"God's love makes no distinction between the unborn child still in the mother's womb, the baby, the youth, the grown adult or the elderly, because in each of them He sees the sign of His own image and likeness" the Holy Father said on Monday, in his address to the Pontifical Academy for Life on Monday. The academy is currently considering the theme of 'the human embryo prior to implantation.' In his address the Pope stressed that the subject is of extreme interest: "undoubtedly a fascinating subject but difficult and demanding given the sensitive nature of the matter to be discussed and the complexity of the epistemological problems which concern the relationship between the ascertaining of facts at the level of experimental science and subsequent and necessary reflection on the! e values at the anthropological level". Although Sacred Scripture and early Christian tradition hold no explicit teaching with regard to human life in the first days, the Holy Father said "we do find in Sacred Scripture valid indications which motivate sentiments of admiration and respect with regard to the human person from the moment of conception...the Holy Books in fact intend to show God's love for each and every human person even before he or she takes shape in the mother's womb. God's love makes no distinction between the unborn child still in the mother's womb, the baby, the youth, the grown adult or the elderly, because in each of them He sees the sign of His own image and likeness. He makes no distinction because in all he sees the reflection of his Only Begotten Son". God's boundless love for humanity "reveals to what point the human person deserves to be loved, for what he or she is, apart from any other consideration - intelligence, beauty, health, youth, integrity and so on -." The Holy Father also underlined the "great dignity" conferred on the human person, "rooted in the intimate bond with the Creator: in the person, every person, at any stage or condition of life, there shines a reflection of the very reality of God. This is why the Magisterium of the Church has always proclaimed the sacred and inviolable nature of human life from conception to natural end. This moral judgement is also true at the start of the life of the embryo before it is implanted in the womb of the mother where it will be protected and nourished for nine months until the time of birth". The Pope told the scholars that he was aware of the sentiments of wonder and profound respect for the human person and every human life with which they undertake their research on human life: "a mystery on which science will shed increasingly more and more light although it will be difficult to decipher it completely. In fact no sooner has reason overcome one limit, previously seen as impassable, it finds itself challenged by other hitherto unknown limits". At the beginning of the third millennium our knowledge has made significant progress in but the limits of our ignorance have also been better identified; "however for human intelligence it would appear to be too arduous to realise that looking at creation we encounter the mark of the Creator. In actual fact those such as you dear scholars who love truth, should realise that research on such profound questions put us in a condition to see and almost to touch the hand of God." The Pope ended his address wishing the researchers and scholars the good fortune not only to examine the subject of their work "but also to contemplate it so that, together with discoveries there may arise also questions which lead man to discover in the beauty of creatures a reflection of the Creator". Source: VIS
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