VATICAN CITY, September 26, 2012 ( –The different areas of interest for people involved in public life, the pope said, are not distinct from each other, but are “profoundly interconnected,” and are all “constituted by respect for the transcendent dignity of human beings,” Pope Benedict told a group of Christian politicians last week.

The defence of human life, Benedict said, is not therefore separate from the defence of natural marriage. Rejection of abortion, euthanasia and eugenics, “is, in fact, interwoven with respecting marriage as an indissoluble union between a man and a woman and, in its turn, as the foundation for the community of family life”.

“It is in the family, founded on marriage and open to life, that human beings experience sharing, respect and gratuitous love, at the same time receiving – be they children, the sick or the elderly – the solidarity they need.”


Pope Benedict XVI, in a speech to the European Christian Democrat movement, said that “authentic progress of human society cannot forgo policies aimed at protecting and promoting marriage, and the community that derives therefrom.”

The family, based on the union of a man and a woman, he said, moreover “constitutes the principal and most significant place for the education of the person.”

“Thus the family, the basic cell of society, is the root which nourishes not only the individual human being, but the very foundations of social coexistence.”

He quoted the late Pope John Paul II who said that included among human rights, is “the right to live in a united family and in a moral environment conducive to the growth of the child’s personality”.

The pope also addressed the economic situation in the speech, saying that it is an opportunity to re-insert solid ethical foundations, the “lack of which” caused the current global crisis. The “central and indispensable goal” of their political and financial work, he said “must remain the search for the common good,” which is based on the “inalienable dignity of the human person”.

Benedict’s speech can be seen as an attempt at correcting the growing secularising trend in the Christian Democratic movement. From its earliest origins in the early 19th century as an answer to the anti-clerical secularism of the French Revolution – and later to the rise of Marxism – the Christian Democrat political movement has slowly slid back toward the very principles it was founded to oppose.

In the 1970s this trend was typified in Italy by the coalition of Christian Democrats and Communists to legalise abortion in 1978. Since then, many of the Christian Democrat parties and politicians throughout Europe have supported the goals of the homosexual political movement to equate same-sex partnerings with natural marriage.

The movement’s retreat from its religious foundation is highlighted by its various name changes. The international organisation started as the Christian Democrat World Union and changed in 1983 to Christian Democrat International which was then changed again in 2001 to its current name, the Centrist Democrat International. Abortion was made legal in Belgium, Italy, France, the Netherlands and Hungary under governments headed by Christian Democrat and Conservative Prime Ministers.