John-Paul II - Legacy of a Pro-Life Pope

Mon Apr 4, 2005 - 12:15 pm EST

VATICAN CITY, April 4, 2005 ( - As the world mourns the death of John Paul the Great, commemorates him as a champion of life. has written over 5000 articles concerning the Holy Father since 1997.

Conservative commentator John O’Sullivan, writing in the Washington Times, reflected the sentiments of pro-lifers: “His teaching uppermost in most minds when he died was his commitment to a culture of life. There is an almost eerie symbolism in his entering the next world so shortly after Terri Schiavo, whose right to life he championed,” O’Sullivan added.

Just last year, Pope John Paul II convened a conference on end-of life care. Those in what doctors describe as a persistent vegetative state, the Holy Father emphasized, still must have access to the basic rights of food and water. “The sick person in a vegetative state, awaiting recovery or a natural end, still has the right to basic health care (nutrition, hydration, cleanliness, warmth, etc.). He also has the right to appropriate rehabilitative care and to be monitored for clinical signs of eventual recovery.” The Holy Father added: “I should like particularly to underline how the administration of water and food, even when provided by artificial means, always represents a natural means of preserving life, not a medical act.”

John Paul II defended the right to life at every opportunity - in numerous letters, encyclicals, papal addresses and homilies. In his most recent book, Memory and Identity, John Paul II compared abortion to the Holocaust. “There is still, however, a legal extermination of human beings who have been conceived but not yet born,” he wrote. “And this time we are talking about an extermination which has been allowed by nothing less than democratically elected parliaments where one normally hears appeals for the civil progress of society and all humanity.”

In the same book, published February, the Holy Father described same-sex “marriage” as a “new ideology of evil.” “It is legitimate and necessary to ask oneself if this is not perhaps part of a new ideology of evil, perhaps more insidious and hidden, which attempts to pit human rights against the family and against man,” he wrote.

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