Archbishop Christian Lépine
Catholics must not cease talking about God in promoting a culture of life because without God, the foundation for human dignity is eroded, warns Montreal Archbishop Christian Lépine.
"When somebody talks about God, nobody wants to listen anymore," said Lépine, a keynote speaker at the Catholic Organization for Life and Family's (COLF) annual seminar in Ottawa March 7-8.
That, however, should not stop disciples of Jesus Christ from speaking up even if notions of human dignity are eroded so much that "we come to a period of martyrs."
If every human being's subjective opinion becomes a basis for deciding when life begins or ends, chaos will result, he said.
Lépine pointed out the understanding of human rights has weakened over the past 50 to 60 years since the United Nation's 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
After its ratification it would have been unthinkable for anyone to say, "Because you believe in God, you can't speak," he said.
When the Catholic vision of God dissolves, so does the project of basing a society on the dignity of the human being because the only unshakeable foundation is God, he said. "We cannot proclaim life without proclaiming God."
The point of reference is written in our human heart, in our human reason, Lépine said. "God reminds us through the Old Testament and through Jesus 'thou shalt not kill' or willingly cause the death of another, especially that of an innocent person."
Each time society causes the death of someone by abortion or euthanasia, "you are not solving a problem you are creating a new problem," he said.
Directly or indirectly, "we are accomplices, we are tied into situations of abortion or euthanasia," he said. "This will ultimately touch us" and we will ask what did I do or not do and what could I have done.
The weakness of the family, of marriage, the suppression of life through abortion and growing push for euthanasia "shows we need God for the family and for life," Lépine said.
Materialism cannot fulfill the hopes of the human heart, he said. "We have to pass on the beauty of life, show the beauty of life as Catholics." We find this in our vocation to love.
As Catholics who believe in the Risen Christ, we have everything we need for a basis for human dignity and to live out our vocation to love, he said.