The Gospel of Life

When he received Lindy Boggs as the new American ambassador to the Vatican on Dec. 16, 1997, Pope John Paul II reflected on the founding of America. Noting that not just the Church, but nations, could take the Jubilee Year 2000 as a time of self-examination, he said:

“The United States of America was founded on the conviction that an inalienable right to life was a self-evident moral truth, fidelity to which was a primary criterion of social justice. The moral history of your country is the story of your people's efforts to widen the circle of inclusion in society, so that all Americans might enjoy the protection of law, participate in the responsibilities of citizenship, and have the opportunity to make a contribution to the common good.

“Whenever a certain category of people — the unborn or the sick and old — are excluded from that protection, a deadly anarchy subverts the original understanding of justice. The credibility of the United States will depend more and more on its promotion of a genuine culture of life, and on a renewed commitment to building a world in which the weakest and most vulnerable are welcomed and protected.”