“Human dignity does not depend on social consensus, but is an intrinsic quality of every human being”, states the text signed by Catholics, evangelicals, Anglicans, Muslims and Orthodox.
Spanish Catholic, Orthodox, Muslim and Evangelical representatives presented the “Interfaith Declaration on the Dignity of Human Life” at the headquarters of the Spanish Catholic Bishops' Office (CEE) in Madrid.
Rafael Vázquez, secretary of the sub-commission for interfaith relations, pointed out: “We have a common concern. We see that new laws have been passed that leave human life unprotected”, among them the law on euthanasia and the law on abortion that has just been endorsed by the Constitutional Court.
“Out of respect and recognition of its legitimacy, we religious leaders want to participate in the debate on the dignity of human life, which must respectfully accept the opinion of all, including those of us who reflect from our religious experience”, added Vázquez.
Before the reading of the declaration, the faith groups representatives shared texts from the Bible and the Quran that affirm human dignity.
Carolina Bueno, general secretary of the Federation of Religious and Evangelical Entities of Spain (FEREDE) read passages from Genesis, the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of John.
The statement expressed the concern of religious denominations because “they are passing laws against the right to life, which is a gift from God”.
“Human dignity does not depend on life circumstances or social consensus, but is an intrinsic quality of every human being, whose rights must always be respected. Therefore, in its inviolable dignity, every human life must be protected from beginning to end”, states the declaration.
It admits that “there are conflicts of rights that are difficult to resolve, but profound ethical dilemmas cannot be resolved by sacrificing the right to life by making the other prevail”.
They finally call on society as a whole and in particular the political community to “commit to work together so that every human life is protected as a gift of God endowed with the highest dignity”.
In response to questions from journalists present at the event, Carolina Bueno stressed that “both the evangelical community and the churches present here want to value the dignity of life and the well-being, not only of the unborn, but also of the vulnerable, the victims of trafficking, refugees, or children in situations of social exclusion”.
“We do not only make the declaration, but all denominations work to protect those lives”, concluded Bueno.
Interfaith declaration on the dignity of human life
Out of respect for the representatives of the three powers of the Spanish state, Legislative, Executive and Judicial; out of recognition of their democratic legitimacy as public servants to make laws, administer justice and exercise delegated power in representation of popular sovereignty; not doubting that they work in good conscience and in good faith for the common good; we the signatories hereby want to state the following:
That, as representatives of the main religious denominations: Islamic Commission of Spain, Federation of Evangelical Religious Entities of Spain (FEREDE) Orthodox Church of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Orthodox Church of the Patriarchate of Romania, Orthodox Church of the Patriarchate of Moscow, Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church (IERE) and Catholic Church, we observe with growing concern how for decades, in our country, laws were promoted and approved in which, in some cases, human life is seriously unprotected, legislating not only against the principles of the Creator, but also against the most essential of human rights: the right to life.
That life is a gift of God for the whole of creation and humanity.
That human dignity does not depend on life circumstances or social consensus, but is an intrinsic quality of every human being, whose rights must always be respected.
That therefore every human life, in its inviolable dignity, must be protected from beginning to end.
That respect for the dignity of the life of every human being and his or her fundamental rights, especially those of the weakest, are signs of progress and prosperity in a society and that such respect cannot be considered a step backwards or contrary to freedom.
That we understand that there are complex situations, of apparent conflicts of rights, which are difficult to resolve; but we understand that profound ethical and moral dilemmas cannot be resolved in a generic way by sacrificing one of the fundamental rights affected (in this case, the right to life) by making the other prevail.
For all these reasons, as representatives belonging to different faiths but united in the defence of life, human dignity and human rights, especially of the most vulnerable, we ask our believers, society in general and the political community to reflect once again and to commit to cooperate and work together so that all human life may be protected and safeguarded as a gift from God, endowed with the highest dignity.
In Madrid, on the 15th day of February 2023
Sign the Declaration:
- Dr. Mohamed Ajana, Secretary of the Islamic Commission of Spain.
- Bishop Bessarion, Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church of the Ecumenical Patriarchate
- Mgr Timotei, of the Orthodox Church of the Romanian Patriarchate
- Rev. Andrey Kordochkin, Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate
- Mons. Carlos López, Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church
- Ms. Carolina Bueno, General Secretary of the Federation of Evangelical Entities of Spain
- Mons. Francisco César, Secretary General of the CEE.
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