12/20/2013 (11 months ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Issues about population and contraception are essentially about life and so is Christmas. Christmas is a celebration of life, the life of Jesus son of God and the salvation of ours. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that all who believe in him might not perish." (John 3:16). Jesus' life is a gift from God the Father to the world. His life brought new life and ensures that God dwell among his people. "And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1: 14) For the same reason, Christmas is as good a time as any to think of those who would never have the chance to live because of the tyranny of population control and contraception in Africa.
OYO STATE, NIGERIA (Catholic Online) - (Note from the Editor in Chief, Deacon Keith Fournier: One of my personal heroes in the Human Rights movement of our age, the Pro-Life Movement, is Obianuju Ekeocha, the founder of Culture of Life, Africa. Uju has also become one of the most popular writers for Catholic Online as well. We are honored to offer to our readers around the globe these words from her Bishop, the Most Rev Emmanuel Ade Badejo, Bishop of Oyo.)
Emmanuel, Gift of Love and Life
Issues about population and contraception are essentially about life and so is Christmas. Christmas is a celebration of life, the life of Jesus son of God and the salvation of ours. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that all who believe in him might not perish (John 3:16). Jesus' life is a gift from God the Father to the world. His life brought new life and ensures that God dwell among his people. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us (John 1: 14)
There is time for everything and a time for everything happening under heaven (Eccl. 3:1-2). So reads the book of Ecclesiastes. Nonetheless, to every coin there is a second side. That is why that oracle links the time of giving birth to the time of death.
For the same reason, Christmas is as good a time as any to think of those who would never have the chance to live because of the tyranny of population control and contraception in Africa. We know that life and love are intrinsically linked. Love enhances life but selfishness snuffs it out. No wonder Jesus who came to the world for love of us declared: "I have come so that they may have life, life to the full (John 10:10).
My secretary, Fr. Anthony Abegunde reflects further on how modern conspiracies of population control and contraception seriously compromise that plan. Read him:
Love Does Not Live Here Anymore
The desecration of love is one of the greatest tragedies of our time. Love must be one of the most abused and misused concepts ever. Increasingly, love is understood as little more than selfish desire, the satisfaction of which is considered great fulfillment. Many people talk about liberation but remain trapped in the bondage of sexual desires.
Others talk much about true love but live in mere self-absorbed estrangement. In truth our age is fast becoming a loveless age with broken relationships and hearts everywhere and human lives discarded almost before they begin. Thousands of children are abused or abandoned and fear and mistrust abound even in supposedly healthy marriages. Love has often been reduced to base sex, thanks to powerful lobbies which ensue that that that too is of course, contracepted.
Disaster of a Loveless Age
We are living testimonies to the effects of the so-called "sexual revolution", verifiable in wide-spread promiscuity, rising rate of teenage pregnancy, millions of abortions, sexually transmitted diseases in spite of the use of contraceptives.
Is it not intriguing that a handful of people with access to some great material wealth in the world would gather the best brains around the universe to convince us that what Africa needs most today is unrestricted access to sex without responsibility?
So, African youths would enjoy full access and choice to the finest contraceptive paraphernalia tools and devices guaranteeing them unconstrained and unrestrained sexual freedom but without education, jobs or employment. Whoever declared an end to slavery perhaps ought to think again.
Giving Us Stones For Bread
Do jobless youths need condoms for free sex more than jobs that will engage their youthful energy in more rewarding activities and secure their future? Do we really need more better equipped, free abortion clinics where life is constantly snuffed out of unborn babies in the name of women rights and freedom than vocational and formation centres for responsible citizenship and adulthood?
How come our generous "god-fathers" are not helping African nations restore the power sector and sustainable developmental projects like good roads and agriculture?
I paraphrase the words of renowned pro-lifer, Obianuju Ekeocha who said ...in hunger they offer us condoms, for our nakedness sexual hedonism, in sickness, contraceptive pills and for our unguided libido, modern techniques of abortion! Would that contraceptive pills cured malaria, cancer, HIV/AIDS and other deadly diseases that threaten millions of lives in Africa!
The erosion of family and home life are factual effects of this grand deception. The encroaching culture grossly over-estimates the importance of sex. It is placed over and above God whose gift sex is to mankind. God's initiative made sex a sacred gift, given for life-giving purposes. But love between a man and a woman is today hardly regarded as sacred or noble. It has become more a commodity to be seen only in an animal sense; a mere uncontrollable impulse to be satisfied.
The Way, The Truth And The Life
At times like this, I think that thankfully, we can all focus on the manger where lies God's fail-proof solution, Emmanuel. There reigns a civilization different from the contraceptive culture of death. That civilization of love made Jesus come from glory to earth to save us. It also made Joseph to subject his personal right of fatherhood to God's will of choosing Mary for his holy purpose.
It shows in Mary who in total submission, said: Let it be done unto me according to your word. (Lk. 1: 38), just as it did in the shepherds who left their shepherding work to become the first orchestra ever to sing Christmas carols for the King. It shows us what can truly establish the right balance in our troubled world; selfless giving, more equitable sharing of the world's resources, rather than a subtle but systematic extermination of the defenseless in the name of population control.
Rt. Rev. Msgr. Emmanuel Ade Badejo was appointed Co-adjutor Bishop for the Diocese of Oyo on 20th October, 2007, at St. Francis Catholic College, Oyo. He was born on the 13th July, 1961. He was ordained a Priest on the 4th January, 1986. As Co-adjutor Bishop, he worked with the Diocesan Bishop in looking after the spiritual welfare of the Diocese. Most Rev. Julius Babatunde Adelakun remained the Bishop of Oyo until his retirement on the 4th November, 2009. The canonical installation of Most Rev. Emmanuel Ade Badejo as Bishop of Oyo took place on 20th November, 2009.
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