Brazilian churches are ringing in their opposition to the killing of unborn babies in light of the country’s talks about decriminalizing abortion.
On Aug. 2, churches all across Brazil were called to ring their bells at 3 p.m. to sound a warning regarding the possibility of abortion being decriminalized, according to Angelus News.
At the foot of the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Catholic Cardinal Orani Tempesta explained the reason for the united event.
“We want to call to the attention of all of society the importance of life,” Tempesta said. “Just as this fog is over Rio de Janeiro, today, we know that a threat always exists: the ‘culture of death’ which covers our country and all of humanity.”
Tempesta continued with his speech, exhorting churches across Brazil to ring in their defense of life from conception to natural death.
“From the height of the Corcovado, at the feet of the Redeemer, together, we want to draw the attention of the entire society to the importance of life,” he said. “We want the bells that ring not only in Rio, but throughout Brazil, to draw attention to this important moment in our history, with the aim of guaranteeing the inviolability of the right to life.”
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Brazil’s high court considered decriminalizing abortion after hearings on Aug. 3 and 6. Representatives of the Brazilian Catholic bishops’ conference spoke against abortion. Currently, abortion is legal in Brazil in cases of rape, incest and risks to the mother’s life; the country’s high court also ruled in 2012 that unborn babies with certain types of fatal anomalies may be aborted.
Prior to the hearings, several Brazilian bishops spoke out against the judicial activism that the courts have employed ever since pro-abortion legislation failed to pass in the legislature.
“At no time did the National Congress fail to address the issue and they never allowed, as legitimate representatives of the entire nation, the normalization of this abominable practice of killing children in their mothers’ womb,” they said in a joint statement.
According to Crux, Bishop Ricardo Hoerpes of Rio Grande spoke in defense of life recently, in light of the current court case.
“The right to life is the most fundamental of rights and, therefore, more than any other, must be protected. It is a right intrinsic to the human condition and not a concession of the state. The powers of the republic have an obligation to guarantee and defend it,” he said.
Late last year, Brazil voted to ban all abortions in an 18-1 vote. The legislation would amend the constitution and recognize unborn babies’ right to life.