"Have Confidence in Life," Says John Paul II

First Public Address Since Hospitalization

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 6, 2005 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II’s first public address after five days of hospitalization was dedicated to the defense of human life, especially that of children, the most vulnerable.

«One must have confidence in life!» the Pope exhorted today when he appeared at the window of his room in Gemelli Polyclinic, in an address delivered on his behalf by Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, substitute of the Vatican Secretariat of State.

«Confidence in life is demanded silently by children who are yet unborn,» the Holy Father said. «Confidence is also asked by so many children who, remaining without a family for different reasons, need a home that will receive them through adoption or temporary custody.»

The «challenge of life» is «the first among the great challenges of humanity today,» he added.

Today is Pro-Life Day in Italy. The day comes at a time when attempts are being made to liberalize the law on assisted procreation that would allow research and experimentation on human embryos.

The Holy Father addressed the «beloved Italian people» and «all those who have at heart the defense of nascent life» to exhort «Catholics and people of good will to defend the fundamental right to life, in respect of the dignity of every human person.»

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