Pro-life Groups Delighted at the Election

New Pope Hailed for Strong Pro-life Stance

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NEW YORK, APRIL 19, 2005 ( Here is a sampling of reactions to the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as the new Pope.

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Father Frank Pavone
National director of Priests for Life

Priests for Life is delighted at the election of Pope Benedict XVI. For decades, he has been a strong voice in favor of life, clearly articulating the Church’s teachings. In particular, he has explained how the Church must be the conscience of the state (see below). We look forward to working together with and under the leadership of the new Pope to advance the Culture of Life.

[The following is an excerpt from a report Cardinal Ratzinger made on the occasion of a 1991 consistory of cardinals, which formed the basis for Pope John Paul II’s encyclical “Evangelium Vitae”]:

“(A) State which arrogates to itself the prerogative of defining which human beings are or are not the subject of rights, and which consequently grants to some the power to violate others’ fundamental right to life, contradicts the democratic ideal to which it continues to appeal and undermines the very foundations on which it is built.

“By allowing the rights of the weakest to be violated, the State also allows the law of force to prevail over the force of law. One sees, then, that the idea of an absolute tolerance of freedom of choice for some destroys the very foundation of a just mode of social life. The separation of politics from any natural content of law, which is the inalienable patrimony of everyone’s moral conscience, deprives social life of its ethical substance and leaves it defenseless before the will of the strongest.”

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Father Thomas Euteneuer,
President of Human Life International

We thankfully recognize the staunch pro-life commitment of Cardinal Ratzinger during the whole of his episcopacy and we are confident that as Pope Benedict XVI, he will continue his strong defense of the Church’s teaching on the sanctity of human life.

May the words of Pope John Paul II guide his way in this all-important task, when he said: ‘(T)he common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights … is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition of all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination’ (“Christifideles Laici,” No. 38).

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Carl Anderson
Supreme Knight, Knights of Columbus

The selection of Cardinal Ratzinger as the successor to John Paul II indicates clearly that the College of Cardinals wanted to continue the direction and the tremendous accomplishment of the past 27 years. Like John Paul II, Benedict XVI is both a strong leader and a brilliant theologian.

Both were intimately involved in the work of the Second Vatican Council, and firmly committed to the renewal it brought about. And, of course, Cardinal Ratzinger was one of John Paul’s earliest appointments, and has served in the key post of Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith since 1981.

The cardinals could not have picked a person who was closer to John Paul II, personally and doctrinally, than the man who is now Pope Benedict XVI.

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