SOURCE: DICI (Documentation Information Catholiques Internationales)
Archbishop Buti Tlhagale, archbishop of Johannesburg and president of the South African Bishops’ Conference (SACBC), took up a firm position in a declaration published January 30, on the Bishops’ Conference website, in which he assesses the 15 years since abortion was legalized in South Africa.
Recalling in season and out of season the Catholic Church’s “clear and unambiguous” position on abortion, the Archbishop of Johannesburg maintained that “every child born is created by God. He has a right to life. A right that must be respected by the mother and protected by the State.” Another right, he added, that must be respected by the State and its officials is that of “conscientious objection”: “Those who believe that abortion is morally reprehensible have the right to refuse to participate in procedures destined to provoke it.”
In conclusion, the Archbishop brought up the case of a young girl pregnant out of wedlock: “Every one of us, parents, teachers, members of the Church, must understand what happens to a young girl when she realizes she is pregnant. She needs our love, our support, our understanding, and sometimes our forgiveness.” And he recalled that she is welcome to come to the church to meet with a priest and have God’s grace restored to her. (sources: apic/sacbc – DICI#250, Feb17, 2012)