Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI: "resist the “scourges” of abortion and artificial birth control."

Pope Benedictus XVI

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ROME, February 17, 2010 ( – Pope Benedict XVI told a group of visiting Romanian bishops on Friday to resist the "scourges" of abortion and artificial birth control.

The pontiff said the Church should set up "parish consultancy services" for young people to help them combat the "scourges of abortion, corruption, alcoholism and drugs, as well as birth control by methods contrary to the dignity of the human person."

Opening his address, the pope commended the bishops, priests, religious and faithful Catholics who, "in the period of persecution, showed dauntless attachment to Christ and His Church, and maintained their faith intact." The suppression of Romanian Catholicism by the communist dictatorships was known to be among the most brutal in the Soviet Bloc.

In addition, Benedict emphasized a theme that has been prominent in his messages to the English and Scottish bishops, saying that they needed to promote "the presence of Christian values in society."

He called for them to create "centres of formation where young people can learn authentic values, enriched by your countries' cultural gifts, in order to enable them to bear witness to those values in the environments in which they live."