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    » 05/10/2008, 00.00

    VATICAN

    Pope: in respect for life, the dignity of the person is at stake



    40 years after Humanae Vitae, Benedict XVI reiterates the unity of love and openness to life. A theme about which the Church "cannot exempt itself" from speaking. The need for "appropriate" sex education for the young.

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - It is the very dignity of the person that is at stake when "the exercise of sexuality is turned into a drug designed to subject the partner to his own desires and interests, without respecting the freedom of the beloved".  This is something that, at a time when the culture is "subjected to the predominance of having over being", must be taught to young people, "with appropriate sex education", while the Church "cannot exempt itself" from reflecting upon and proclaiming the fundamental principles concerning marriage and procreation.  The 40th anniversary of the "beleaguered" encyclical "Humanae Vitae" today provided Benedict XVI with an opportunity to reiterate the basic principles according to which pope Montini wrote a document that became "very soon a sign of contradiction", but that still today "not only manifests its unchanged truth, but also reveals the farsightedness with which the problem was faced".

    To the participants at the international congress organized by the Pontifical Lateran University for the anniversary of the encyclical, Benedict XVI emphasized that in it "conjugal love is described within a global process that does not stop at the division between soul and body, nor rests under sentiment alone, which is often fleeting and precarious, but takes upon itself the unity of the person and the total sharing of the spouses who, in reciprocal welcoming, offer themselves in a promise of faithful and exclusive love born from a genuine choice of freedom.  How could such a love remain closed to the gift of life?".

    "As believers, we could never permit the dominance of technology to compromise the quality of love and the sacredness of life".

    The pope, finally, returned to a question that is especially dear to him, that of the formation of young people.  "Unfortunately, we increasingly witness", he said, "sorrowful events that involve adolescents, whose reactions manifest an incorrect understanding of the mystery of life and of the dangerous implications of their actions.  The urgency of formation, to which I often make reference, applies in a special way to the issue of life.  I truly hope that an entirely special form of attention may be reserved for young people, so that they may learn the true meaning of love and prepare themselves for this with appropriate sex education, without allowing themselves to be misled by ephemeral messages that block the realisation of the essence of the truth at stake.  Supplying false illusions in the area of love, or creating deception about the genuine responsibilities that people are called to accept with the exercise of their sexuality, does not do honour to a society that makes reference to the principles of freedom and democracy.  Freedom must be combined with truth, and responsibility with the power of dedication to the other, even with sacrifice; without these components, the community of men does not grow and the risk of being closed within a circle of suffocating egoism remains a constant threat".

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    See also

    03/10/2008 VATICAN
    Pope: Church must advance understanding of its message on marriage and procreation
    Benedict XVI, recalling the 40th anniversary of Humanae Vitae, reiterates its central message, that the love between spouses embraces the generation of children, and that there are "absolute limits" that science must recognize.

    18/06/2007 VATICAN
    Pope to youth: be, like Francis, in love with Christ and history’s protagonists
    The full version of Benedict XVI’s address to over 25 thousand young people gathered at St. Mary of the Angels.

    13/12/2008 VIETNAM
    Youth emergency. In Ho Chi Minh City, the Church begins from the family
    The majority of the country is now made up of young people. 26% of Vietnamese are under the age of 15. To the thousands of cases of abandonment, exploitation, or solitude, the Church is responding by focusing on the family.

    13/09/2008 VATICAN
    Pope: with Christ, flee from the idols that alienate man
    In front of 300,000 people in the Esplanade des Invalides, Benedict XVI proposes the Eucharist as the way to attain man's true destiny, leaving aside "money, the thirst for possessions, for power and even for knowledge". An invitation to young people to discover their calling, and to follow Christ in the priesthood. This afternoon, the pope goes to Lourdes.

    23/01/2008 VATICAN
    Pope: At the root of the educational emergency is a crisis of trust in life
    In a letter to the people of Rome, Benedict XVI writes that every person and every generation must make fresh choices, without being able to accumulate the progress made in the past. The educational relationship is above all the encounter between two forms of freedom, and successful education means formation in the proper use of freedom.



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