Evangelium vitae 104

"Death shall be no more": the splendour of the Resurrection

(Ap 21,4)



105 The angel's Annunciation toMary is framed by these reassuring words: "Do not be afraid, Mary"and "with God nothing will be impossible" (Lc 1,30). The wholeof the Virgin Mother's life is in fact pervaded by the certainty that God isnear to her and that he accompanies her with his providential care. The same istrue of the Church, which finds "a place prepared by God" (Ap 12,6)in the desert, the place of trial but also of the manifestation of God's lovefor his people (cf. Hos Os 2,16). Mary is a living word of comfort for the Churchin her struggle against death. Showing us the Son, the Church assures us thatin him the forces of death have already been defeated: "Death with lifecontended: combat strangely ended! Life's own Champion, slain, yet lives toreign".141

The Lamb who was slain is alive, bearing the marks ofhis Passion in the splendour of the Res- urrection. He alone is master of allthe events of history: he opens its "seals" (cf. Rev Ap 5,1-10) andproclaims, in time and beyond, the power of life over death. In the "new Jerusalem", that newworld towards which human history is travelling, "death shall be no more,neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the formerthings have passed away" (Ap 21,4).

And as we, the pilgrim people, the people of life andfor life, make our way in confidence towards "a new heaven and a newearth" (Ap 21,1), we look to her who is for us "a sign of sure hopeand solace".142

O Mary,

bright dawn of the new world,

Mother of the living,

to you do we entrust the cause of life

Look down, O Mother,

upon the vast numbers

of babies not allowed to be born,

of the poor whose lives are made difficult,

of men and women

who are victims of brutal violence,

of the elderly and the sick killed

by indifference or out of misguided mercy.

Grant that all who believe in your Son

may proclaim the Gospel of life

with honesty and love

to the people of our time.

Obtain for them the grace

to accept that Gospel

as a gift ever new,

the joy of celebrating it with gratitude

throughout their lives

and the courage to bear witness to it

resolutely, in order to build,

together with all people of good will,

the civilization of truth and love,

to the praise and glory of God,

the Creator and lover of life.



Given in Rome, at SaintPeter's, on 25 March, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, in theyear 1995, the seventeenth of my Pontificate.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------1 The expression "Gospel of life" is not found as such in Sacred Scripture. But it does correspond to an essential dimension of the biblical message.




2 Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 22.




3 Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Redemptor Hominis (4 March 1979), 10; AAS 71 (1979), 275.




4 Cf. ibid., 14: loc.cit., 285.




5 Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 27.




6 Cf. Letter to all my Brothers in the Episcopate regarding the "Gospel of Life" (19 May 1991): Insegnamenti XIV, 1 (1991), 1293-1296.




7 Ibid., loc.cit., p. 1294.




8 Letter to Families Gratissimam sane (2 February 1994), 4: AAS 86 (1994), 871.




9 John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus (1 May 1991), 39: AAS 83 (1991), 842.




10 No. 2259.




11 Saint Ambrose, De Noe, 26:94-96: CSEL 32, 480-481.




12 Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nos. 1867 and 2268.




13 De Cain et Abel, II, 10, 38: CSEL, 32, 408.




14 Cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction on Respect for Human Life in its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation Donum Vitae: AAS 80 (1988), 70-102.




15 Address during the Prayer Vigil for the Eighth World Youth Day, Denver, 14 August 1993, II, 3: AAS 86 (1994), 419.




16 John Paul II, Address to the Participants at the Study Conference on "The Right to Life and Europe", 18 December 1987: Insegnamenti, X, 3 (1987), 1446-1447.




17 Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 36.




18 Cf. ibid., 16.




19 Cf. Saint Gregory the Great, Moralia in Job, 13, 23: CCL 143A, 683.




20 John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Redemptor Hominis (4 March 1979), 10; AAS 71 (1979), 274.




21 Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 50.




22 Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum, 4.




23 "Gloria Dei vivens homo": Adversus Haereses, IV, 20, 7: SCh 100/2, 648-649.




24 Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 12.




25 Confessions, I, 1: CCL 27, 1.




26 Exameron, VI, 75-76: CSEL 32, 260-261.




27 "Vita autem hominis visio Dei": Adversus Haereses, IV, 20, 7: SCh 100/2, 648-649.




