by Steven Ertelt
February 8, 2005
The Vatican (LifeNews.com) — The Pope may be hospitalized, but the issue of his first address following five days under doctors’ watchful eyes had to do with the lives of others. He declared a Pro-Life Day in Italy and told Catholics worldwide to continue defending the sanctity of human life.
"One must have confidence in life," Pope John Paul II told faithful Catholics in an address read by Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, substitute of the Vatican Secretariat of State.
"Confidence in life is demanded silently by children who are yet unborn," the Holy Father said. "Confidence is also asked by so many children who, remaining without a family for different reasons, need a home that will receive them through adoption or temporary custody."
The "challenge of life" is "the first among the great challenges of humanity today," he added.
The pontiff declared the day Pro-Life Day in Italy and it comes during a protracted debate on assisted birth technologies that pro-life groups oppose because they would allow scientists to destroy human life to conduct research.
The Pope urged "Catholics and people of good will to defend the fundamental right to life, in respect of the dignity of every human person."
He described protecting the right to life as the "first among the great challenges of humanity today."
The Catholic leader also urged pro-life advocates to look into adoption.
"Confidence is also asked by so many children who, remaining without a family for different reasons, need a home that will receive them through adoption or temporary custody," the Pope said.