“I encourage you to continue your important work in favour of life from conception until its natural end, also taking into account the conditions of suffering that many brothers and sisters have to face and at times submit to”, said Pope Francis this morning as he received the 510 participants in the Congress of the Movement for Life being held in Sacrofano, Italy, through Sunday.
“In existential dynamics everything is related, and we need to nurture a personal and social sensibility both towards the welcoming of a new life and towards those situations of poverty and exploitation that affect the weakest and most disadvantaged. On the one hand, ‘how can be genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo?”. On the other, ‘human life itself is a gift which must be defended from various forms of debasement’”, he affirmed, citing his encyclical “Laudato si’” and adding that “indeed, we must note sadly that there are many people who experience uncomfortable conditions of life, who require our attention and our solidarity”.
“For Christ’s disciples, helping wounded human life meant going towards people in need, putting themselves by their sides, and taking on board their frailty and suffering so as to relieve them. How many families are vulnerable due to poverty, illness, unemployment and homelessness? How many elderly people suffer the burden of suffering and loneliness? How many young people are lost, threatened by addiction and other forms of slavery, waiting to rediscover trust in life? These people, wounded in body and spirit, are icons of that man of the Gospel who, travelling the road from Jerusalem to Jericho, ran into some brigands who robbed and beat him. He experienced first the indifference of some, and then the closeness of the good Samaritan”.
On this path, “that crosses the desert of life, even in our times there are still many wounded people, caused by today’s brigands, who despoil them not only of their belongings but also of their dignity. Faced with the suffering and need of our defenceless brothers, some turn away or move on, whereas others stop and respond with generous dedication to their cry for help. You, members of the Movement for Life, have sought to imitate the good Samaritan during the forty years of your activity. Before the various forms of threats to human life, you have approached the frailty of others, you have taken action so that in society there may no longer be excluded or marginalised who live in precarious conditions”.
The Pope again thanked the members of the Movement for their work, and invited them to continue “to protect the most vulnerable people, who have the right to be born into life, as well as those who ask for a healthier and more dignified existence. In particular, there is a need to work at different levels and with perseverance, in the promotion and defence of the family, society’s foremost resource, especially with reference to the gift of children and the affirmation of the dignity of the woman”.
To this end, he concluded, “I would like to underline that in your activity, you have always welcomed everyone regardless of religion and nationality. The relevant number of women, especially immigrants, who attend your centres show that when women are offered concrete support, in spite of problems and influences, they are able to make the sense of love, life and maternity triumph within them”.
On ZENIT’s Web page:
Full translation: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-address-to-italian-pro-life-movement–2