Father Paul Thelekkat of the Syro-Malabar church said the initiative “is not to raise numbers only,” adding that it is “a comprehensive move to uphold family values and cherish the Catholic way of life.”
“It is all the more important now as the anti-life campaign is getting stronger globally,” said the priest.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, meanwhile, urged the faithful to mark the 50th anniversary of India’s “Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act” on Aug. 10 as a “day of mourning,” said a report from Radio Veritas Asia.
In a letter to the faithful, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, president of the bishops’ conference, noted that “millions of abortions have taken place in the country” after the passage of the law, and “there is no sign of slowing down of this anti-life trend.”
The “Day of Mourning” aims to express the Church’s “sorrow at the killing of unwanted babies” and to promote a “pro-life” mentality in Indian society.
(Story continues below)
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The campaign for “prayer and reparation for the decades of innocent bloodshed” includes the ringing of church bells; presentation of pro-life programs on Catholic media channels, and the observance of “mercy hour” in parishes, religious houses, seminaries, and Catholic institutions.
Cardinal Oswald reminded the faithful that the Church is in the forefront of promoting a pro-life culture throughout the world.
Since the passage of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act in 1971, abortion has been legally available in India under a broad range of criteria, including to save a woman’s life, to protect her physical and mental health, in cases of economic and social necessity, and if contraception has failed between married couples.