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New Emphasis on Life and Family from Head of Maronite Catholic Church

By John-Henry Westen
Patriarch Nasrallah Peter Cardinal Sfeir BEIRUT, LEBANON, August 7, 2007 ( - The Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Peter Cardinal Sfeir, spiritual head of the more than 15 million Maronite Catholics spread throughout the world, has in the past few months launched a new emphasis on life and family issues.  Charbel El-chaar, the Founder of St Charbel for Life, the first Arab Catholic Pro-Life website on the Internet ( ), spoke with about the significant Development.

El-chaar quoted from homilies delivered by the Patriarch in June which addressed rejecting homosexual 'marriage', rejecting homosexual adoption, and the fact that those with deep-seated homosexual tendencies are not permitted to become priests.

Moreover, the Patriarch also preached about the right to life for unborn children and the low birth rate.

While the Maronite rite, like the Roman rite of the Catholic Church has always been pro-life and pro-family, El-chaar told that the recent emphasis coming from the Patriarch is both novel and instructive.  He hopes for a renewed effort on the part of Maronite Catholics around the world to promote life and family.

"The supporters of abortion consider the child a hindrance to autonomy, pleasure, and career," said Patriarch Sfeir in June.  Rather, said the Patriarch, life is a miracle and a child is one of the most significant gifts of God.

Speaking of the tragedy of abortion, the Patriarch said "The 20th century was the deadliest age of mankind." Citing statistics on the tens of millions of children killed by abortion and abortifacient contraception, the Patriarch said that the death toll "often neglects many victims, chief among the victims are the victims of surgical abortion, abortion pills and (hormonal) birth control."
The full pro-life homily (from June) in Arabic here:

See related coverage:
Maronite Church Bishop: We're 100% Pro-Life; We Don't Preach the "Comfortable Gospel"

Saint Charbel for Life
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