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by Cardinal William Levada
Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith


The National Catholic Bioethics Center’s 21st Workshop for Bishops

Dallas, Texas – February 8, 2007

1. Introduction

I am delighted to have this opportunity to address you on this delicate but important issue of The Role of the Magisterium in Bioethics. The topic is timely not only because modern biology seems to be making new and exciting discoveries almost every day, but also because these new discoveries seem to be posing more and more complex moral conundrums for the followers of Christ who live in an increasingly secularised society. It seems to me, therefore, more important than ever for those of us who are called to exercise the teaching office (Magisterium) in the Church as Bishops to ensure that we ourselves, and those entrusted to our care, especially our priests, teachers of moral theology, and those who work in the field of bio-ethics, are properly formed within the moral tradition of the Church.

It is no longer good enough for the Church to simply respond when challenged to do so by some new development or discovery. If the People of God have not been formed within the moral tradition of the Church, if they do not grasp the essential connection between the principles of Catholic moral teaching and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then they will be incapable of responding adequately to the moral problems of our day. The education of our clergy and of our people in the general principles of morality must be an on-going process and must be a priority. For it is only when Catholics understand the moral vision of the Church that they will be able to put it into practice in their own lives, and give persuasive testimony to it in society at large.

In this paper, therefore, I do not intend to discuss particular scientific problems – I will leave these matters to the experts in their specific fields of expertise. Neither do I intend to give an ethical evaluation of the various biomedical techniques which are the topic of so much discussion in these days – these matters are rightly subject to the analysis of moral theologians, who assist in the application of moral principles to the new questions. Rather, in this paper, I wish simply to present certain fundamental principles which I believe are helpful in determining the role and the scope of the Magisterium in the field of bio-ethics, and can serve as indispensable guideposts for the Christian people. I will draw these principles from Gaudium et Spes, Evangelium Vitae, Donum Vitae, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the first Encyclical of Benedict XVI Deus Caritas Est. In this way I hope I will also be able to respond to some of the criticisms that are frequently levelled at the moral teaching of the Catholic Church.

2. A Personal Note

After these introductory remarks I hope I can be permitted a personal note. For some seven years (1989-1995) while I was Archbishop of Portland in Oregon I served first as a Member and then as Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, then called the Pope John XXIII Medical Moral Research and Education Center. I recall having the joy of welcoming my predecessor as Prefect, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, to this podium (albeit in another Dallas hotel). When I told him I would be coming to address this audience we recalled that visit in what for both of us must seem another life!

I mention my connection with the National Catholic Bioethics Center principally, however, to express my gratitude to the Center’s Board, benefactors and staff for their indispensable work on behalf of the doctrine of the Church over these many years. The Center has been a precious resource in the field of bioethics over these past decades, and especially in service to the Magisterium of the Church in her delicate task of teaching Gospel values at the intersection of faith with modern science and technology. Of course my gratitude cannot but extend as well to the Knights of Columbus, who over the years have steadfastly recognized the vital importance of the moral teachings of the Church for the common good of society in the countries in which we live. For their faithful and faith-filled support for these Bishops’ Workshops over many years, I join the Bishops present here today – and I am sure the Bishops who attended the 20 past Workshops as well – in voicing our thanks to the Knights.

3. The 20th Anniversary of Donum Vitae

This month marks the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Instruction Donum Vitae, a title taken from the first words of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s Instruction on Respect for Human Life in its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation: Replies to Certain Questions of the Day. In accord with the usual practice for major teaching documents of the Congregation, this Instruction was approved by Pope John Paul II, who ordered its publication as part of his papal magisterium. In rereading Donum Vitae at a remove of 20 years, it seems to me that it has lost none of its actuality. The principles which it enunciates are perennial: they are principles of the natural moral law that reflect the teachings of the Gospel. They have their roots in the Ten Commandments, and ultimately in the great commandment of love – love of God above all things, and love of neighbor as oneself.

The fundamental anthropology of the Christian faith sees in every human person a being who is created and loved by God himself, and who is destined for eternal life. Furthermore, the human being is by nature at the same time spiritual and corporal, a substantial union of soul and body. In a world fascinated by advances in the techniques of microbiology, the basic anthropological vision of the human person remains too often unknown or ignored. But God’s plan for his creation is truly “good news” in a world dominated by a technological mind-set too often guided by utopian ideas of scientific progress, or by the promise of economic gain, or by utilitarian views of man as a disposable product. This “good news” is at the heart of the Gospel that we have been charged to preach and teach.

