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N. 6 (1980) - 7 February 2007

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‘Love and desire life’
However, we also know that marriage is going through a deep crisis and today must face numerous challenges. It is consequently necessary to defend, help, safeguard and value it in its unrepeatDear Brothers and Sisters, Today, Pro-Life Day, organized by the Bishops’ able uniqueness. If this commitment is in the first place the duty Conference on the theme: “Love and desire life”, is being celebrated in Italy. I cordially greet all those of spouses, it is also a priority duty of the Church and of every public institution to support the family by means of pastoral and political initiatives that take into account the real needs of married couples, of the elderly and of the new generations. A peaceful family atmosphere, illumined by faith and the holy fear of God also nurtures the budding and blossoming of vocations to the service of the Gospel. I am referring in particular not only to those who are called to follow Christ on the path of the priesthood but also to all men and women religious, the consecrated people we remembered last Friday on the “World Day of Consecrated Life”. Dear brothers and sisters, let us pray that through a constant effort to promote life and the family institution, our communities may be places of communion and hope in which, despite the many difficulties, the great “yes” to authentic love and to the reality of the human being and the family is renewed in accordance with God’s original plan. Let us ask the Lord, through the intercession of Mary Most Holy, to grant that With bright green balloons saying ‘Yes to life’, supporters of the Italian respect for the sacredness of Pro-Life Movement listen to the Holy Father’s Angelus on Sunday, 4 February. life will grow so that people who are gathered in St Peter’s Square to witness will be ever more aware of the real needs of famtheir commitment in support of life, from its con- ilies and that the number of those who help to ception to its natural end. I join the Italian Bishops build the civilization of love in the world will inin renewing the appeal made several times by my crease. venerable Predecessors to all men and women of After the Angelus the Pope said: good will to welcome the great and mysterious gift I offer a warm welcome to the English-speaking of life. pilgrims and visitors gathered for today’s Angelus Life, which is a work of God, should not be de- prayer. My special greeting goes to the Governnied to anyone, even the tiniest and most defence- ment officials from Sri Lanka engaged in the reless unborn child, and far less to a child with seri- construction of areas struck by the tsunami. Toous disabilities. At the same time, echoing the Pas- day’s Gospel shows us the great spiritual fruitfultors of the Church in Italy, I advise you not to fall ness that accompanies our wholehearted decision into the deceptive trap of thinking that life can be to answer the Lord’s call. May you and your famdisposed of, to the point of “legitimizing its inter- ilies be strengthened in faith and confident hope in ruption with euthanasia, even if it is masked by a God’s promises! I wish everyone a good Sunday. veil of human compassion”. At noon on Sunday, 4 February, prior to leading the recitation of the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St Peter's Square, the Holy Father reflected on the Pro-Life Day being celebrated in Italy, promoted by the Italian Bishops' Conference on the theme: “Love and desire life”. He also commented on the “Week of life and of the family”, which began that day in the Diocese of Rome, and stressed that it was an important opportunity to pray and reflect on the family, “the ‘cradle’ of life and of every vocation”. The following is a translation of the Pope’s Reflection, which was given in Italian. The “Week of life and of the family” begins in our Diocese of Rome today. It is an important opportunity to pray and reflect on the family, which is the “cradle” of life and of every vocation. We are well aware that the family founded on marriage is the natural environment in which to bear and raise children and thereby guarantee the future of all of humanity.

Celebrating Consecrated Life

Marriage in crisis

The Presentation of Jesus, the Feast John Paul II chose as the World Day of Consecrated Life, reminds Religious to bring Christ's light to the world. See page 3.

Compassion and clarity

Notorious euthanasia case demonstrates the negative influence of the media on bioethics in anthropological issues. See page 10.
At the GENERAL AUDIENCE on Wednesday, 31 January, in the Vatican's Paul VI Audience Hall, the Holy Father resumed his Catecheses on the Apostles of the Church. He focused on the most important missionary companions of St Paul: Barnabas, Silas (also called Silvanus), and Apollos. The Pope emphasized that the necessity of their working and collaborating together served as a means for growing in holiness. PAGE 11

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