By John-Henry Westen

  VATICAN CITY, October 31, 2007 ( – This morning Pope Benedict XVI announced his “general prayer intention” for November.  The intention reads: “That those dedicated to medical research and all those engaged in legislative activity may always have deep respect for human life, from its beginning to its natural conclusion.”

  In his two-and-a-half years serving as Pontiff, Benedict has consistently stressed the need for prayer to protect the sanctity of life and the family. 

  The Holy Father’s June prayer intention last year requested the Church to pray for Christian families, asking: “That Christian families may lovingly welcome every child who comes into existence and surround the sick and the aged, who need care and assistance, with affection.”

  The previous month, May 2006, the Pope asked Catholics to pray “That in the mission countries those responsible for the public institutions may with suitable laws, promote and defend human life from its conception to its natural termination.”