Thursday, December 17, 2009

Pope: "The Only 'Equitable' Laws are Those that Defend the Sacredness of Human Life"

Derivative Work. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Po...

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VATICAN CITY, December 16, 2009 ( - Speaking yesterday, Pope Benedict XVI called attention to the writings of John of Salisbury, the Bishop of Chartres in France who died in 1180.

John of Salisbury wrote, said Benedict XVI, that natural law is "an objective and immutable truth, the origin of which is in God, a truth accessible to human reason and which concerns practical and social activities." From natural law, he added, "human legislation, and political and religious authorities, must draw inspiration in order to promote the common good."

The Holy Father explained that the 12th century Bishop wrote of "equity," a property of natural law, by which is meant "giving each person his rights."

"John of Salisbury would remind us today," said the Pope, "that the only 'equitable' laws are those that defend the sacredness of human life and reject the legitimacy of abortion, euthanasia and unrestrained genetic experimentation; the laws that respect the dignity of marriage between a man and a woman, that are inspired by a correct understanding of the secularism of the State - a secularism that must always include the safeguarding of religious freedom - and that seek subsidiarity and solidarity at the national and international level."

Otherwise, said the Holy Father, we end up with "the dictatorship of relativism" which he explained, "recognises nothing as definite and has as its ultimate measure only the self and its own desires."

(with files from Vatican Information Service)

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