The Heart of the Life Debate

Letter From Europe

The present rift between the United States and Europe on the war in Iraq has overshadowed widening divergences in other realms.  One of these is the attitude toward crucial life issues; whereas the Bush administration is often reprimanded by antilife groups for such initiatives as the ban on partial-birth abortion, the European Union is busy trying to fund abortion in the Third World under the guise of aid for “reproductive rights.”

Ironically, Pope John Paul II himself tirelessly calls upon Catholics and non-Catholics alike to foster what he describes as “the culture of life,” but he appears to give little recognition to U.S. efforts in this regard.

These papal appeals to “crusade” for life and family values often result in international symposia such as a recent one in Rome: “On the Threshold of Life: Science, Morals and Law Facing One Another,” sponsored by Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Roma and organized by Rome-based Associazione Fiducia and Associazione Famiglia Domani under the aegis of the presidency of the Council of Ministers; and the “International Catholic Symposium on Creation,” arranged by the U.S.-based Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation.

Speakers at these events included Jo-seph Seifert (rector of the International Academy for Philosophy in Lichtenstein), Francesco D’Agostino (president of Italy’s Union of Catholic...

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