Holy Father to Academy for Life

On Saturday, Pope Benedict addressed the members of the 13th Assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life. This morning, he addressed them again, together with participants who gathered for the International "Conference on Christian conscience in support of the right to life" which took place last Friday and Saturday.

The address on Saturday morning referred to pressure for the legalisation of abortion in South American countries, biotechnical research and the "new wave of eugenic discrimination as well as pressure for "the legalisation of forms of cohabitation alternative to marriage and closed to natural procreation." Here is a link to the Vatican Information Service report and, for readers of Italian, the full text.

This morning's address focussed on the right to life of the embryo, reflecting on various scriptural and patristic indications. I was delighted to see that he mentioned the Visitation and the recognition of Christ by St John the Baptist. This is a theme I have sometimes preached on to illustrate the sanctity of the human embryo. No VIS report on this speech as yet but here is a link to the full text in Italian.

I expect that the texts may appear in English translation on Zenit over the next few days.

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