28 Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus (1 May 1991), 38: AAS 83 (1991), 840-841.




29 John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Sollicitudo Rei Socialis (30 December 1987), 34: AAS 80 (1988), 560.




30 Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 50.




31 Letter to Families Gratissimam sane (2 February 1994), 9: AAS 86 (1994), 878; cf. Pius XII, Encyclical Letter Humani Generis (12 August 1950): AAS 42 (1950), 574.




32 "Animas enim a Deo immediate creari catholica fides nos retinere iubet": Pius XII, Encyclical Letter Humani Generis (12 August 1950): AAS 42 (1950), 575.




33 Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 50; cf. John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio (22 November 1981), 28: AAS 74 (1982), 114.




34 Homilies, II, 1; CCSG 3, 39.




35 See, for example, Psalms 22:10-11; 71:6; 139:13-14.




36 Expositio Evangelii secundum Lucam, II, 22-23: CCL, 14, 40-41.




37 Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Ephesians, 7, 2: Patres Apostolici, ed. F.X. Funk, II, 82.




38 De Hominis Opificio, 4: PG 44, 136.




39 Cf. Saint John Damascene, De Fide Orthodoxa, 2, 12: PG 94, 920.922, quoted in Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I-II, Prologue.




40 Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Humanae Vitae (25 July 1968), 13: AAS 60 (1968), 489.




41 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction on Respect for Human Life in its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation Donum Vitae (22 February 1987), Introduction, No. 5: AAS 80 (1988), 76-77; cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2258.




42 Didache, I, 1; II, 1-2; V, 1 and 3: Patres Apostolici, ed. F.X. Funk, I, 2-3, 6-9, 14-17; cf. Letter of Pseudo-Barnabas, XIX, 5: loc. cit., 90-93.




43 Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nos. 2263-2269; cf. also Catechism of the Council of Trent III, 327-332.




44 Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2265.




45 Cf. Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, II-II, q. 64, a. 7; Saint Alphonsus De' Liguori, Theologia Moralis, l. III, tr. 4, c. 1, dub.3.




46 Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2266.




47 Cf. ibid.




48 No. 2267.




49 Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 12.




50 Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 27.




51 Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 25.




52 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration on Euthanasia Iura et Bona (5 May 1980), II: AAS 72 (1980), 546.




53 Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor (6 August 1993), 96: AAS 85 (1993), 1209.




54 Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 51, "Abortus necnon infanticidium nefanda sunt crimina".




55 Cf. John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem (15 August 1988), 14: AAS 80 (1988), 1686.




56 No. 21: AAS 86 (1994), 920.




57 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration on Procured Abortion (18 November 1974), Nos. 12-13: AAS 66 (1974), 738.




58 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction on Respect for Human Life in its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation Donum Vitae (22 February 1987), I, No. 1: AAS 80 (1988), 78-79.




59 Ibid., loc. cit., 79.




60 Hence the Prophet Jeremiah: "The word of the Lord came to me saying: 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations'" (1:4-5). The Psalmist, for his part, addresses the Lord in these words: "Upon you I have leaned from my birth; you are he who took me from my mother's womb" (Ps 71:6; cf. Is 46:3; Job 10:8-12; Ps 22:10-11). So too the Evangelist Luke - in the magnificent episode of the meeting of the two mothers, Elizabeth and Mary, and their two sons, John the Baptist and Jesus, still hidden in their mothers' wombs (cf. 1:39-45) - emphasizes how even before their birth the two little ones are able to communicate: the child recognizes the coming of the Child and leaps for joy.




61 Cf. Declaration on Procured Abortion (18 November 1974), No. 7: AAS 66 (1974), 740-747.




62 "You shall not kill a child by abortion nor shall you kill it once it is born": V, 2: Patres Apostolici, ed. F.X. Funk, I, 17.




63 Apologia on behalf of the Christians, 35: PG 6, 969.




64 Apologeticum, IX, 8: CSEL 69, 24.




65 Cf. Encyclical Letter Casti Connubii (31 December 1930), II: AAS 22 (1930), 562-592.




66 Address to the Biomedical Association "San Luca" (12 November 1944): Discorsi e Radiomessaggi, VI (1944-1945), 191; cf. Address to the Italian Catholic Union of Midwives (29 October 1951), No. 2: AAS 43 (1951), 838.




