Cardinal Bevilacqua: Contempt for Life Takes Many Forms

Statement for Annual Event This Sunday

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WASHINGTON, D.C., OCT. 3, 2002 ( In a statement for the 2002 Respect Life Sunday, Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua warned that contempt for human life can take many forms.

“In our technically advanced society, we are tempted to treat life as dispensable when it seems to stand in the way of individual freedom or technical ‘progress,'” said the cardinal, who is chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee for Pro-Life Activities.

“Abortion is advanced in the name of freedom, but it undermines freedom by demeaning life itself,” he said. “No society can be truly free if its most vulnerable members can lose their very lives at the hands of others.”

He called attention to destructive embryo research and human cloning which, he said, “mark a regress in researchers’ respect for ethical limits.”

They also “divert resources away from morally acceptable research avenues that are at least as promising,” he added. “Such abuses do not bode well for our ability to use the newfound powers of biotechnology to serve and not demean humanity.”

“These and other challenges to life are addressed in this year’s Respect Life Program materials, which I encourage all Catholics to read and discuss,” said the cardinal, who is also archbishop of Philadelphia.

The Church inaugurates its 2002 Respect Life program, an annual education effort focusing on the sanctity of human life, this Sunday.

The Respect Life Program materials are at (

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