>The theme of the conference is “Walk the Light… Bringing about a Transformation of Culture.” A tall order, considering the world lives in grayscale. Not many people want to live in the light anymore. But, yes, that’s why we have conferences like this, to keep us aware of our slipping into complacency.
The Most Reverend Archbishop John Lee of Kota Kinabalu opened the conference by celebrating Mass. Among the things that stood out for me was him saying that globalization is destroying our values and our families. And that because of this, we need to speak and act as Catholics, because there aren’t that many who do so anymore. He took lessons from the readings when he mentioned that we should not focus on materialism instead of God, nor should we denounce our God because of the things of the world.
There are more than 600 delegates from 17 countries (The Philippines, Malaysia, India, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, United States of America, Indonesia, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Nepal, Brunei, Laos, Japan, Mongolia and Thailand). The HLI conference in 2010 will be in Singapore, with Christopher West of Theology of the Body fame coming to train delegates. And in 2011, it will be in Kazakhstan.
Dr. Ligaya Acosta (Executive Director of HLI Asia – Oceania) gave some remarks; and so did Rev. Fr. Thomas Euteneuer (President of HLI). Dr. Acosta speaking on being the bearers of God’s word and showing that transformative power to the world; and Fr. Euteneur speaking about HLI (being in 87 countries), the pro-life movement (being young and vibrant; and being written on every human heart, which belongs to God – a universal message for a universal movement) and our not being alone in this work (so “go out and be missionaries of life to society!”).
The Keynote Address was given by His Lordship Rt. Rev. Bishop Anthony Lee of Miri. I have to say that he is a GREAT EXAMPLE of a pro-life priest. Wonderful message. He spoke strongly on:
1. The contraceptive mentality slowly killing the Christian life of people
2. The start of the pro-life movement in Miri (“Get a desk. Get a telephone. And start.”)
3. The move of Malaysia to focus on “quality citizens”. Exactly what do they mean by quality? And who gets to choose who qualifies?
4. Benedict XVI’s pro-life message
“Openness to life is at the center of development”
Every nation has the resources and capacity to feed people well. Food distribution is the issue, not food supply.
No connection between population growth and economic growth.
5. God’s Population Program: “Fill the earth and subdue it!”
6. Sex, Conception and Life
Sex: An act of total self-giving. But now there is a disconnect as people want sex, but don’t want children.
Spacing must be used for the preparation for the arrival of a child.
Life begins at conception and ends at natural death. Body and soul are two entities created by God at the same time.
He ended with exhorting us to be pro-life if we are human. More pro-life if we are Christian. And most pro-life if we are Catholic. Pro-life. Start now. Don’t wait.