by Steven Ertelt
January 12, 2006
The Vatican (LifeNews.com) — Speaking on issues that are likely going to come up in the upcoming elections in Italy, Pope Benedict XVI spoke out against the dangerous abortion drug RU 486. The abortion drug has come up in the last few months as some Italian hospitals have been waning to conduct trials of its use.
The pontiff didn’t mention the drug by name, but said the Italian government should not "introduce pharmaceuticals that in one way or another hide the grave nature of abortion."
He indicated that the political leaders have a duty to protect life that applies particularly to "the protection of nascent human life."
Last September, Health Minister Francesco Storace blocked the trials after the hospitals purchased the abortion drugs abroad. Sant’Anna hospital Turin had been conducting trials and said in October it would look at resuming them soon.
The Pope spoke to Rome’s regional leaders, many of them left of center who may be more likely to support abortion.
Italians head to the polls on April 9 and the views of the Catholic Church frequently play a role in motivating how they vote.
The center-left coalition of former European Commission president Romano Prodi, known as The Union, is challenging Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s center-right government coalition.
Franco Grillini, a leftist parliamentarian, complained about the Pope’s comments, saying "The Pope is interfering heavily in Italian politics and behaving like the leader of a political party."
Roberto Calderoli, a government minister, disagreed and said "What the Pope said is the most sacrosanct thing in the world."
Pope Benedict spoke out last month on the issue of abortion, saying the Church reminds "politicians and lawmakers, as servants of the social good," of their duty "to defend the fundamental right to life, fruit of the love of God."
The Pope noted that "all human life is deserving of respect and must be protected from its conception all the way to its natural end."
He also pressed for respect for the disabled saying they should be included "in society, in the work force but also in the Christian community."