8/23/2008

The Gospel of Life...

It is eleven years now since the late Pope John Paul II wrote his encyclical letter "Evangelium Vitae" (The Gospel of Life), which was addressed to the whole Church, and to all people of good will.

He wanted to:

* reaffirm the dignity of every human person, created and loved by God
* renew the commitment of the Church to the "defence of the world's poor, those who are threatened and despised, and whose human rights are violated."(EV#5)
* invite people of good will to reflect on the "extraordinary increase and gravity of threats to the life of individuals and peoples, especially where life is weak and defenceless." (EV#3)
* appeal to every person, in the name of God, to respect, protect, love and serve life, every human life." (EV#5)

The Pope proposed that "a day for life be celebrated each year in every country." The primary purpose of this day should be "to foster in individual consciences, in families, in the Church, and in civil society, a recognition of the meaning and value of human life at every stage and in every condition." (EV#85)

'Human life is a precious gift to be loved and defended in each of its stages. The Commandment, "You shall not kill!" always requires respecting and promoting human life, from its beginning to its natural end. It is a command that applies even in the presence of illness and when physical weakness reduces the person's ability to be self-reliant.' Let us remember his words forever!

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