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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 people.

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 ideological positions.

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 him.

Teachings of the Magisterium on Abortion

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