67 Encyclical Letter Mater et Magistra (15 May 1961), 3: AAS 53 (1961), 447.




68 Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 51.




69 Canon 2350, 1.




70 Code of Canon Law, canon 1398; cf. Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, canon 1450, 2.




71 Cf. ibid., canon 1329; also Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, canon 1417.




72 Cf. Address to the National Congress of Italian Jurists (9 December 1972): AAS 64 (1972), 777; Encyclical Letter Humanae Vitae (25 July 1968), 14: AAS 60 (1968), 490.




73 Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 25.




74 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction on Respect for Human Life in its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation Donum Vitae (22 February 1987), I, 3: AAS 80 (1988), 80.




75 Charter of the Rights of the Family (22 October 1983), article 4b: Vatican Polyglot Press, 1983.




76 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration on Euthanasia Iura et Bona (5 May 1980), II: AAS 72 (1980), 546.




77 Ibid., IV: loc. cit., 551.




78 Cf. ibid.




79 Pius XII, Address to an International Group of Physicians (24 February 1957), III: AAS 49 (1957), 147; cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration on Euthanasia Iura et Bona, III: AAS 72 (1980), 547-548.




80 Pius XII, Address to an International Group of Physicians (24 February 1957), III: AAS 49 (1957), 145.




81 Pius XII, Address to an International Group of Physicians (24 February 1957): loc. cit., 129-147; Congregation of the Holy Office, Decretum de directa insontium occisione (2 December 1940): AAS 32 (1940), 553-554; Paul VI, Message to French Television: "Every life is sacred" (27 January 1971): Insegnamenti IX (1971), 57-58; Address to the International College of Surgeons (1 June 1972): AAS 64 (1972), 432-436; Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 27.




82 Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 25.




83 Cf. Saint Augustine, De Civitate Dei I, 20: CCL 47, 22; Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, II-II, q. 6, a. 5.




84 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration on Euthanasia Iura et Bona (5 May 1980), I: AAS 72 (1980), 545; Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nos. 2281-2283.




85 Ep. 204, 5: CSEL 57, 320.




86 Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 18.




87 Cf. John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Salvifici Doloris (11 February 1984), 14-24: AAS 76 (1984), 214-234.




88 Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus (1 May 1991), 46: AAS 83 (1991), 850; Pius XII, Christmas Radio Message (24 December 1944): AAS 37 (1945), 10-20.




89 Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor (6 August 1993), 97 and 99: AAS 85 (1993), 1209-1211.




90 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction on Respect for Human Life in its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation Donum Vitae (22 February 1987), III: AAS 80 (1988), 98.




91 Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Declaration on Religious Freedom Dignitatis Humanae, 7.




92 Cf. Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae I-II, q. 96, a. 2.




93 Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Declaration on Religious Freedom Dignitatis Humanae, 7.




94 Encyclical Letter Pacem in Terris (11 April 1963), II: AAS 55 (1963), 273-274. The internal quote is from Pius XII, Radio Message of Pentecost 1941 (1 June 1941): AAS 33 (1941), 200. On this topic, the Encyclical cites: Pius XII, Encyclical Letter Mit brennender Sorge (14 March 1937): AAS 29 (1937): AAS 29 (1937), 159; Encyclical Letter Divini Redemptoris (19 March 1937), III: AAS 29 (1937), 79; Pius XII, Christmas Radio Message (24 December 1942): AAS 35 (1943), 9-24.




95 Encyclical Letter Pacem in Terris (11 April 1963), II: loc. cit., 271.




96 Summa Theologiae I-II, q. 93, a. 3, ad 2um.




97 Ibid., I-II, q. 95, a. 2. Aquinas quotes Saint Augustine: "Non videtur esse lex, quae iusta non fuerit", De Libero Arbitrio, I, 5, 11: PL 32, 1227.




98 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration on Procured Abortion (18 November 1974), No. 22: AAS 66 (1974), 744.




99 Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nos. 1753-1755; John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor (6 August 1993), 81-82: AAS 85 (1993), 1198-1199.




