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Human life is still gravely threatened

The Holy Father has called for all nations to observe a special day each year to promote the sanctity of life. "I propose that a Day for Life be celebrated each year in every country, as already established by some episcopal conferences. The celebration of this day should be planned and carried out with the active participation of all sectors of the local church. Its primary purpose should be to foster in individual consciences, in families, in the church and in civil society a recognition of the meaning and value of human life at every stage and in every condition. Particular attention should be drawn to the seriousness of abortion and euthanasia, without neglecting other aspects of life which from time to time deserve to be given careful consideration as occasion and circumstances demand" (The Gospel of Life, #85).

In Italy, Pro-Life Day is observed on the first Sunday of February. Following are the Holy Father's words spoken at his Sunday Angelus in St. Peter's Square on February 1, 1998.


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Pro-Life Day, organized by the Italian Episcopal Conference, is being celebrated today in Italy. This year its theme is: "Communicating life". I join my Brother Bishops in inviting believers and all people of goodwill to reflect on the respect due to human life from its beginning in conception to its natural end.

Twenty years have now passed since Pro-Life Day was established. If in some respects sensitivity to the values of life has grown in recent years, it must nevertheless be noted that there are still some very grave threats, first of which is recourse to abortion. We must continue to pray and dedicate ourselves to ensuring that the culture of life will prevail over that of death. That is why "communicating life" is necessary.

The first "communicators" of life are parents, through procreation and education; but every person is called to spread the love of life. I appeal in particular to all those who work in the mass media to convey positive messages and provide objective information on the crucial problems concerning human life and respect for its dignity.

Pope John Paul II

More Teachings of the Magisterium on Abortion

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