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Rome Reports

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Pope in General Audience: Every human life has an inestimable value

Pope Francis once again held the General Audience from his papal library. He recalled the 25th anniversary of John Paul II's encyclical, Evangelium vitae. It highlighted the fundamental right to human life.  

Every human life, unique and unrepeatable. It has value in itself. It has an inestimable value.
The attacks on the dignity and life of people unfortunately also continue in our era, which is the era of universal human rights. Indeed, we are faced with new threats and a new slavery, and laws don't always protect the weakest and most vulnerable human life.

On the feast of the Annunciation, Pope Francis recalled that the Mary welcomed Gabriel's announcement and immediately went to help another, her cousin Elizabeth, who was pregnant.

[Human dignity] is not an abstract concept, but it always manifests itself in a person in flesh and blood: a newly conceived child, a poor marginalized man, a lonely and discouraged patient or one in a terminal state, one who has lost his job or cannot find one, a refused or outcast migrant...

He said human dignity is not an ideology, but it is a reality that requires a concrete response of all humanity, not only Christians. 

We realize this more and more in this period in which the epidemic is taking the lives of many people. Through the intercession of Mary, we pray to the Lord of life to end this threat of death and to re-instill respect for every life in the hearts of all men and women.

The importance of respect for life, is seen in Evangelium Vitae. This 25th anniversary is an opportunity to re-discover the enclclical John Paul II wrote in 1995. It covers topics still debated today, including abortion and euthanasia. 

Pope Francis concluded his General Audience recalling the prayer and Urbi et Orbi blessing he will give on Friday, at 6p.m., Rome time. He invited everyone to participate virtually. 

Melissa Butz