….With the exception perhaps of Pope St. John Paul II, whose pro-life efforts Benedict XVI continued and expanded on, few can match his record.
From the beginning of his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI used his role as pope to emphasize the right to life and combat the “plague” of abortion.
In his first book published after his papal election, Benedict doubled-down on the Church’s pro-life stance, stressing that “There is no such thing as ‘small murders.’”
While performing his first baptisms as pope, he took the opportunity to assail the “culture of death” and “irresponsible” sexuality that lead
s to it.
“As far as the right to life is concerned, we must denounce its widespread violation in our society,” Benedict said in his 2007 message for the World Day of Peace, an event that he typically used to promote the defense of life.
“How can it be that the most wondrous and sacred human space – the womb – has become a place of unutterable violence?” he lamented at World Youth Day the following year.
Respect for life featured regularly in his monthly prayer intentions and animated his foreign trips.
He began his first papal visit to Latin America by endorsing the excommunication of pro-abortion politicians, and during a powerful speech in Austria, urged political leaders “not to allow children to be considered as a form of illness.”
In his encyclical Caritas in Veritate, Benedict passionately condemned abortion as a “tragic and widespread scourge,” linking it to “systematic eugenic programming of births” and “a pro-euthanasia mindset” that deems certain lives “no longer worth living.” He gave a copy of the encyclical and Vatican guidelines against embryonic research and contraception to Barack Obama during their first meeting.
Across his addresses and teachings, Pope Benedict XVI notably identified the right to life as a “non-negotiable” value, often alongside the protection of marriage and parental and conscience rights.
“As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person,” he told members of the European People’s Party in 2006, highlighting, first of all, “protection of life in all its stages….”
The German pontiff also showed his deep concern for life with his many personal interventions in political debates about abortion and euthanasia, particularly in the Catholic world.
He endorsed a campaign to defund abortion in the E.U. in 2013, denounced pro-abortion legislation in Mexico City, and backed pro-lifers as they rallied against it.
Pope Benedict XVI congratulated the Nicaraguan government in 2007 for banning all abortions, and later praised Malta for doing the same.
As Luxembourg debated a bill to legalize euthanasia, he condemned the legislation and the “evil” practice, calling on the predominately Catholic country to “reaffirm the greatness and inviolable character of human life.”
And unlike his successor, Benedict XVI had no love for pro-abortion politicians – a fact Nancy Pelosi discovered when he publicly embarrassed her with an unusually firm rebuke.
Just days before Brazil’s 2010 presidential election, Benedict took clear shots at the country’s Labor Party and presidential candidate Dilma Rousseff in an address urging Brazilian bishops to speak out against abortion. He bluntly condemned “political projects” that “contemplate the decriminalization of abortion,” as the Labor Party and Rousseff had.
A statement he had approved earlier as pope declared pro-abortion legislation “incompatible with participation in the Eucharist.”
Benedict’s opposition to dissident Catholic lawmakers, in fact, predated his papacy. As the Vatican’s longtime doctrinal chief under Pope St. John Paul II, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future Benedict XVI, ruled that public officials have a “grave and clear obligation” to resist “any law that attacks human life.”
“For them, as for every Catholic, it is impossible to promote such laws or to vote for them,” he stated.
In a memo to the U.S. bishops before the 2004 presidential election, the cardinal added that supporting “permissive abortion and euthanasia laws” requires denial of Communion, though that message was suppressed by the now disgraced then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and then-Archbishop Wilton Gregory, the Francis-appointed current head of the Archdiocese of Washington….
Full story at LifeSiteNews.