ACI Digital, Aug 10, 2023 / 16:00 pm (CNA).
The bishops of Brazil encouraged the faithful to pray privately as well as at Masses this weekend to prevent the liberalization of abortion in Brazil.
“We strongly request that in the Masses of the second Sunday of the month of August [the 13th], which marks the beginning of National Family Week, prayers be offered for the lives of thousands of innocent little ones, imploring the non-approval of ADPF 442,” wrote Bishop Bruno Elizeu Versari of Campo Mourão in Paraná state, president of the Commission for Life and the Family of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB), in a letter to the dioceses of the country.
The letter is addressed to fellow bishops, leaders of Family Pastoral Ministry, and liturgy teams across Brazil.
“To further emphasize the relevance of this moment,” the bishops wrote, “we also ask that the Prayer for the Unborn Child be prayed before the final blessing.”
The so-called “Complaint for Non-compliance with a Fundamental Precept” (ADPF) 442 is a lawsuit presented by the Socialism and Freedom Party calling for the decriminalization of abortion up to the 12th week of pregnancy.
Filed in 2017, it is now before the Federal Supreme Court (STF) with the current president Judge Rosa Weber as rapporteur, who has announced her intention to review the matter before her retirement in October.
“We are in a situation that requires a lot of attention and prayer,” the CNBB letter says. “In fidelity to the Gospel, it is up to us to defend human life, opposing all discrimination and prejudice, especially of the strongest against the weakest, of adults against children, of the big against the small.”
“Not doing so is to join the culture of death, which relativizes and commodifies everything, including innocent human life,” the letter stresses, which was also signed by the bishop of Barreiras, Moacir Silva Arantes, and the auxiliary bishop of Curitiba in Paraná state, Reginei José Modolo, who are members of the CNBB Life and Family Commission.
“We are of the Gospel of life and life in abundance, from conception to natural death,” the letter affirms.
The prelates also requested that each diocese and if possible each parish “have [a] Commission for the Service of Life, so that wherever human life, at any stage of its development, from conception to old age, is threatened or degraded,” the commission can “articulately promote, defend, and care for it.”
The bishops also asked for prayers “for those whose mission is to promote and defend life, so that they do not allow themselves to be intimidated by the power of death and by ideologies that exploit the most vulnerable.”
The letter also proposes that the following “Prayer for the Unborn Child” be prayed before the final blessing of the Masses:
We praise you, Lord God of life. Blessed are you, because you created us out of love. Your hands formed us from the maternal womb. We thank you for our parents and all the people who take care of life from its beginning to its end. In you we are, live, and exist. Bless all who care for human life and promote it. Bless pregnant women and all health professionals. Give people and families their daily bread, the light of faith and fraternal love. Our Lady of Aparecida, intercede for our unborn children, our kids, our young people, our adults, and our elderly, so that they may have full life in Jesus, who offered his life for everyone. Amen!
This story was first published by ACI Digital, CNA’s Portuguese-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by ACI Prensa/CNA.
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