July 25, 1992
Holy Father calls youth to celebrate life and defend it
"The future of man largely depends on a broad alliance for life and
young people are called to be in the front ranks of this demanding battle for
civilization, which is also a battle for authentic progress" was the Holy
Father's appeal to the world's youth during his meditation preceding the Sunday
Angelus on 25 July. Speaking at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, the
Pope called on young people to celebrate life instead of being the victims of a
"culture of death". The Holy Father spoke in Italian.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Dear Young People,
1. The meeting in Denver next August on the occasion of World Youth Day will
certainly be a great celebration of life. Young people love life; they
need to live fully their own experience of human growth and development. In this
respect the Denver gathering will be a highly significant witness for our time,
which, precisely in regard to life, is marked by great contradictions.
On the one hand, in fact, due to economic and scientific progress human life
has never been the object of attention and concern as it is today. On the other
hand, unfortunately, one notices, besides the persistent scandal of hunger
threatening the lives of millions of human beings, worrisome phenomena such as
widespread criminal activity, the scourge of alcohol and drugs, and the
fratricidal madness of war, which reap many victims especially among young
Particularly striking is the tolerance of a culture of death, often
presented as the civilized achievement of new rights, but which, in fact, lays a
trap for human life by preventing it through abortion from being born, or by
extinguishing it through euthanasia before its natural end.
Against this background, in which the sense and savour of life are obscured,
even cases of suicide, many of which occur among young people or even among
adolescents and children, are no longer news. Are not these disturbing instances
the sign of a basic malaise? How many people in silence and interior solitude
experience the tragedy of an increasing boredom with life. Especially in a
prosperous society, one can run the risk of living in the clutches of a
paralyzing anxiety or of being prey to the illusions of artificial paradises
which very often lead to tragic results.
2. In Denver we will go to celebrate life: the value of life, the
beauty and joy of life.
It is not possible for science to do so much to save life, and then become an
accomplice in its destruction. It is not possible for one to struggle for
respect for animal and plant life and then not vigorously champion the same
respect for the earliest stages of the life of man, whom God has placed at the
head of creation. These contradictions are too obvious to be hidden behind the
assertion of supposed rights to freedom. In this matter there is an urgent need
for a constructive dialogue among men and women of goodwill beyond the various
May the Blessed Virgin, who carried the Author of life in her womb, help us
all to rediscover the value of this great gift of God. The future of man largely
depends on a broad alliance for life and young people are called to be in
the front ranks of this demanding battle for civilization, which is also a
battle for authentic progress.
Mary, the Mother of humanity redeemed by Christ, pray for us!
To the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors to Castel Gandolfo the Holy
Father said: I am pleased to greet the English-speaking visitors present for
this Angelus prayer. May these summer holidays be a time to appreciate anew the
beauty of God's creation and thus may our hearts be moved to praise and glorify
Teachings of the
Magisterium on Abortion