The particular issues addressed in Donum Vitae may seem to us today rather limited in scope in comparison with the technological developments of the past 20 years. Donum Vitae had for its purpose the application of basic principles of Christian morality in two areas: that of embryonic research and manipulation, especially in respect to techniques of human reproduction, such as in vitro fertilization, pre-natal diagnosis, etc.; and that of artificial or assisted fertilization for sterile couples, either heterologous or homologous. Today of course we face a whole new set of bioethical challenges: cloning, gene therapy, stem cell production and research, pre-implantation diagnosis, banks of sperm cells and eggs for commercial use, etc. But our response to the many new challenges, and to the old ones as well, must involve helping our people understand these technologies in the light of the underlying principles that correspond to the plan and design of God himself. It is on these principles that I would like to focus my remarks in this address.

4. Five Basic Principles

1st Principle: Morality and the Good News of Jesus Christ

One hears it said these days that the Catholic Church speaks too often and too much on the issues of morality. The Church’s teaching in this sphere, so the criticism goes, is too harsh, too burdensome and all but impossible to live up to. In this view the real message of the Church, namely announcing the Good News of Jesus Christ, is in some way obscured by such an excessive concentration on moral issues.

In responding to this criticism I would first of all agree that the essence of being a Christian, and therefore the essence of the Good News, is not a moral code but rather a person, namely Jesus Christ. As our Holy Father stated in his Encyclical Letter Deus Caritas Est, “being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction” (n.1; cf. also GS 22). However, it is no less true that communion with that person, Our Lord Jesus Christ, through faith, prayer and the sacraments, involves a new way of living – a choice to live according to the Gospel. This implication is illustrated beautifully in the gospel encounter of Jesus with the rich young man, who found himself unable to accept the way of discipleship. The Catechism of the Catholic Church summarizes the implications of this encounter with Christ: “Coming to see in the faith their new dignity, Christians are called to lead henceforth a life ‘worthy of the gospel of Christ’ (Phil 1:27). They are made capable of doing so by the grace of Christ and the gifts of his Spirit, which they receive through the sacraments and through prayer” (CCC, n. 1692; cf. also Veritatis Splendor, I, 6-27).

The first principle for delineating the role of the Magisterium in the sphere of bioethics is, therefore, that the Magisterium is called to proclaim Jesus Christ who calls us to follow him. Christian morality is nothing other than the “rule of life” of the disciple. The Church’s moral teaching necessarily flows from the encounter of the individual with the Lord in faith, prayer and the sacraments under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who guides the disciple and the community of disciples into an ever deeper embrace of God’s will.

2nd Principle: Science at the service of Man

One also hears the criticism that the Church’s Magisterium has impeded and continues to impede the progress of science, above all in the field of new and promising biomedical techniques. In doing so the Church seems to be guilty of propagating a continuing “Galileo-type” of conflict between science and religion, between faith and reason.

It is not difficult to recall historical situations in which the Church has not found it easy to accommodate scientific theories and data. But the Church recognizes in principle the autonomy of the sciences. Indeed, the emergence of the great universities in Europe witnesses to scientific teaching as not only compatible with the Church’s theological and philosophical teachings but also as developing hand in hand with them, emerging together “ex corde Ecclesiae.”

At the same time, however, the Church does maintain that the sciences must be at the service of man and not vice versa. For this reason the Church has always underlined the importance not only of scientific and technical education but also of ethical and anthropological formation, in order to guarantee that technical progress does not destroy man but assists in promoting his integral well being.

The Holy Father put it this way in an interview he gave before his pastoral visit to Bavaria, Germany:

Progress becomes true progress only if it serves the human person and if the human person grows: not only in terms of his or her technical power, but also in his or her moral awareness. I believe that the real problem of our historical moment lies in the imbalance between the incredibly fast growth of our technical power and that of our moral capacity, which has not grown in proportion. That is why the formation of the human person is the true recipe, the key to it all, I would say, and this is what the Church proposes. Briefly speaking, this formation has a dual dimension: of course, we have to learn, to acquire knowledge, ability, know-how, as they say. In this sense Europe and in the last decades America have done a lot, and that is important. But if we only teach know-how, if we only teach how to build and to use machines and how to use contraceptives, then we should not be surprised when we find ourselves facing wars and AIDS epidemics; because we need two dimensions: simultaneously, we need the formation of the heart, if I can express myself in this way, with which the human person acquires points of reference and learns how to use the techniques correctly. And that is what we try to do. Throughout Africa and in many countries in Asia, we have a vast network of every level of school where people can first of all learn, form a true conscience and acquire professional ability which gives them autonomy and freedom. But in these schools we try to communicate more than know-how; rather, we try to form human beings capable of reconciliation, who know that we must build and not destroy, and who have the necessary references to be able to live together (Interview of Pope Benedict XVI, 5 August 2006).

