VATICAN CITY, November 22, 2001 ( – Pope John Paul II included a call for the defence of the unborn in the first document he has ever personally posted on the Internet. The pro-life message came in a document that summed up the themes of a synod of bishops from Oceania held in the Vatican in 1998.

The Pope wrote: “In the more secularized and affluent societies of Oceania, the right to life is the one most under threat. There is a profound contradiction in this, for these are often societies which speak insistently about human rights while denying the most basic right of all.” He stressed, “the Church has to defend the right to life from the moment of conception until natural death, at every stage of its development.”

Answering a common question of imposition of morality the Pope said, “It is not a question of the Church seeking to impose her morality on others, but rather of being faithful to her mission to share the full truth about life as taught by Jesus Christ. The promotion of the sacredness of life is a consequence of the Christian understanding of human existence. This message must be taught by the Church not only within the Catholic community but, in a prophetic way, to society as a whole in order to declare the power and beauty of the Gospel of life.”“Life must be promoted and its sanctity defended against every threat of violence in its many forms, especially violence against the weakest – the elderly, the dying, women, children, the disabled and the unborn,” he said.

For the complete document see:


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