VATICAN CITY, FEB. 2, 2003 ( Warning of genetic manipulations that violate the dignity of human beings, John Paul II said that "you cannot trade with life."

Currently there "are situations in which the human person becomes an instrument for economic, political and scientific interests, especially when he is weak and does not have the strength to defend himself," the Pope said today.

He gave this warning before reciting the midday Angelus with the several thousand people gathered in St. Peter's Square. The Church in Italy was observing Pro-Life Day, under the theme "You Cannot Trade with Life."

The Holy Father observed that a "certain commercial logic, allied to modern technology, can at times take advantage of human desires that are good in themselves, such as that of becoming a mother or father, to the point of wanting a child at any cost."

"In reality," he continued, "human life can never become an object: from conception until natural death, the human being is the subject of inviolable rights, before which freedom must be restricted."

"Therefore, in these complex matters, it is indispensable that states adopt organic and clear laws, founded on solid ethical bases, to safeguard the inestimable good of human life," John Paul II said.

Lastly, the Pope recalled his message for the World Meeting of Families, which ended in Manila, Philippines, on Jan. 26, and whose theme was "The Christian Family: Good News for the Third Millennium."

"Dear Christian families, you are good news," the Pope said. "Sustained by the grace of the sacrament of marriage, face the different situations of life united and contribute to maintain the social fabric healthy."