New Book by Pope Benedict XVI Condemns Abortion, Europe Laws

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 20, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New Book by Pope Benedict XVI Condemns Abortion, Europe Laws

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 20, 2005

The Vatican ( — A new book written by Pope Benedict XVI condemns abortion. Written when he was a leading Catholic cardinal, before his ordination as the pontiff, the Pope also takes to task European nations which have legalized abortion.

Former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote the book, "The Europe of Benedict, in the Crisis of Cultures,” which was unveiled at a ceremony on Tuesday.

The former cardinal criticized countries who condemn infanticide "while becoming virtually insensitive to abortion.”

"Maybe because in abortion you don’t see the face of who will be condemned and never see the light,” he wrote.

By allowing legal abortion "you become blind to the right of life of another, the youngest and weakest who doesn’t have a voice.”

The pope wrote portions of the book from 1992 until last year, according to the Cantagalli publishing house which is publishing it. The title refers to St. Benedict of Norcia, the patron saint of Europe.

Last month, Pope Benedict gave his first speech on pro-life issues.

He said he has no plans to change the Catholic Church’s long-held pro-life stance against abortion and euthanasia. He said church leaders must resist the urge to "water down" Catholic teachings on the important issues.

A pope "must not proclaim his own ideas, but ever link himself and the church to obedience to the word of God, when faced with all attempts of adaptation or of watering down, as with all opportunism," Benedict said.

"That’s what Pope John Paul II did, when … faced with erroneous interpretations of freedom, underlined in an unequivocal way, the inviolability of human beings, the inviolability of human life from conception to natural death," Pope Benedict said.

"The freedom to kill is not a real freedom, but a tyranny that reduces the human being to slavery," he added, clearly condemning practices such as assisted suicide and embryonic stem cell research.