The delegates were in Rome for their annual plenary assembly, which discussed issues related to the theme, Dignity of Human Reproduction. At the end of their plenary, they met with Pope John Paul II, who relayed two messages to them..- The issues surrounding human reproduction involve essential values that apply to all human beings, said the Pope in a message to the delegates of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Feb. 21.
“The subject you are discussing is loaded with grave problems and implications, which deserve careful examination,” he told the academy, headed by Chilean Scholar Juan de Dios Vial Correa. “Essential values are at play, not only for Christians, but for all human beings.”
In his message, the Pope cited the basic tenets of his Theology of the Body and defended the family as the union of man and woman, aimed at bringing children into the world.
“Increasingly, there emerges the inescapable link between procreation and the spousal union, through which the husband becomes a father, through the conjugal union with bride, and the bride becomes a mother, through the conjugal union with the husband,” he said. “This design of the Creator is inscribed in the very physical and spiritual nature of man and woman and, as such, has universal significance,” he added.
“The act during which a married couple becomes father and mother through a mutual act of giving and bringing a new human being into the world, brings them close to the Creator,” said the pontiff.
“Such an act cannot be replaced by a technological intervention, which is absent of human value and is submitted to the determinism of technical … manipulation,” he said, referring to such scientific advances as in-vitro fertilization and other assisted reproductive technologies.
The Pope said he would like to encourage scientific research that works naturally to overcome sterility in couples.
“Science should study the causes of male and female infertility in order to stop the suffering of married couples who wish, with a child, to confirm their mutual gift to one another,” he said.