ZENIT, The world seen from Rome
Pope: Life Must Be Protected With Greatest Care
Prays for Children Exposed to Abuse
VATICAN CITY, NOV. 28, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is affirming
that life, once conceived, "must be protected with the greatest
care."The Pope pronounced these words Saturday while presiding at
vespers for the first Sunday of Advent in St. Peter's Basilica.
The liturgy was preceded by a Vigil for All Nascent Human Life, which
was promoted by the Pontiff on Nov. 14.
This vigil was also observed in union with the Holy Father in parishes,
communities, movements and associations throughout the world.
"Experience and right reason," Benedict XVI said, "attest 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
The Pope continued: "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.
"The person is a good in himself and his integral development must
always be sought."
Furthermore, the Pontiff observed, "love toward all, if it is sincere,
tends to become preferential attention for the weakest and the poorest."
In the womb
"In regard to the embryo in the maternal womb," he said, "science
itself provides evidence of its autonomy, capable of interaction with
the mother, the coordination of biological processes, the continuity of
development, the growth in the complexity of the organism."
"It is not a matter of an aggregate of biological material," the Holy
Father asserted, "but of a new living, dynamic and marvelously ordered
being, a new individual of the human species."
"This is how Jesus was in Mary's womb," he added. "This is how it was
for each of us in the mother's womb."
The Lord's incarnation and the beginning of human life, in fact, are
intimately connected, Benedict XVI pointed out.
He explained that the former reveals that every human life has an
"incomparable dignity," to which the "great responsibility toward all"
The Pope noted that, unfortunately, even after birth the lives of many
children continue to be exposed to abandonment, hunger, misery,
sickness, abuse, violence and exploitation.
He called on politicians, economists and the mass media to promote a
culture that is ever more respectful of life.
Reciting the prayer for life at the conclusion of the celebration, the
Pontiff invoked the Creator's protection of children, spouses, of all
those who suffer from the impossibility of having children, and of
He asked for the light of the Holy Spirit to be shed on the decisions
of legislative assemblies and the work of scientists and physicians, so
that progress will contribute to the integral good of the person.