Vatican City (Fides Service) – “Never be discouraged and never tire of proclaiming and bearing witness to the Gospel of Life; be close to families and mothers in difficulty. Especially to women I renew my call to defend the covenant between women and life and to be “promoters” of a “new feminism” which does not fall into the temptation to follow “chauvinist” models but which is able to recognise and express the authentic feminine genius in all manifestations of civil co-existence, working to overcome all forms of discrimination, violence and exploitation”. Pope John Paul II said this to members of the Directive Council of Pro-Life Movement in Italy during an audience on 22 May.
The Holy Father said in his address “ On receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, Venerable Mother Teresa, whom you consider the spiritual president of pro-life movements all over the world, had the courage to state in front of the leaders of political communities: <If we accept that a mother can kill the fruit of her womb, what is left to us? Abortion is the principle that endangers peace in the world> This is true! There can be no authentic peace without respect for life, especially the innocent and helpless life of the unborn child…therefore yours is not only a Movement for Life it is also an authentic Movement for peace, precisely because it strives always to protect life”.
The Pope recalled the threats to the unborn child – “embryos generated in excess, selected, frozen and used for destructive experiments and destined for death with premeditated decisions.” – and he called for a speedy approval by the Italian parliament of a law to protect the rights of the unborn child, taking into account that “between the desires of adults and the rights of the unborn child every decision taken must give precedence to the latter”. SL (Fides Service 23/5/2003 EM lines 22 Words: 330)