by Steven Ertelt
April 16, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — As Pope Benedict XVI arrived in the United States for a celebrated visit, both the Catholic leader and President Bush touched on pro-life issues in public and private. Pro-life advocates hope the pontiff will deliver rousing speeches during his visit on key moral issues.
President Bush made it clear that the American nation rests on the same pro-life Christian ideals that prompt the Catholic Church to be so outspoken on abortion and bioethics concerns.
"In a world where some treat life as something to be debased and discarded, we need your message that all human life is sacred," the president said. "And your message that ‘each of us is willed, each of us is loved, and each of us is necessary.’"
"In a world where some no longer believe that we can distinguish between simple right and wrong, we need your message to reject this ‘dictatorship of relativism,’ and embrace a culture of justice and truth," he said in the welcoming speech.
He said Americans believe a "common moral law" is "written into every human heart" and the "foundation on which any successful free society must be built."
In his own introductory speech, the Pope agreed with President Bush that the United States was founded based on a respect for human life.
"The framers of this nation’s founding documents drew upon this conviction when they proclaimed the ‘self-evident truth’ that all men are created equal and endowed with inalienable rights grounded in the laws of nature and of nature’s God," he said.
Meanwhile, The Vatican issued a statement saying Pope Benedict and President Bush met privately at the White House, where they discussed "the respect of the dignity of the human person" and "the defense and promotion of life."