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Sunday Pope Quote: Benedict XVI on the human and Christian dignity of procreation

Today’s Sunday Pope Quote comes from a recent address of Pope Benedict XVI, given February 24th to the scientists and members of the Pontifical Academy for Life, who were convening for their 18th general assembly with the topic “The diagnosis and treatment of infertility.” While the topic of infertility and moral responses to it fall beyond the purview of Marriage: Unique for a Reason, the comments given by the Holy Father address a point very much at home here: the unique beauty and dignity of the gift of human life, a gift that springs from the intimate communion of man and woman.

Pope Benedict XVI: “The human and Christian dignity of procreation, in fact, does not consist in a ‘product,’ but in its connection with the conjugal act, the expression of the love of the husband and wife, of their union that is not only biological but also spiritual. The instruction ‘Donum vitae’ reminds us in this regard, that by its ‘intimate structure, the conjugal act, while most closely uniting husband and wife, capacitates them for the generation of new lives, according to laws inscribed in the very being of man and of woman’ (n. 126).”

“The union of the man and woman in that community of life that is matrimony constitutes the only dignified ‘place’ in which a new human being, which is always a gift, may be called into existence.”

“I would like again to remind the spouses who experience infertility that their vocation to marriage is not frustrated because of this. The husband and wife, because of their baptismal and matrimonial vocations themselves, are always called to work together with God in creating a new humanity. The vocation to love, in fact, is a vocation to the gift of self and this is a possibility that cannot be impeded by any organic condition. Therefore, where science cannot find an answer, the answer that brings light comes from Christ.”

Address to Pontifical Academy for Life, Rome, February 24, 2012 (Zenit translation)

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