The second principle, therefore, might be stated as follows: the Magisterium does indeed recognize the autonomy of the sciences and of technology, but equally maintains that if the sciences and technology are to be of real service to the human person they must follow the fundamental criteria of morality. The Catechism puts it this way: “Basic scientific research, as well as applied research, is a significant expression of man’s dominion over creation. Science and technology are precious resources when placed at the service of man and promote his integral development for the benefit of all. By themselves however, they cannot disclose the meaning of existence and of human progress. Science and technology are ordered to man, from whom they take their origin and development; hence they find in the person and in his moral values both evidence of their purpose and awareness of their limits. … Science and technology by their very nature require unconditional respect for fundamental moral criteria. They must be at the service of the human person, of his inalienable rights, of his true and integral good, in conformity with the plan and the will of God” (n. 2293-4).

The “Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World” Gaudium et Spes (n. 36) of the Second Vatican Council also addressed this issue in an important text that is worth underscoring, even repeatedly, in our teaching, in order to challenge one of the myths about Christian faith and modern science. I will quote just two passages from this paragraph:

If methodical investigation within every branch of learning is carried out in a genuinely scientific manner and in accord with moral norms, it never truly conflicts with faith, for earthly matters and the concerns of faith derive from the same God.

If the expression, the independence of temporal affairs, is taken to mean that created things do not depend on God, and that man can use them without any reference to their Creator, anyone who acknowledges God will see how false such a meaning is. For without the Creator the creature would disappear. For their part, however, all believers of whatever religion always hear His revealing voice in the discourse of creatures. When God is forgotten, however, the creature itself grows unintelligible (Gaudium et Spes, 36).

3rd Principle: “Yes” to the Dignity of Every Human Being

Another source of discontent for some people today is the Church’s “no” to certain new scientific advances, such as the prohibition on embryonic research, therapeutic cloning, reproduction of embryonic stem cells, to mention some obvious current issues. The attitude is widespread, even sadly among many Catholics who believe and practice their faith, that the Magisterium of the Church is overly negative, that “the old men in the Vatican” are against progress even when it is designed to help people who are sick, or infertile, or the like.

In response to such a lament, it is and must be the task of the Magisterium to defend the Church’s perennial teaching on the dignity of every single human life. It is precisely this point that is referenced, when the Catechism begins its discussion of the Fifth Commandment (“Thou shalt not kill”) by a quotation from the above-mentioned Instruction Donum Vitae: “Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy innocent human beings” (CCC, n. 2258; Donum vitae, Introduction, 5). This principle -- foundational to all civilized society -- must, according to all principles of reason and logic, be valid also for every human embryo. As the Catechism puts it: “Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being” (CCC, n. 2274; cf. Donum vitae, 1, 1, Evengelium Vitae, 81).

Thus it should be emphasized that the Church’s “No” to certain practices is not a negative reaction to modernity, but rather is a positive “Yes” to the dignity of every single human being. It is above all a defense of those who have no voice, those who are most vulnerable and those who have no one else to defend them. This, then, is our third principle for the role of the Magisterium in bioethics.

4th Principle: “Yes” to Marriage and Conjugal Love

It should not surprise us to hear the objection that the Church, in its rejection of in vitro fertilization, is lacking in compassion for those couples who despite their longing for the fundamental good of children cannot conceive through natural means and for whom in vitro fertilization would be a means of achieving this end. But in fact the Church does not lack compassion for couples who cannot have children: she has encouraged and continues to encourage all legitimate research to alleviate this problem (CCC, n. 2375). Moreover, she encourages spouses who have exhausted all legitimate means to overcome the problem of sterility to “give expression to their generosity by adopting abandoned children or performing demanding services for others” (CCC, n. 2379).

