VATICAN CITY, January 9, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In his annual address to ambassadors to the Vatican today, Pope Benedict XVI warned that laws permitting abortion and undermining the traditional family are threatening “the future of humanity.”  Speaking particularly of the West, the Holy Father said, “I am convinced that legislative measures which not only permit but at times even promote abortion for reasons of convenience or for questionable medical motives compromise the education of young people and, as a result, the future of humanity.”

Similarly, the pope spoke of “the family, based on the marriage of a man and a woman,” noting that it “is not a simple social convention, but rather the fundamental cell of every society.”  He added: “Consequently, policies which undermine the family threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself.”

Benedict noted the ‘dark times’ we are living in currently due to economic and social unrest. “The present moment is sadly marked by a profound disquiet and the various crises – economic, political and social – are a dramatic expression of this,” he said. “Truly the world is dark wherever men and women no longer acknowledge their bond with the Creator and thereby endanger their relation to other creatures and to creation itself.”

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As a solution the Holy Father proposed keeping upholding the dignity and rights of the person.  “(I)t seems evident to me that the best way to move forward is through the recognition of the inalienable dignity of each human person and of his or her fundamental rights,” he said. “Respect for the person must be at the centre of institutions and laws; it must lead to the end of all violence and forestall the risk that due concern for popular demands and the need for social solidarity turn into mere means for maintaining or seizing power.”

See the Pope’s full address here.