100 In Iohannis Evangelium Tractatus, 41, 10: CCL 36, 363; cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor (6 August 1993), 13: AAS 85 (1993), 1144.




101 Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi (8 December 1975), 14: AAS 68 (1976), 13.




102 Cf. Roman Missal, prayer of the celebrant before communion.




103 Cf. Saint Irenaeus: "Omnem novitatem attulit, semetipsum afferens, qui fuerat annuntiatus", Adversus Haereses: IV, 34, 1: SCh 100/2, 846-847.




104 Cf. Saint Thomas Aquinas, "Peccator inveterascit, recedens a novitate Christi", In Psalmos Davidis Lectura: 6,5.




105 De Beatitudinibus, Oratio VII: PG 44, 1280.




106 Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor (6 August 1993), 116: AAS 85 (1993), 1224.




107 Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus (1 May 1991), 37: AAS 83 (1991), 840.




108 Cf. Message for Christmas 1967: AAS 60 (1968), 40.




109 Pseudo- Dionysius the Areopagite, On the Divine Names, 6, 1-3: PG 3, 856-857.




110 Paul VI, Pensiero alla Morte, Istituto Paolo VI, Brescia 1988, 24.




111 John Paul II, Homily for the Beatification of Isidore Bakanja, Elisabetta Canori Mora and Gianna Beretta Molla (24 April 1994): L'Osservatore Romano, 25-26 April 1994, 5.




112 Ibid.




113 In Matthaeum, Hom. L, 3: PG 58, 508.




114 Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2372.




115 John Paul II, Address to the Fourth General Conference of Latin American Bishops in Santo Domingo (12 October 1992), No. 15: AAS 85 (1993), 819.




116 Cf. Decree on Ecumenism Unitatis Redintegratio, 12; Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 90.




117 John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio (22 November 1981), 17: AAS 74 (1982), 100.




118 Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 50.




119 John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus (1 May 1991), 39: AAS 83 (1991), 842.




120 John Paul II, Address to Participants in the Seventh Symposium of European Bishops, on the theme of "Contemporary Attitudes towards Life and Death: a Challenge for Evangelization" (17 October 1989), No. 5: Insegnamenti XII, 2 (1989), 945. Children are presented in the Biblical tradition precisely as God's gift (cf. Ps 127:3) and as a sign of his blessing on those who walk in his ways (cf. Ps 128:3-4).




121 John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Sollicitudo Rei Socialis (30 December 1987), 38: AAS 80 (1988), 565-566.




122 John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio (22 November 1981), 86: AAS 74 (1982), 188.




123 Paul VI, Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi (8 December 1975), 18: AAS 68 (1976), 17.




124 Cf. ibid., 20: loc. cit., 18.




125 Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 24.




126 Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus (1 May 1991), 17: AAS 83 (1991), 814; Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor (6 August 1993), 95-101: AAS 85 (1993), 1208-1213.




127 John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus (1 May 1991), 24: AAS 83 (1991), 822.




128 John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio (22 November 1981), 37: AAS 74 (1982), 128.




129 Letter establishing the World Day of the Sick (13 May 1992), No. 2: Insegnamenti XV, 1 (1992), 1410.




130 Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 35; Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio (26 March 1967), 15: AAS 59 (1967), 265.




131 Cf. John Paul II, Letter to Families Gratissimam sane (2 February 1994), 13: AAS 86 (1994), 892.




132 John Paul II, Motu Proprio Vitae Mysterium (11 February 1994), 4: AAS 86 (1994), 386-387.




133 Closing Message of the Council (8 December 1965): To Women.




134 John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem (15 August 1988), 18: AAS 80 (1988), 1696.




135 Cf. John Paul II, Letter to Families Gratissimam sane (2 February 1994), 5: AAS 86 (1994), 872.




136 John Paul II, Address to Participants in the Study Conference on "The Right to Life in Europe" (18 December 1987): Insegnamenti X, 3 (1987), 1446.




137 Message for the 1977 World Day of Peace: AAS 68 (1976), 711-712.




138 Blessed Guerric of Igny, In Assumptione B. Mariae, Sermo I, 2: PL 185, 188.




139 Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 5.




140 Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 22.




141 Roman Missal, Sequence for Easter Sunday.




142 Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 68.
Evangelium vitae 104