Pope Benedict Says Medical Advances Must Respect Pro-Life Concerns

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 23, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 23
, 2007

The Vatican (LifeNews.com) — Pope Benedict XVI over the weekend said that advances in medicine must be tempered by a respect for the sanctity and value of human life. The pope made the comments during a visit at a hospital on the second day of a weekend visit to the tomb of St. Augustine, whose writings have influenced him.

The Catholic leader said that advances in medicine were greatly benefiting people.

But he added that scientists engaging in practices like cloning and embryonic stem cell research need to be concerned about respecting human life.

"It is my true hope that the necessary scientific and technological progress are constantly accompanied by the conscience to also promote … those fundamental values like the respect of human life in each of its phases," he said, according to an AP report.

The pontiff called for a respect for human life from conception to natural death — a longtime Catholic phrase requesting a respect for human life including the unborn and the elderly and disabled.

The comment came during a visit at St. Matthew’s Hospital in Pavia, a northern Italian city.

"Here, you try to alleviate people’s suffering, looking at the same time for their full recovery and often — thanks to modern scientific discoveries — with very satisfactory results," the Pontiff said, addressing the hospital’s staff.

"The hospital is a place we could, in a sense, call ‘sacred,’ where the fragility of human nature is experienced, but also the enormous potential and the resources of human ingenuity and technology in the service of life," he added.

"Suffering repulses the human being," he concluded.

"But when it is welcomed with love because of faith, it becomes a precious occasion to be united in a mysterious way with Christ the redeemer, who, on the cross, took on the death and all of the pain of humanity."