VATICAN CITY, FEB 20, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was a Message from the Pope to participants in the Day of Commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the foundation of the Pontifical Academy for Life. The text, dated February 17, was read yesterday afternoon by Bishop Elio Sgreccia, vice-president of the Academy, to those who are attending the 10th General Assembly.
John Paul II writes that "with the passing of the years, the importance of the Pontifical Academy for Life is ever more evident. The progress of biomedical sciences, while providing promising prospects for the good of humanity and the cure of serious and painful infirmities, often presents serious problems in relation to respect for human life and the dignity of the person."
"The growing domination of medical technology over the processes of human procreation, discoveries in the field of genetics and molecular biology, changes in the therapy management of seriously-ill patients, together with the spread of currents of thought of utilitarian and hedonistic inspiration, are factors that can lead to aberrant behavior as well as to the creation of unjust laws in relation to the dignity of the person and the respect demanded by the inviolability of innocent life."
After stressing that the contribution of academicians "is fundamental for intellectuals, especially Catholic intellectuals," the Holy Father referred to the responsibility that they have in the field of bioethics. "I thank you for your commitment in examining specific questions of great interest and also in promoting dialogue between scientific research and theological and philosophical reflection guided by the Magisterium. It is necessary to sensitize researchers ever more, especially in the biomedical field, to the beneficial enrichment that can comes from combining scientific rigor with the demands of anthropology and Christian ethics."
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