Posted April 11, 2014 3:03 PM by

 

 

(CUSA) – John Paul II always stood against immorality and the institutional support of evil.

 

Success in the pro-life movement today is due in no small part to his stamina in defending truth and life. —Ed.

 

by REBECCA OAS, Ph.D.—

 

(C-FAM) – As crowds flock to Rome in April to celebrate the canonization of Pope John Paul II, a cohort of Catholics and Evangelicals will arrive a few days early to honor a special part of his legacy.

 

On April 25th, an impressive lineup of ambassadors, scholars, authors, and leaders will honor the work of soon-to-be St. John Paul the Great in “Building a Global Culture of Life at the UN and Beyond.” The one-day conference will commemorate his legacy at the United Nations, where a coalition endures today to support the natural family and the dignity of the human person.

 

Each speaker played a significant part in the epic challenge at the UN in 1994 to defend innocent lives from abortion, or were inspired by Pope John Paul’s global call to protect lives from international edicts. They will describe the challenges they faced – some working alongside the Holy See and the late Pope – and what more needs to be done to advance a genuine understanding of human dignity.

 

The canonization and conference occurs as the UN observes the twenty-year anniversary of event where the late pontiff’s leadership blocked an international right to abortion and launched a global pro-life movement

 

In 1994, political leaders seized upon the UN Cairo conference on population and development to create a new category of “reproductive rights.” Their strategy was to reposition the increasingly discredited cause of population control with the women’s rights movement. The Clinton administration’s slogan was “access to safe, legal, and voluntary abortion is a fundamental human right.”

 

However, as George Weigel pointed out, “the most consequential thing that the planners of the Cairo conference had failed to take into account was the moral power of Pope John Paul II.”

 

In a series of brief messages, the Pope drew attention to the brewing crisis. His message resonated with Catholics, Evangelicals and Muslims, in civil society and in governments.

 

Even before the Cairo conference began, the unanticipated opposition caused U.S. Vice President Al Gore to backtrack, stating “the U.S. has not sought, does not seek, and will not seek to establish any international right to abortion.”

 

Abortion advocates were forced to compromise that abortion, where legal, should be “safe,” but countries could set their own laws on abortion. While this falls short of universal legal protection for the unborn, which the Holy See and its allies continue to seek, it was a tremendous setback for “reproductive rights” groups.

 

Abortion advocates’ goal remains unchanged – as Hillary Clinton attempts to revive it through her anticipated run for U.S. president. The Cairo architects are in New York this week to reignite their movement, and frequently, if backhandedly, pay homage to the legacy of Pope John Paul II when they speak about their stalled progress.

 

The Rome conference, co-sponsored by the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute and Alliance Defending Freedom, will take place two days before the canonization of Pope John Paul II. Keynote speakers include George Weigel, Michael Novak and Rocco Buttiglione.

 

C-FAM is The Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute – Defending Sovereignty and Dignity at international Institutions. This article was reprinted with permission.

 

 

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