The Church is, however, fundamentally opposed to any techniques which involve the intrusion of a third person into the marriage act, for instance methods of intervention involving sperm or egg donors (heterologous artificial fertilization). These techniques negate the right of children to be born of one father and one mother known to them and connected through marriage. They also betray the exclusive right of spouses to become mothers and fathers only through one another (CCC, n. 2376). The so called negativity of the Church towards in vitro fertilization involving a third party is, therefore, in fact a defense of marriage as the proper environment in which the healthy development of children can be guaranteed.

Moreover, the Church’s opposition to in vitro fertilization involving only the couple (homologous artificial fertilization) should also be seen as a positive affirmation. Such interventions, despite their benign appearance, in fact effect a separation of the sexual act from the act of procreation. The act which causes the existence of a child is no longer an act in which one person gives himself to the other, but rather an act in which the life and identity of the embryo is entrusted “into the power of doctors and biologists and establishes the domination of technology over the origin and destiny of the human person. Such a relationship of domination is in itself contrary to the dignity and equality that must be common to parents and children” (Donum Vitae, 2, 8; CCC, n. 2378).

Furthermore, the “manufacture” of embryos has given rise to a series of other grave ethical problems: the freezing of human embryos and their consequent destruction or dispersion across the world – sometimes after many years; the exploitation of embryos for research or commercial ends. In fact the whole ethical dilemma about the fate of frozen embryos has only served to highlight the gravity of the problems involved in this whole area, as our speakers yesterday illustrated so well.

Our fourth principle, therefore, must be that the apparent negativity of the Church to the different methods of artificial fertilization is in reality a “yes” to the dignity of marriage and of nuptial love which must not be replaced by technology at the origin of new life.

5th Principle: The Church at the Service of Society

The first and foremost duty of the Pastors of the Church is to announce the Gospel of Jesus Christ: it is the Gospel of Life – the dignity and rights of every human being – no less than the Gospel of Love – the value and rights of marriage and the family.

The second duty of Pastors follows from the first, namely, to promote just and equitable laws and to work for the abrogation of those laws which are unjust. This duty is accomplished, insofar as possible in a democratic society, especially through the involvement of the laity in political life.

The principles stated by Donum Vitae in its third and final section, entitled “The values and moral obligations that civil legislation must respect and sanction” are no less valid today than 20 years ago, even if recent developments have broadened the areas of conflict in many cultures beyond technological issues to those involving, for example, the very definition of marriage as a union of one man and one woman. The Instruction points to the common good, ultimately in harmony with an ethical standard based on human reason (what Catholic teaching calls the natural moral law), as the proper goal of just and humane civil laws.

To be sure, securing agreement on what constitutes the common good today is no easy task in many societies. But the difficulty of the task must not weaken the resolve of those of us responsible for articulating Church teaching in the area of bioethics to continue to propose to the faithful and to society at large a reasoned voice in defense of human life and the family. So Donum Vitae gives useful guidance in this area as well when it states:

The intervention of the public authority must be inspired by the rational principles which regulate the relationships between civil and moral law. The task of the civil law is to ensure the common good of people through the recognition of and the defence of fundamental rights and through the promotion of peace and of public morality. In no sphere of life can the civil law take the place of conscience or dictate norms concerning things which are outside its competence. It must sometimes tolerate, for the sake of public order, things which it cannot forbid without a greater evil resulting. However, the inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the State: they pertain to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his or her origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard: a) every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death; b) the rights of the family and of marriage as an institution and, in this area, the child’s right to be conceived, brought into the world and brought up by his parents (DV, n. 3).

[The Instruction goes on to say,] It is part of the duty of the public authority to ensure that the civil law is regulated according to the fundamental norms of the moral law in matters concerning human rights, human life and the institution of the family. Politicians must commit themselves, through their interventions upon public opinion, to securing in society the widest possible consensus on such essential points and to consolidating this consensus wherever it risks being weakened or is in danger of collapse.

Committing herself in this way, the Church does not seek to impose upon society some sort of narrow confessional morality, but rather offers an important, indeed precious, service to humanity by defending those values which are demonstrable through the light of human reason and therefore which are common to all men and women of good will. Furthermore, questions regarding the relationship of Church teaching to civil law and political responsibilities, briefly treated in Donum Vitae with particular application to bioethical issues, was given a more extended treatment in the Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on November 24, 2002.

Thus our fifth and final principle for determining the role of the Magisterium in the area of bioethics becomes clear: A corollary of the Church’s duty to proclaim the Good News is her obligation – through the democratic means available to her and specifically through the involvement of politically active lay Christians – to work for just laws in the sphere of bioethics. This task should be seen as part of the Church’s fundamental affirmation of a true and lasting humanism.

