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15 / 07 / 2009 - Anglican Primate: "To defend the unborn is part of the backbone of the Traditional Anglican Communion"
AUSTRALIA - The Most Reverend John Hepworth, the Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion, has issued a resoundingly clear statement on the position of the global Communion of Traditional Anglican Churches on the right to life of the unborn. Hepworth is also the Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese of Australia in the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia.
In a pastoral letter published in the Messenger Journal Bishop Hepworth begins by praising the pro-life witness of a Catholic priest in Sydney, Father John Fleming, whom the bishop describes as having "given a life to the defense of life" and having "been reviled for it."
Bishop Hepworth says that "Father Fleming's witness is echoed by so many in our Communion." He points out that "a few weeks ago, our Canadian bishops marched in Ottawa with the Papal Nuncio and the Canadian Catholic Bishops in defense of life (the National March for Life in Ottawa). (see coverage here)
"To defend the unborn is part of the backbone of the Traditional Anglican Communion," he says.
Considering the element of sinfulness in the act of abortion, the bishop declares, "Let us be quite clear about this. To procure the death of an unborn child is a heinous crime against the most defenseless person. It is of its very nature so deeply sinful that is severs the relationship with God."
"In so many parts of today's Church, the awesome reality of sin has been lost. In almost every part of the world, the destruction of unborn life is argued over as if it were a policy debate of government. But it is a matter with consequences in eternity, as well as brutal consequences for our own world, as the once Christian nations depopulate an entire generation."
Referring again to Father Fleming and to all those who have taken a stand against the culture of death and suffered as a result, Bishop Hepworth points out that "from the Holy Father down to the merest person who dares to stand in defiance, ridicule is heaped on the defenders of life."
"In every generation there is an issue that tests the resolve of the Church. In this generation the issue is abortion. Each of us must take our stand, and take the cost."
Mention is made in the pastoral letter of a commendation given to Fr. Fleming on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday celebration, by Catholic Bishop Anthony Fisher, the assistant bishop to Cardinal Pell, and organizer of the recent World Youth Day. In the course of his address Bishop Fisher said, "John, when you eventually leave this world and approach the gates of heaven, a hundred thousand souls of the unborn will come out to welcome you."
Echoing this witness to the defense of the lives of the unborn, Bishop Hepworth wrote, "I am sure that Father Fleming would rather approach the gates of Paradise on his own, without the choir of the heavenly unborn to help him. He would wish that the choir did not exist. But exist it does, and its numbers grow day by day. We will each be met by that choir. We should pray for the faith and courage to do those things in this life, so that the call of those heavenly unborn will be that of a friend, as we approach the next."
The Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) is an international communion of churches that is independent of the Anglican Communion and the Archbishop of Canterbury. The TAC says that it is currently seeking unity, without losing its core Anglican distinctiveness, with the Roman Catholic Church. It was formed in response to several issues in the Anglican Communion, principally the ordination of women, liturgical revisions, and the acceptance of homosexuality.
Contact Info for Bishop Hepworth:
The Most Reverend John Hepworth
Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion
P O Box 746
South Australia 5051
Phone: 08 8278 3832
Fax: 08 8278 3833
Mobile: 0405 254 030
Source: Thaddeus M. Baklinski - LifeSIteNews.com