Vatican City, Mar 25, 2020 / 05:00 am
Pope Francis said Wednesday that the Church’s pro-life message is more relevant than ever as the world faces the coronavirus pandemic.
“The attacks on the dignity and life of people unfortunately continue even in our era … We are faced with new threats and new slavery, and legislation is not always to protect the weakest and most vulnerable human life,” Pope Francis said March 25.
“The message of the encyclical Evangelium Vitae is therefore more relevant than ever,” the pope said in his livestreamed Wednesday audience.
This year’s Solemnity of the Annunciation marks the 25th anniversary of the encyclical Evangelium Vitae promulgated by St. John Paul II on the value and inviolability of human life.
Pope Francis said that the coronavirus pandemic makes the encyclical's message on the defense of all human life more urgent.
“Today, we find ourselves relaunching this teaching in the context of a pandemic that threatens human life and the world economy. A situation that makes the words with which the encyclical begins even more demanding,” the pope said.
Pope Francis then quoted the first line of the 1995 encyclical: “The Gospel of life is at the heart of Jesus' message. Welcomed by the Church every day with love, it must be announced with courageous fidelity as good news to men of all ages and cultures."
Pope Francis said: “The life we are called to promote and defend is not an abstract concept, but always manifests itself in a person in flesh and blood: a newly conceived child, a poor marginalized person, a sick person alone and discouraged or in a terminal state, one who has lost his job or is unable to find it, a rejected or ghettoized migrant."