Pope: Science Needs to Respect Life

Encourages Hospital Staff and Ill to Promote Values

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PAVIA, Italy, APRIL 22, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI asks that scientific and technological progress always be accompanied by the promotion of fundamental values such as respect for life in all of its stages.



The Pope recalled this today when visiting St. Matthew's Hospital in Pavia, a northern Italian city that the Holy Father is visiting to pray at St. Augustine's tomb. The tomb is located there in the Basilica of St. Peters in the Golden Sky.

"Here, you try to alleviate people's suffering, looking at the same time for their full recovery and often -- thanks to modern scientific discoveries -- with very satisfactory results," the Pontiff said when addressing the personnel and patients of the hospital.

"I truly hope that necessary scientific and technological progress would be constantly accompanied by the awareness of promoting -- together with the good of the sick person -- fundamental values like the respect for and defense of life at all its stages," Benedict XVI added.

A hospital, he said, "is a place that in a certain sense we could call 'sacred,' where the fragility of life and human nature is experienced, as well as humanity's enormous potential and ingenious resources and technology at the service of life."

Expressing his spiritual closeness to the sick people, the Pope told them: "Suffering repulses the human being, but when it is welcomed with love because of faith, it becomes a precious occasion to be united in a mysterious way with Christ the redeemer, who, on the cross, took on the death and all of the pain of humanity."