2010-11-29 16:14:07

Pope: life must be protected with greatest care

(November 29, 2010) Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday reiterated the Catholic Church’s teaching that life, once conceived, "must be protected with the greatest care." His exhortation came during a Vigil for All Nascent Human Life prior to presiding over Vespers on the eve of the first Sunday of Advent in St. Peter's Basilica. He had invited all parishes, communities, movements and associations of the world to join in the initiative. In his homily at the vigil, the Pope said that “experience and right reason prove that that the human being is a subject capable of understanding and willing, self-conscious and free, unrepeatable and irreplaceable, the meeting point of all terrestrial realities, that demands to be recognized as a value in himself and merits always being welcomed with respect and love." "He has the right not to be treated as an object to be possessed or as a thing that can be manipulated at will, not to be reduced to a pure instrument for others' advantage and interests.” Furthermore, the Pontiff observed, "love toward all, if it is sincere, tends to become preferential attention for the weakest and the poorest." Reflecting on life in the womb, the Holy Father said that science itself has shown how autonomous the embryo is, how it interacts with the mother and develops in a coordinated and complex way. “It's not an accumulation of biological material, but a new living being, dynamic and marvellously ordered, a new individual of the human species,” he said. He thus urged politicians, economic leaders and the media to promote a culture that respects life, decrying the “cultural tendencies” that seek to undermine it. “Unfortunately, even after birth the life of children continue to be exposed to abandonment, hunger, misery, sickness, abuse, violence and exploitation,” the Holy Father lamented.

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