An open letter to Bishop Athanasius Schneider on his appeal for a ‘new pro-life movement’
To His Excellency, Most Reverend Athanasius Schneider
Titular Bishop of Celerina
Auxiliary Bishop of Mary Most Holy in Astana
Many people around the world have read your Excellency’s address of 19 February 2021, titled Unmasking COVID-19: Vaccines, Mandates, and Global Health, with great consolation, seeing in it a rare and most valuable voice of truth.
In Italy too, associations and groups committed to the right to life have not remained indifferent to your address. Many have found in Your Excellency’s appeal for a “new pro-life movement” — which fights “clearly and unambiguously, against abortion-tainted medicines, against the abuse of the body parts of the unborn” — a powerful stimulus to rethink action. Certainly, that does not mean abandoning the meritorious battle waged in recent decades, but rather bringing it to a coherent fulfillment, in the new perspective of an integral critique of the ethical and legal legitimacy of using embryonic and fetal cells in experimentation, and in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic (and similar) industries.
Our letter is intended as a response in support of your February 19th appeal.
The defense of innocent human life from conception to natural death cannot admit of compromises or exceptions. Either it is uncompromising and complete, or it is not! Either it is lucidly and rigorously consistent, or it is not!
Acknowledging that the human being is a person from conception onwards, and never ceases to be so whatever the clinical, physical and psychological state in which he or she may find himself or herself until natural death, necessarily implies having to recognize as murder any taking of human life, without any distinction as to the age or condition of the victim, whether prenatal or postnatal.
The taking of innocent human life is not only always morally wrongful but must always be legally reprimanded. The criminal conviction of murder, whatever the prenatal or postnatal age of the victim, is required by justice, which is necessary for every legal system.
No positive legal system can claim to be legitimate by contemplating the possibility of legally eliminating an innocent human person. Similarly, no positive legal system can presume legitimacy by contemplating the legal possibility of treating innocent human life as a thing and instrumentalizing that life for the purposes of research and/or production (pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food).
A society that not only tolerates but even goes so far as to consider the systematic and habitual use of cell lines derived from the murder of innocent prenatal-age human persons for the most diverse purposes as normal, appears to have lost both reason and justice, as well as the capacity for ethical judgement.
Those who defend the right to life, in order not to fall into a fatal contradiction, cannot but be unequivocal in affirming the absolute moral and legal unlawfulness of any form of voluntary abortion (surgical or chemical-pharmacological), as well as any production and cryopreservation of human embryos, manipulation and exploitation of human embryos, infanticide, euthanasia and assisted suicide. But this is still not enough!
In order not to condemn themselves to inconsistency and/or irrelevance, it is incumbent on the defenders of human life to take note of the fact that the production, reification and manipulation of human embryos, as well as the exploitation of fetal cells obtained from pre-natal human persons, is today part of an enormous and global economic, technical and industrial system.
Condemning abortion without condemning the enormous techno-productive structure which makes use of prenatal-age human life by treating it as a thing and instrumentalizing it, is — if not hypocrisy — certainly intellectual and operational shortsightedness.
The battle in defense of human life today cannot but ALSO entail a commitment to fight against those practices and structures that degrade innocent life to a reservoir of biological material that can be used in the field of experimentation and production.
This is first and foremost a cultural battle. It is a question of rejecting in the clearest possible way, that culture of desire which considers the prenatal-age human being as available for any purpose, even for becoming material for consumption.
This is a task that must be carried out across the board and in the most effective way possible, not least of all by calling upon every man to be solicitous:
- to refuse ANY product (pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food) that has even the slightest connection with the taking of innocent human life;
- to boycott (e.g. by refusing to be customers, shareholders, bondholders, etc.) ALL companies that use embryonic and/or fetal cell lines in their production or experimental activities.
It is a question, then, of acting at a jurisprudential and legislative level, so that any use of human embryonic and fetal cells derived from the taking of innocent human life is legally reprimanded and criminally sanctioned, and likewise that any trade in human cells and/or tissues so derived is legally prohibited.
This is NOT against medicine and pharmaceuticals, but rather for the ethical production of medicines and cosmetics. No vaccine, no drug, no cosmetic, no food should be produced or tested using human embryonic and/or fetal cell lines derived from the killing of an innocent person. Any use of and trade in human embryonic/fetal tissues and cell lines derived from the killing of innocent life is morally unacceptable and must be legally excluded.
For associations and groups that have at heart the defense of human life, this is what it means to be fully and consistently committed.
We therefore commit ourselves to faithfully and generously implement the appeal launched by Your Excellency on February 19, 2021.
We ask for your blessing:
Mirco Agerde – Queen of Love Marian Movement
Gianfranco Amato – Jurists for Life
Antonio Brandi – Association Pro Life & Family
Giorgio Celsi – Association Ora et labora in defense of Life
Francesco Fontana – Association Iustitia in Veritate
Giovanni Formicola – Benedict Option
Massimo Viglione – Confederation of the Triarii