The Holy Father made this request last weekend, when he received Otto Agripino Maia, the new Brazilian ambassador to the Vatican.
Brazil has suffered pressures from outside the country to adopt programs which ignore human rights, such as aggressive campaigns for sterilization and population control.
"I hope that the principles inspired by this participation in the society of nations are directed according to criteria whose fundamental objective is respect for human dignity, especially in the case of unborn human beings, today seriously threatened by reproductive technologies that attempt to attack human life," the Pope said.
"Furthermore," the Holy Father added, "drug trafficking, corruption at all levels, inequality between social groups, and the irrational destruction of nature attest that, in the absence of moral points of reference, an unbridled greed for wealth and power takes over, obscuring any Gospel-based vision of social reality."
Addressing Brazilian government leaders and politicians directly, John Paul II requested "efforts to overcome social inequalities," and called for the "defense of the environment, the promotion and defense of the rights of children and women, the promotion -- recently, ever more urgent -- of better conditions of life in prisons and, logically not last, respect for religious teaching in centers of instruction."
After stating that Brazil "is assuming an ever-more important role in the concert of Latin American nations," the Holy Father emphasized that "initiatives directed toward the promotion of peace definitively influence the consolidation of democracy in these regions."