Rome, Italy – LifeSiteNews.com is reporting that the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Laity has begun a European Union personhood petition. Personhood USA, which helped pioneer the citizen-led ballot initiative methodology in states across America, is excited to announce that they are fully committed to assisting their pro-personhood European allies with the new Vatican-backed pro-life initiative.
Personhood USA, along with Human Life International and LifeSiteNews.com, recently sponsored the Pro-life Global Unity Summit in Lisbon, Portugal. Delegations from Romania, Portugal, Poland, Ireland, and Hungary shared their desire to pursue a European personhood initiative, and apply the initiative methodology utilized in the United States.
The movement is also sweeping across Latin America. Global Pro-life Unity Summit participants Mexico and the Dominican Republic have enacted state and national personhood measures. The delegation from Colombia collected over 5 million signatures last year.
In total, 21 pro-life organizations from 21 European Union states will be represented in the petition’s organizing committee.
The Pontifical Council for the Laity’s announcement explains that their hope is that the personhood effort will foster “an atmosphere of unity and collaboration among all Christian associations and movements.”
The number of required signatures to bring the issue to the consideration of the EU government is 1 million, but both the Pontifical Council for the Laity and Personhood USA say this presents an unprecedented opportunity to make a significant pro-life statement by gathering several million more. Project organizers have until May of 2013 to submit the petition.
Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D., Legal Analyst for Personhood USA, told LifeSiteNews.com, “Petitions are great ways to identify, educate, and activate pro-lifers, especially if the petition process is enlisted in support of solid principles with a solid grass roots strategy behind it.”
The personhood movement mirrors Pope John Paul II’s statements on the dignity of the human person in his groundbreaking encyclical “Evangelium Vitae” as well as conforming to the teachings on life in the Catechism of the Catholic Church which states: “From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person — among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.” (Catholic Catechism, 2270)
The Pontifical Council for the Laity described the project as “a wake-up call to the people of Europe,” and further that “it is in fact urgent.”
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