Pope: Human Life Is a Gift, Not a Product

Urges Brazilian Bishops to Educate Consciences

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 15, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is urging bishops to educate Christian consciences so that people can appreciate human life as a gift of God and not just a commercial product.

The Pope stated this Saturday in an audience with the bishops of Southern Brazil who were visiting Rome for their five-yearly visit.

“Your people harbor in their hearts great religious sentiments and noble traditions, rooted in Christianity, which are expressed in heartfelt and genuine religious and civil manifestations,” he acknowledged.

The Pontiff exhorted the bishops to continue in their work of evangelization, noting that “authentic social life begins in each one’s conscience.”

He continued, “Given that a well-formed conscience leads to fulfilling the true good of man, the Church, specifying what this good is, enlightens man and, throughout the whole of Christian life, tries to educate his conscience.”

The Holy Father urged the prelates to “awaken consciences, unite wills in a joint effort against the growing wave of violence and contempt for the human being.”

Human life, he said, is a “gift of God received in the loving intimacy of marriage between a man and a woman,” but is often “now seen as a mere human product.”

Benedict XVI explained that “the conviction of right reason and the certainty of faith that the life of the human being, from conception until natural death, belongs to God and not to men, confers on it that sacred character and that personal dignity that arouses only one correct legal and moral attitude, that is, one of profound respect.”

He affirmed, “We must never be discouraged in our appeal to conscience.”

The Pope urged the bishops, “Continue to work for the triumph of God’s cause, not with the sad spirit of one who only sees want and dangers, but with the firm confidence of one who knows he can count on Christ’s victory.”

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On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full text: http://zenit.org/article-27554?l=english

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