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Juridical protection of human life

January 30, 1991

Jasna Gora Cycle

This is the 45th talk in the "Jasna Gora Cycle", a series of meditations which the Holy Father used in order to prepare for his trip to Poland. He gave it at the General Audience 30 January.

1. "Sisters and Brothers! We need to reflect further on the problem of the juridical protection of human life. We are convinced that it is a question that concerns not only our nation, but one that also affects the conscience of other nations. Our return to Europe should not be synonymous with our renouncing the divine Law. Returning to Europe, we want to be part of a group of countries which are morally strong, which observe the law and guarantee, with our help also, respect for human rights".

In your presence I re-read these words, O Guardian of Jasna Gora, of divine and human life in our land, these words from the Polish bishops' letter for the Feast of the Holy Family. In this letter they present to you, O Mother, our homeland's family problems--and through them their fundamental concern: "the right to life for every Pole, including those not yet born".

They write: "Medical science and prenatal psychology also answer unequivocally the question about the humanity of this little being who, with the help of his or her mother, is preparing to live an autonomous life". They then continue: "The divine Law, 'Thou shalt not kill', regards every person, and obliges every person regardless of his or her religious convictions, because it is the law which the Creator inscribed in human consciences as a natural law. (And finding ourselves faced with the real opportunity to realize fully the concept of a 'civil society', ... let us build our 'common house' in such a way that in it human life which has been conceived will not be destroyed)".

2. This concern of the Polish bishops is my concern as well. It is also my daily prayer, my daily cry to you, Mother and Guardian who is at Jasna Gora. I join with my brothers in the pastoral service and with all those who have at heart the problem of the life of unborn babies, and of the "law which will assure the juridical protection of the life which has been conceived".

With gratitude I think of the example given not long ago by the King of Belgium when he refused to sign the law which violated the right to life of unborn babies.

Kneeling at your feet, O Mother of my nation, I pray that in Poland families may be morally sound and strong, that they may be "strong in God".

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