The editor of Archdiocesan News, whom we have an agreement with: has informed me that the South African Press Association was sent this dispatch at 16h00 today:
"Anti-abortion march attracts thousands
'The hands of South Africa's lawmakers are dripping with blood.' said Archbishop Buti Tlhagale to more than 2,000 anti-abortionists who marched on Saturday 13 March with the Archbishop from the Cathedral of Christ the King to Constitution Hill where officials from the Department of Health accepted a petition addressed to the Minister of Health calling for an end to abortion.
South Africa is a young democracy – said the Archbishop - yet those at the helm have wasted no time in 'binning God'. They tolerate religion so long as it is practiced in private. South Africa's lawmakers deny that God is the source of all freedom. The Act simply frees a person from moral responsibility, from the dictates of their conscience. Since abortion is approved by Government legislation it cannot be wrong is the reasoning which sees morality reduced to a personal preference. The debate around moral regeneration is simply that – debate. There is no search for elusive moral value, not much conscience. In the debate there are no absolutes, no non-negotiables. For Christians God is the author of life and we have to answer to Him on the issue of abortion. Yes, there are tensions between individuals and tension between the church and politicians who have legislated the killing of life in the womb but society is far too lazy to search for the truth, to do what is moral.
We are on a cause of life. We march today because the Church is duty bound to raise its voice; duty bound to value life, especially life in the womb. South Africa's lawmakers deny life and offer abortion on demand. In this country child rape, brutal abuse of women and children, drugs, violent road deaths are common. Amidst this everyday violence the gospel calls us to protect and revere life. 'Thou shalt not kill' is unambiguous. Life is of unassailable, inestimable value and abortion is a deplorable crime.
Doctors and nurses are pledged to serve life, not death. How long will it be before the South Africa's constitution protects life?
The Archbishop called on young people to respect their bodies, respect life and speak out. Silence means complicity.
'Love God, love your neighbour.' he urged the assembly. 'Protect and defend life – life from its inception!' Permission for the march was withheld until Thursday.
Nevertheless it was well attended and marchers were well disciplined. Some carried graphic photos of aborted babies, others images of the Virgin of Guadalupe, patroness of the unborn. SAPS and Metro police accompanying the march were redirected from the 'Old Fort' entrance to the Con Court entrance.
I may have disrupted the formatting of their release, which I was also sent, as I am sending this article from my phone!