Speak It Out

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The name Ardythe:good war (Anglo-saxon); flowering field (Hebrew); spiritual prosperity (Swedish); Norwegian goddess.

Monday, May 19, 2008



VATICAN CITY, 10 MAY 2008 (VIS) - At midday today, Benedict XVI received participants in an international congress being promoted by the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome to mark the 40th anniversary of the promulgation of the Encyclical "Humanae vitae".

Recalling that the Encyclical was published by Pope Paul VI on 25 July 1968, the Pope highlighted how "the document soon became a sign of contradiction" , and pointed out that "it constitutes a significant show of courage in reiterating the continuity of the Church's doctrine and tradition".

"The truth expressed in 'Humanae vitae 'does not change", he said, "quite the contrary, in the light of new scientific discoveries its teaching becomes more relevant and stimulates reflection on the intrinsic values it possesses".

The Holy Father affirmed that "in a culture suffering from the prevalence of having over being, human life risks losing its value. If the practice of sexuality becomes a drug that seeks to enslave the partner to one's own desires and interests without respecting the times of the beloved, then what must be defended is no longer just the concept of love but, primarily, the dignity of the person. As believers we could never allow the power of technology to invalidate the quality of love and the sacredness of life".

Natural law, he said, "deserves to be recognised as the source inspiring the relationship between a married couple in their responsibility to generate children. The transmission of life is inscribed in nature and its laws stand as an unwritten norm to which everyone must refer".

Nascent life, said the Pope, "is the fruit of a love capable of thinking and choosing in complete freedom, without allowing itself to be overly conditioned by the sacrifice this may require. From here emerges the miracle of life which parents experience in themselves as they sense the extraordinary nature of what is achieved in them and through them. No mechanical technique can substitute the act of love that husband and wife exchange as a sign of the greater mystery, in which they are protagonists and co-participants of creation".

After recalling the sad episodes that sometimes involve adolescents "whose reactions display their incorrect appreciation of the mystery of life and of the dangerous implications of their actions", the Holy Father expressed the hope that young people "may learn the true meaning of love and prepare for it with appropriate sexual education, not allowing themselves to be distracted by superficial messages that prevent them appreciating the essence of the truth at stake".

"Freedom must join with truth, and responsibility with strength of dedication to others, also through sacrifice. Without these principles the community of man does not develop and there is a risk of being trapped in oppressive selfishness" .

VATICAN CITY, 11 MAY 2008 (VIS) - At midday today, following this morning's Mass for the Solemnity of Pentecost held in the Vatican Basilica, Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study to pray the Regina Coeli with the thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square below.

"In a special way", he said, "Pentecost is the Baptism of the Church which embarks on her universal mission, beginning on the streets of Jerusalem, with her prodigious preaching in the various languages of humankind. In this Baptism of Holy Spirit the personal dimension is inseparable form the community dimension, the 'I' of the disciple and the 'us of the Church.

"The Spirit", added the Holy Father, "consecrates the person and at the same time makes him a living member of the mystical Body of Christ, a participant in the mission of bearing witness to His love. And this comes about through the Sacraments of Christian initiation: Baptism and Confirmation" . Pope Benedict concluded his remarks by calling on everyone to rediscover "the beauty of being baptised in the Holy Spirit" and to rediscover "an awareness of our Baptism and our Confirmation, ever present sources of grace".
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VATICAN CITY, 12 MAY 2008 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, the Holy Father received members of the Italian organisation Movement for Life, led by their president Carlo Casini.

Opening his address to them, Benedict XVI recalled how the year 2008 marks the 30th anniversary of the legalisation of abortion in Italy. "It is your intention", he told his audience, "to suggest profound reflections on the human and social effects the law has produced in the civil and Christian community during that period".

"We cannot but recognise", he went on, "that, in practical terms, defending human life has become more difficult today, because a mentality has been created that progressively devalues human life and entrusts it to the judgement of individuals. A consequence deriving therefrom is lessened respect for the human person, a value that lies at the foundation of any form of civil coexistence, over and above the faith a person may profess".

Abortion "not only has not resolved the problems afflicting many women and no small number of families, but it has opened another wound in our societies" said the Holy Father. He also called for combined efforts to ensure that "institutions once again focus their activities on defence of human life and priority concern for families. ... Families must be helped, using all legislative means to facilitate their formation and their educational work in the difficult social context of today".

"It is necessary to bear concrete witness to the fact that respect for life is the first form of justice that must be applied. For those who have the gift of faith this becomes an imperative that cannot be deferred. ... Only God is the Lord of life. Each human being is known, loved, wanted and guided by Him, ... and each has his origins in God's creative plan".

The Pope pointed out that this year also marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and he praised the Movement for Life's commitment "in the political sphere, assisting and encouraging the institutions to ensure that correct recognition is given to the words 'human dignity'.

"Your initiative in the European Parliament's Commission for Petitions, in which you affirm the fundamental values of the right to life from the moment of conception, of the family founded on the marriage of a man and a woman, of the right of all conceived human beings to be born and educated in a family of parents, is further confirmation of the solidity of your commitment and your full communion with the Church's Magisterium which has always proclaimed and defended such values as 'non negotiable'" .

Benedict XVI concluded by thanking his audience for their service "to the Church and to society. How many human lives have you saved from death! Continue along this path and do not be afraid, so that the smile of life may triumph on the lips of all children and their mothers".
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