WASHINGTON (February 25, 1999) -- A special pro-life leadership meeting is being convened next week by Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston and Cardinal John O'Connor of New York, in collaboration with the Holy See's Pontifical Council for the Family, the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB), and the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America. It will explore such topics as biotechnology, abortion, euthanasia, contraception, international family planning, and human sexuality.
At the gathering, international experts in these and other fields will explore the latest and often complex developments in science, technology, medicine and culture which can pose ominous threats to the human person.
This pro-life leadership convocation is a first of its kind. Participants will include Diocesan Respect Life directors, National Family Planning directors, other diocesan ministries, state Catholic Conference directors, and members of the National Federation for Life, which includes the major pro-life organizations in the United States, both religious and secular. Representatives from other faith traditions are also participating as both speakers and attendees.
The convocation will take place at the Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America, March 3-5. "In God's Image: Called to Build a Culture of Life" is the theme.
Cardinal William Keeler, Archbishop of Baltimore and Chairman of the NCCB Committee for Pro-Life Activities, will give the opening prayer at 8:45 a.m on March 3. There will be opening remarks by Cardinal James Hickey, Archbishop of Washington. Cardinal Alfonso Lopez-Trujillo, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, will present greetings from the Holy See.
Speakers for the three-day convocation include Cardinals O'Connor and Law, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, film critic Michael Medved, Professor Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, professor of humanities and history at Emory University, Father J. Augustine DiNoia, OP, executive director of the NCCB Secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices Committee, Rabbi Marc Gellman and Msgr. Thomas Hartman, who appear together on television as "The God Squad," and other nationally known experts in the fields of euthanasia, fertility, and the new reproductive technologies.
Registration for the conference, which is open to the press, is filled to capacity.
NOTE: Additional information is available from Helen Alvare, NCCB Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, at (O) 202-341-3070. An agenda for the convocation may be obtained by calling 202-541-3070.