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N. 33/34 (1806) - 13/20 August 2003

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Spread ‘Gospel of Life’ against ‘Culture of Death’
On Sunday, 10 August, the Holy Father introduced the prayer of the Angelus at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, and spoke of the Church’s mission in Europe to “serve the Gospel of hope” and “give renewed hope to the poor”. Young people, engaged couples and families, the Pope said, must “live and spread the ‘Gospel of life', fighting against the ‘culture of death'” to build a “city worthy of man”. After the Angelus, the Pope invited the faithful to join in his prayer for the victims of the recent fire disasters in Europe, especially in Portugal, and to pray to the Lord for needed rain. The following is a translation of the Holy Father’s Address, which was given in Italian. 1. To serve the Gospel of hope: this is the Church’s mission also in Europe. The Church carries out this mission, accompanying the proclamation of hope with concrete charitable initiatives. Throughout the centuries, this has been the case: the duty of evangelization is sustained by effective human promotion. Putting herself at the service of charity, the Church has nourished and is nourishing the culture of solidarity, cooperating to give life once again to the universal values of human coexistence (cf. Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Europa, n. 84). A service of love also means to re-propose faithfully the truth about matrimony and the family, to educate young people, engaged couples and families themselves to live and spread the “Gospel of life”, fighting against the “culture of death”. Only with everyone’s contribution will it be possible to build a “city worthy of man” in Europe and in the world, and a more just and stable international order. May Mary, Mother of hope, and St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, co-patroness of Europe whom we commemorated yesterday, help the Church on the European Continent to be a witness of that active charity that “represents the happy synthesis of an authentic service of the Gospel of hope” (ibid., n. 104). After the prayer of the Angelus, the Holy Father said: Extensive fires have developed in these days in certain European nations, with particular intensity in Portugal, and have caused deaths and enormous damage to the environment. It is an emergency that is worrisome and which, fed by the persistent drought as

Giving concrete help and renewed hope to the poor
2. Today too, it is necessary to “give renewed hope to the poor”, so that in welcoming and serving them, it is Christ himself who welcomes and serves (cf. Mt 25:40). Many challenges in this regard confront European believers. Today, there are many categories of persons who are poor: among them, the unemployed, the sick, isolated or abandoned elderly persons, the homeless, marginalized youth, immigrants and refugees.

Foresters extinguish a fire on Savona's highlands, Northern Italy, on 7 August.

well as human responsibility, puts at risk the environmental patrimony, precious goods for all of humanity. I invite you to join in my prayer for the victims of this disaster, and I exhort everyone to raise fervent petitions to the Lord so that he showers down a cooling rain on the parched earth.

The Holy Father then greeted the pilgrims in French, English, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. To the English-speaking faithful he said: I warmly welcome the English-speaking pilgrims, and I encourage you to follow Christ with confidence and generosity.



The United Nations and human cloning
This September the debate on human cloning will be resumed, in the context of the work of the 58th General Assembly of the United Nations. In practice, it will be a matter of determining the scope of the mandate of a working group responsible for preparing an international convention on the prohibition of human cloning, hence, also of deciding whether to draw up a draft that prohibits only so-called “reproductive cloning” or one that also prohibits socalled “therapeutic cloning”. In this regard, it should be remembered that the Catholic Church, in accordance with the teaching already set down in the official documents published on this subject to date, maintains a negative ethical stance on all forms of human procreation which provide for the substitution or exclusion of the conjugal act of a man and a woman. With regard to the compilation of a relevant set of norms on human cloning, the Holy See has been careful to provide the international bodies with clarifications on certain points: 1. All forms of cloning of individual human beings must be prohibited, whether cloning entails the production or attempted production of a human embryo through the introduction of the nucleus of a somatic cell into an oocyte whose nucleus has previously been removed (nuclear transfer), or as the production of embryos from a pre-existing embryo regardless of its origin — through the artificial separation of one or more of its cells (embryo splitting). 2. The difference between reproductive cloning and therapeutic cloning is in the purpose of the procedures; indeed, it is always a matter of producing an embryo by cloning (a) or by implanting it in a uterus so that the pregnancy may be carried to terms, or (b) by using it for scientific research (for example, for the production of stem cells) so as to cause its inevitable destruction. However, given the total prohibition of human cloning, it is possible to foresee and draw up penal action to suit the aim and circumstances of the respective acts condemned. 3. The possible attempt to produce hybrid embryos that combine human and animal genetic material must be subject to particularly severe sanctions. 4. The penal condemnation of the artifical production of embryos and human cloning must include every commercial act and all non-commercial exchanges, at the national and international level, of embryos produced by cloning or from matter taken from them. Likewise, no type of intellectual property rights concerning the knowledge or technologies relative to human cloning must be recognized. 5. On the other hand, the Holy See is not opposed to the production of stem cells from adults or by means that do not entail the destructive use of living embryos, including those obtained from cryopreservation. The removal of cells, tissue or other biological matter from embryos or fetuses who have died spontaneously is also deemed licit. 6. Cloning which does not intend to produce individuals but merely to multiply cells (stem cells in particular), on the other hand, in itself raises no ethical objections. 7. Animal or vegetable cloning is governed by different ethical parameters and is not relevant to the topic under discussion here. For further knowledge of so complex a subject, we will shortly be publishing a series of articles that will address different aspects of the topic of human cloning.

“If Mary protects you, you will have nothing to fear; with her to lead you, you will never know fatigue; with her favour, you will reach your goal”.
St Bernard of Clairvaux De Laudibus Virginis Matris, Hom. 2


Jesus Christ, The Bearer of the Water of Life
A Christian reflection on the ‘New Age’

At the GENERAL AUDIENCE of Wednesday, 6 August, at Castel Gandolfo, the Holy Father recalled two great Popes: St Pius X, “invincible champion of the Church”, who was elected Pope 100 years ago on 4 August 1903, and Paul VI, “an authentic witness of Christ Our Lord, in love with the Church and ever perceptive in interpreting the signs of the times”, who died in Castel Gandolfo on 6 August 1978. PAGE 3