02/01/2009, 00.00
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Pope: euthanasia is a false solution to the drama of suffering

Benedict XVI stresses the value of the Day for Life, on the topic "the power of life in suffering." Thanks to Jesus, who suffered for the sake of love, human suffering has meaning. The appointment tomorrow for the Day of Consecrated Life, on which the pontiff will meet with consecrated men and women in Rome. Prayer for "many new vocations."

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Euthanasia is a false solution to the drama of suffering, a solution that is not worthy of man. The real answer cannot be, in fact, to give death, as 'gentle' as this may be, but to testify to the love that helps us to face pain and agony in a humane way. We can be certain of this: no tear, neither of those who suffer, nor of those close to them, will be lost before God." These are the clear words of Benedict XVI in commenting on the Day for Life, called by the Italian bishops for today. The topic of this year is "the power of life in suffering." Expressing solidarity with the Italian bishops, the pope added: "I unite myself in my heart with their words, in which the love of the pastors for the people can be seen."

The "power of life in suffering" comes from the fact that "Jesus suffered and died on the cross out of love. In this way, viewed properly, he gave meaning to our suffering, a meaning that men and women of every age have understood and made their own, experiencing profound serenity even in the bitterness of harsh physical and moral trials." And speaking again of Jesus, he added: "suffering [was] an integral part of his mission."

In St. Peter's Square, to take part in the Angelus with the pontiff, there were thousands of members of the Movement for Life, with placards and banners (with messages like: "Abortion is murder"; or "Movement for Life"), and green balloons. In his final greetings, the pontiff expressed his encouragement of "those committed to the defense and promotion of the fundamental good of life."

After the Marian prayer, Benedict XVI recalled the Day of Consecrated Life, which is celebrated tomorrow on the occasion of the liturgical feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. On this observance, initiated by John Paul II, many consecrated persons make or renew their vows. The pontiff recalled that tomorrow afternoon, in St. Peter's Basilica, there will be a Mass presided over by the prefect of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life. After the celebration, the pope will meet with the consecrated men and women present in Rome. "I invite all," the pope said, "to thank the Lord for the precious gift of these brothers and sisters, and to ask him, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, for many new vocations, in the variety of charisms in which the Church is rich."

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