‘Respected, Protected and Promoted’

“Each according to his or her possibilities, profession and responsibilities, should feel in themselves an obligation to love and serve life, from its beginning to its natural end. It is, in fact, everyone’s duty to welcome human life as a gift to be respected, protected and promoted, even more so when it is fragile and in need of attention and care, either before birth or when it is in its final stages.”

Angelus address, Feb. 3, 2008


‘At Every Stage of Existence’

“The destruction of human embryos, whether to acquire stem cells or for any other purpose, contradicts the purported intent of researchers, legislators and public health officials to promote human welfare. The Church does not hesitate to approve and encourage somatic stem-cell research: not only because of the favorable results obtained through these alternative methods, but more importantly because they harmonize with the aforementioned intent by respecting the life of the human being at every stage of his or her existence.”

Remarks to South Korea’s ambassador to the Holy See, Oct. 11, 2007


‘The Grace of Forgiveness’

“The Catholic community must offer support to those women who may find it difficult to accept a child, above all when they are isolated from their family and friends. Likewise, the community should be open to welcome back all who repent of having participated in the grave sin of abortion, and should guide them with pastoral charity to accept the grace of forgiveness, the need for penance, and the joy of entering once more into the new life of Christ.”

Meeting with Kenyan bishops, Nov. 19, 2007


‘Consider Conscientious Objection’

“I invite [you] to consider conscientious objection, which is a right that must be recognized for your profession so you can avoid collaborating, directly or indirectly, in the supply of products which have clearly immoral aims, for example abortion or euthanasia. ... The biomedical sciences are at the service of man. Were it otherwise, they would be cold and inhuman. All scientific knowledge in the field of healthcare ... is at the service of sick human beings, considered in their entirety, who must have an active role in their cure and whose autonomy must be respected.”

Meeting with the International Federation of Catholic Pharmacists, Oct. 29, 2007


‘A Deep Wound in Society’

“The fundamental human right, the presupposition of every other right, is the right to life itself. This is true of life from the moment of conception until its natural end. Abortion, consequently, cannot be a human right — it is the very opposite. It is a deep wound in society.”

Address to civic leaders and diplomats at Vienna’s Hofburg Palace, Sep. 7, 2007


‘Denied the Eucharist’

“Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor [i.e. bishop] should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.”

Letter to Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick From Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, July, 2004


‘A Gift, Not a Threat’

“Selfishness and fear are at the root of (pro-abortion) legislation. … We in the Church have a great struggle to defend life. ... Life is a gift, not a threat.”

Comments to reporters on the papal plane headed for Brazil, May 9, 2007


‘These Values Are Not Negotiable’

“Worship pleasing to God can never be a purely private matter, without consequences for our relationships with others: It demands a public witness to our faith. Evidently, this is true for all the baptized, yet it is especially incumbent upon those who, by virtue of their social or political position, must make decisions regarding fundamental values, such as respect for human life, its defense from conception to natural death, the family built upon marriage between a man and a woman, the freedom to educate one’s children and the promotion of the common good in all its forms. These values are not negotiable. Consequently, Catholic politicians and legislators, conscious of their grave responsibility before society, must feel particularly bound, on the basis of a properly formed conscience, to introduce and support laws inspired by values grounded in human nature. There is an objective connection here with the Eucharist (see 1 Corinthians 11:27-29). Bishops are bound to reaffirm constantly these values as part of their responsibility to the flock entrusted to them.”

Apostolic exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis (On the Eucharist as the Source and Summit of the Church’s Life and Mission), Feb. 22, 2007


‘Freedom to Kill Is Not True Freedom’

“The freedom to kill is not a true freedom, but a tyranny that reduces human beings to slavery.”

Homily at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, May 7, 2005


‘Without Women Knowing’

“A violent attack is made on developing life by abortion (with the result that there are 30 million to 40 million a year worldwide), and to facilitate abortion millions have been invested to develop abortifacient pills. Millions more have been budgeted for making contraception less harmful to women, with the result that most chemical contraceptives on sale now act primarily against implantation, i.e., as abortifacients, without women knowing it. Who will be able to calculate the number of victims from this massacre?”

‘The Problem of Threats to Human Life’ by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, published in L’Osservatore Romano, April 8, 1991


‘Thou Shalt Not Kill!’

“As far as abortion is concerned, it’s part of the Fifth, not the Sixth, Commandment: ‘Thou shalt not kill!’ We have to presume this is obvious and always stress that the human person begins in the mother’s womb and remains a human person until his or her last breath. The human person must always be respected as a human person.”

Interview with German journalists prior to the Pope’s visit to Bavaria, Sept. 2006


‘A Descent Into Hell’

“When, as today, there is a market in human organs, when fetuses are produced to make spare organs available, or to make progress in research and preventive medicine, many regard the human content of these practices as implicit. But the contempt for man that underlies it, when man is used and abused, leads — like it or not — to a descent into hell.”

Address by Cardinal Ratzinger at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, 2001


‘Not Something Haphazard’

“At the origin of every human being there is not something haphazard or chance, but a loving plan of God.”

Homily at the Fifth World Meeting of Families

in Valencia, Spain, July 9, 2006


Published with a tip of the hat to the anonymous blogger behind ProlifeQuotes.blogspot.com, on which these and many other memorable and useful pro-life quotes are compiled.