12/04/2017, 16.19
INDIA
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Symposium on life: supporting families, the sick, abandoned children

by Nirmala Carvalho

The Syro-Malabar Church held a three-day conference. The work for life reaches the remotest rural villages. For Fr Shenan Boquet, the Indian Church is "an example for everyone". It is necessary to “enter into conversations” on life to defeat the culture of death.

Panvel (AsiaNews) – The pro-life movement held a three-day seminar (30 November-2 December) in the diocese of Kaylan. The Eva*-Global Symposium focused on the protection of life

"We must invest in human beings by promoting and defending their dignity. It is imperative to protect life and the family through education, closeness, awareness and service," said Fr Shenan Boquet, president of Human Life International.

In the diocese of Kaylan, the pro-life movement is led by Fr Paul Kunduparambil. In addition to members of the India-based Syro-Malabar Church, people from all over the world took part in the conference, including the United States, like Fr Boquet himself and Human Life International’s director Brain Cowles.

During the symposium, the meetings and cultural activities followed morning prayers and Mass. At its conclusion, Mgr Mar Thomas Elavanal thanked all those made it a success. He explained that its goal was to "promote the culture of life" towards which every "person living in this world has a responsibility".

“It is a great joy to see so many people in India support and love life,” Fr Boquet told AsiaNews. “All across India, I can see that you are living the Gospel of life,” he told participants.

The local Church has centres "supporting life in all its forms", even in the smallest villages and remotest rural areas. Some help abandoned children, the sick and elderly people; others rescue unwed women from human trafficking. Others provide marriage counselling, family assistance, or focus on biomedical ethics.

People of all ages are involved in “the service of life without discrimination of caste or creed, open to serve every person.” In fact, “The Church in India is actively involved in defending life at all its stages, with love and acts of care, working for the cause of life. This is an example for everyone."

There are however challenges. Resources are a big one, not to mention the lack of will by political leaders to back the cause.

“Maldistribution of resources, [and] lack of clean waters, sanitation, electricity [. . .] are all stifling the needs of families,” Fr Boquet went on to say.

“We [have to] look at the total spectrum of human life” to address “all aspects that support human life.” Given the fact that some families live without medical care, water and hygiene, “A real culture of life must [be designed to] raise the standards of life.”

For him, “An aggression against the family is an assault of human life.” Thus, when resources are not distributed properly, violence is done.

What is more, “It is urgent to include various disciplines – medicine, sciences, public policy – to defend life and the dignity of the human person.”

“Truth transcends political situations.  We have to inform and reform minds. The latter are like students, to be taught, guided and given the right knowledge.

For the priest it is necessary "to enter into conversations, in India and elsewhere" to defeat "the culture of death".

"However, I am very encouraged, filled with great joy by the Church’s daily acts of kindness and love, defending and promoting the dignity of the human person and building a culture of life.”

* Eva: Mother of the living.

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