish Bishops’ Conference—entitled “Love; Do Not Kill!”—for this year’s Feast of the Holy Family, on Sunday, December 31st.

The Bishops recall the need to protect human life at all stages of its existence. “The bill ‘Stop Abortion’ is waiting in the Sejm (Polish Parliament). It provides for the abolition of the possibility of eugenic abortion. The Polish Bishops back this civic initiative as a step towards the full protection of life, and they appeal to all people of good will to express their support. We also appeal to the consciences of all the deputies and senators, with the awareness that it is up to them to decide whether this law will be adopted,” write the Bishops.

The Presidency of the Polish Bishops’ Conference mentions immoral practices employed in Poland. “Recently, shocking information about the abortion of a child at 24 weeks of age reached the public. The child survived this abortion. However, instead of being cared for, it was left to itself to die; and that is what happened. There are more such inhuman practices in Poland. They must be decisively restrained! Do not hesitate to speak on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves yet!”

The Bishops quoted the words spoken by Saint John Paul II in 1999 in Łowicz: “I turn to all fathers and mothers of my homeland and of the whole world, to all people without exception: every person conceived in a mother’s womb has the right to 

The Bishops conclude with this appeal: “Remember that it is always possible to give the child up for adoption rather than aborting.”

Press Office of the Polish Bishops’ Conference

We are publishing the entire text

The Message of the Presidency of the Polish Bishops’ Conference
for the Sunday of the Holy Family: “Love; Do Not Kill!”

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

In readings for today’s Feast of the Holy Family of Saint Paul the Apostle enumerates many virtues but emphasizes that the most important thing is to realize them with love, “which is the bond of perfection.” Today, we want this principle to resound with all the power and to be applied to everyone: healthy and disabled children, the elderly, and the sick. There must always be a place for all of them in our families.

Every child needs love. Although the conceived child develops in the mother’s womb, it is not the parents’ property but entrusted to their care by God. Disability and illness are always a mystery with which our mind and our faith struggle. Man, however, has no right to decide about the end of life at any stage, because God alone is the Lord of life and death!

We are all called to love and receive the weakest, not to kill them. Both believers and non-believers are called to protect life from its conception to natural death. There can be no place for killing other people, especially disabled and sick children!

This is not only a matter of worldview or religion but above all of science which unambiguously shows that human life begins at the moment of conception.

Recently, shocking information about the abortion of a child at 24 weeks of age reached the public. The child survived this abortion. However, instead of being cared for, it was left to itself to die; and that is what happened. There are more such inhuman practices in Poland. They must be decisively restrained! Do not hesitate to speak on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves yet!

Today’s dramatic paradox lies in the fact that many children who now are under their mother’s heart will not be born. With the sanction of Polish law, they are killed before birth. At present, this is permitted by the provision of the Act which makes it possible to take the life of conceived children in three cases. One of these is the suspicion of an incurable illness or disability. This is an abortion for eugenic reasons. According to data from the Ministry of Health, 95 percent of abortions are performed for this reason. This concerns mainly children with Down Syndrome. If we allow them to be born, they will live among us, grow and give us their love and trust. Despite their disability, they can be valuable members of the community, although they usually need help. The law based on eugenic premises that allows killing these people is deeply immoral!

The bill “Stop Abortion” is waiting in the Sejm (Polish Parliament). It provides for the abolition of the possibility of eugenic abortion. The Polish Bishops back this civic initiative as a step towards the full protection of life, and they appeal to all people of good will to express their support. We also appeal to the consciences of all the deputies and senators, with the awareness that it is up to them to decide whether this law will be adopted. We appeal to them all the more because we know that most of them openly confess the faith and their faithfulness to the Christian values. We are convinced that the parliamentarians will put moral values above party calculations!

All know how attached the Poles are to the person of Saint John Paul II. For the vast majority of us, he is the authority. The issue of the defense of life was one of the most important themes of the pontificate of the Polish Pope. In 1999, in Łowicz, he said: “I turn to all fathers and mothers of my homeland and of the whole world, to all people without exception: every person conceived in a mother’s womb has the right to life!” Let us, therefore, give testimony of our fidelity to the teachings of our holy compatriot and ask that all conceived children be given the right to live! Remember that it is always possible to give the child up for adoption rather than aborting.

Wishing all families that the Year of the Lord 2018 may be an occasion for us to show our love for the sick and disabled children, we wholeheartedly bless all of you.

+ Stanisław Gądecki
Metropolitan Archbishop of Poznan
President of the Polish Episcopal Conference

+ Marek Jędraszewski
Metropolitan Archbishop of Cracow
Vice-president of the Polish Bishops’ Conference

+ Artur G. Miziński
General secretary of the Polsh Bishops’ Conference

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