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Nigerian bishops denounce population control, declare ‘pastoral emergency’ in diocese

Catholic World News - March 05, 2013

At the conclusion of their recent meeting in Abuja, Nigeria’s bishops denounced threats to human life.

“The right to life is the first of all fundamental human rights,” the bishops stated. Every threat to life is a violation of human dignity. In this regard, we must not fail to emphasize that the primary responsibility of government is the protection of life and property. We denounce the fact that Nigeria remains a place where some people wantonly kill in the name of religion, a land where the right to worship is restricted only to certain people.”

“Respect for human dignity includes respect for the human body,” the bishops added. “It precludes unwholesome sexual relationship outside the plan of the Creator. It also calls for responsible parenthood. We therefore condemn the sad novelty of our government spending public funds on an artificial family planning program that sacrifices morality on the altar of techniques of population control.”

The bishops also discussed the Year of Faith, denounced corruption, and declared a “pastoral emergency” in the Diocese of Maiduguri, which has suffered gravely from attacks by the Islamist terrorist movement Boko Haram.

“We as a Conference hereby declare Maiduguri diocese a ‘Pastoral Emergency Area,’” the bishops stated. “In effect, we have, as a Conference, initiated plans and strategies to more directly support and sustain pastoral life in the Diocese of Maiduguri without neglecting to help other affected areas. We call on all our faithful and other men and women of goodwill to make a special commitment to this task through prayers, visits, technical assistance and funds.”

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