Pontiff: Bioethics Needs Natural Law

Stresses God’s Unique Love for Each Person

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 14, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is affirming that bioethics, with all of the scientific developments it takes into account, needs the principles of natural law so as to uphold human dignity.

The Pope stated this Saturday in an audience with members of the Pontifical Academy for Life who gathered in Rome for a general assembly on the topic of bioethics and natural law.

“The relationship between bioethics and the natural moral law” appears more “relevant in the present context because of the continual development in the scientific sphere,” the Pontiff noted.

He affirmed, “The issues that revolve around the theme of bioethics allow us to confirm how much these underlying questions in the first place pose the ‘anthropological question.'”

The Holy Father stated that “it is necessary to create a holistic pedagogical project that permits us to confront these issues in a positive, balanced and constructive vision, above all in the relationship between faith and reason.”

He continued: “The questions of bioethics often place the reminder of the dignity of the person in the foreground.

“This dignity is a fundamental principle that the faith in Jesus Christ crucified and risen has always defended, above all when it is ignored in regard to the humblest and most vulnerable persons: God loves every human being in a unique and profound way.”

“Bioethics, like every discipline, needs a reminder able to guarantee a consistent understanding of ethical questions that, inevitably, emerge before possible interpretive conflicts,” Benedict XVI stated.

Human dignity

“In such a space a normative recall to the natural moral law presents itself,” he added. “The recognition of human dignity, in fact, as an inalienable right first finds its basis in that law not written by human hand but inscribed by God the Creator in the heart of man.”

The Pope pointed out that “joining bioethics and natural moral law permits the best confirmation of the necessary and unavoidable reminder of the dignity that human life intrinsically possesses from its first instant to its natural end.”

He underlined the task of ensuring “that human life always be seen as the inalienable subject of rights and never as an object subjugated to the will of the strongest.”

“History has shown us how dangerous and deleterious a state can be that proceeds to legislate on questions that touch the person and society while pretending itself to be the source and principle of ethics,” the Pontiff warned.

He explained, “Without universal principles that permit a common denominator for the whole of humanity the danger of a relativistic drift at the legislative level is not at all something should be underestimated.”

“The natural moral law,” the Holy Father affirmed, “strong in its universal character, allows us to avert such a danger and above all offers to the legislator the guarantee for an authentic respect of both the person and the entire created order.”

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Full text: http://zenit.org/article-28354?l=english

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