Love life, Pope exhorts

Praising the family as the cradle for life and vocations, Pope Benedict has issued a new appeal to respect human life as "a work of God" that "should not be denied to anyone".

Pope Benedict made his remarks before a crowd of over 30,000 people gathered in St Peter's Square to celebrate the Italian Day of Life, AsiaNews reports.

At a time when the institution of the family is in "profound crisis", religious and political institutions should extend a helping hand, not least because it represents the natural environment for the birth and growth of children and for safeguarding life, the Pope said.

He added that life must be respected even when it is at its weakest and most vulnerable, as in the case of a newborn or dying person.

"Life, which is the work of God, cannot be negated by anyone, neither at the very young and indefensible unborn stage, nor when grave disabilities are present," the Pontiff says, warning against legitimising euthanasia "by masking it with a veil of human compassion."

"We are well aware how a family founded on matrimony constitutes the natural environment for the birth and education of children and thus assures the future of all humanity", the Pope said.

"A serene family climate, enlightened by faith and a holy fear of God, also encourages the blossoming and flourishing of vocations in the service of the Gospel", he added.

"I refer in particular, apart from those who are called to follow Christ in the path of the priesthood, to all religious, men and women, consecrated people".

Pope emphasizes the sanctity of life 'from conception to its natural end' (International Herald Tribune, 4/2/07)
Pope says compassion no excuse for euthanasia (Reuters, 4/2/07)
Pope: Church and politics should concretely support family and life (AsiaNews, 4/2/07)

Pope's Lenten message urges respect for elderly (CathNews, 28/1/05)

5 Feb 2007