Statement on the Election of Pope Benedict XVI

Priests for Life

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement on the selection of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI:

"Priests for Life is delighted at the election of Pope Benedict XVI. For decades, he has been a strong voice in favor of life, clearly articulating the Church's teachings. In particular, he has explained how the Church must be the conscience of the state (see below). We look forward to working together with and under the leadership of the new Pope to advance the Culture of Life."

The following is an excerpt from a report Cardinal Ratzinger made on the occasion of the 1991 Conclave of Cardinals which formed the basis for Pope John Paul II's document Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life):

"...[A] State which arrogates to itself the prerogative of defining which human beings are or are not the subject of rights, and which consequently grants to some the power to violate others' fundamental right to life, contradicts the democratic ideal to which it continues to appeal and undermines the very foundations on which it is built. By allowing the rights of the weakest to be violated, the State also allows the law of force to prevail over the force of law. One sees, then, that the idea of an absolute tolerance of freedom of choice for some destroys the very foundation of a just mode of social life. The separation of politics from any natural content of law, which is the inalienable patrimony of everyone's moral conscience, deprives social life of its ethical substance and leaves it defenseless before the will of the strongest." (April 4-7, 1991, Consistory of Cardinals, "The Problem of Threats to Human Life.")