by Steven Ertelt
December 12, 2006
The Vatican (LifeNews.com) — Vatican officials have released the text of a speech Pope Benedict XVI is expected to give for World Day of Peace 2007, the January 1 celebration sponsored by the Catholic church. In the speech, the pontiff says that true world peace can’t be achieved as long as nations allow the killing of unborn children via abortion.
In addition to opposing war, upholding religious freedoms, combating terrorism, and reducing nuclear proliferation, the pope cited a person’s right to life as a key component to peace.
“Respect for people promotes peace,” the pope said in the statement as he stressed “the duty to respect the dignity of each and every person."
“As for the right to life, we have the duty to denounce its destruction in our societies," the leader of the Catholic church said.
"The duty to respect the dignity of each human being, in whose nature the image of the Creator is reflected, means in consequence that the person cannot be disposed of at will," the pope writes.
Pope Benedict placed abortion, euthanasia and bioethics issues like human cloning and embryonic stem cell research in the same list as other violations of world peace.
"Alongside the victims of armed conflicts, terrorism, and various forms of violence, there are those silent deaths provoked by hunger, abortion, experiments on embryos and euthanasia," he added. "How could all this be seen as anything other than an attack on peace?"
"Abortion and embryonic experimentation constitute a direct denial of that attitude of acceptance of others which is indispensable for establishing lasting relationships of peace," the pope concluded.
His opposition to abortion doesn’t mean a lack of respect for women. The pope cited "the exploitation of women" through sex trafficking and other forms of "lack of respect for their dignity."