5. Evangelizing Modern Culture

After looking at what seem to me the five most important underlying principles of Church teaching in the area of bioethics, I can almost hear a collective “Yes, but…” in response from you. We surely all agree that the concrete application of these principles to specific issues is where we have the greatest difficulty in convincing our people, often so thoroughly formed by cultural values that make the underlying principles of Christian morality seem remote or hard to accept.

An analysis of the reasons for the secularisation of modern culture, as well as for the prevailing moral relativism, are not within the scope of my presentation here today, at least as I have envisioned it. But the reality is one that we all recognize – a reality in which we live and are called to preach the Gospel. While I hardly need to convince you about the difficulty we experience in preaching and teaching the Gospel of Life today, I think the stem cell research funding initiative measure, passed by majority vote in the 2004 election in California, can provide a useful concrete illustration of the challenge we face.

By way of background, it may be useful to recall that in the United States there is no restriction on embryonic stem cell research. Still, largely because of its uncertain outcome, funds for such research from private sources have not been widely available. Typically government provides an important source of funding for research in areas like space exploration, weapons development, as well as in more speculative medical and drug developments. But Bush administration restrictions on funding new lines of embryos to be available for stem cell experiment and research have been a source of frustration to those who hope such research may provide therapies and cures for any number of diseases, congenital conditions, injuries resulting from accidents, etc.

In 2004 a group of medical research advocates and pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies sought state funding for such research in California through an “initiative” ballot measure. Through a process of collecting signatures from a sufficient number of voters in support, “Measure 71” was placed on the ballot. After a well-funded campaign conducted principally through television advertisements, the measure passed by a margin of 59 to 41 percent. When one realizes that this measure provides 3 billion dollars in state funds exclusively for embryonic stem cell research, it is not difficult to see why the campaign for it was so well-funded—the proponents of the initiative having spent nearly $35 million versus the $625,000 spent by those opposed to the bill. For the growing sector of biotechnology companies in California, and for the universities always eager for increased funding for research, this measure was a dream come true!

I can still remember the campaign’s television ads featuring two well-known movie stars. One showed Christopher Reeve, who had suffered an incapacitating spinal cord injury in an accident some years before, appealing to voters to help find a cure for him and people like him. The other showed Michael J. Fox, already visibly shaking from Parkinson’s disease, pleading for a “yes” vote so that a cure might be found for a disease that afflicts a friend or family member of most voters. It was difficult to mount a campaign in opposition to such dramatic, personal appeals on behalf of sick and dying fellow citizens without seeming callous to their needs. Moreover, it was practically impossible for those of us who opposed the destruction of human embryos to find sufficient funds to match the costly TV ads of the measure’s supporters. Nor did we present as effectively as we might have the alternatives to embryonic stem cell research, such as adult and umbilical cord (and now perhaps amniotic fluid) stem cell research.

One lesson I drew for myself as Archbishop of San Francisco was this: in the face of such a sophisticated, personalized campaign, our people, even our priests, had not been prepared well enough to understand and articulate the argument based on the principle of the dignity of embryonic human life. Nor did we use the data of what Harvard Business School professor Debora Spar calls “The Baby Business” to our best advantage. Spar describes (without ethical evaluation) the growth of reproductive technology over the past roughly 20 years. For example, she chronicles how “the science of baby making – in vitro fertilization, surrogacy, genetic engineering – has given rise to a global trade in sperm, eggs, embryos, wombs-for-rent, and in the services of a cadre of suppliers, technicians, middlemen, researchers, lawyers, third-party payers, and consultants.” Moreover, “revenues from fertility treatment jumped from $41 million in 1986 to nearly $3 billion in 2002” (quoted from B. Whitehead, “Answered Prayers,” in Commonweal, Oct 20, 2006). What used to seem the stuff of science fiction thrillers has now more than fulfilled the prophecy of Donum Vitae that human beings are in danger of becoming a product.

It is for this reason that I have emphasized in my presentation today the need to provide our Catholic people who practice their faith the tools to enter into informed dialogue with their fellow citizens about the increasing number of issues in the field of bioethics that are finding their way into the democratic political process, either in the legislative process or at the ballot box. These issues cannot be excluded from the great, perennial task of the Church – to preach the Gospel. Because of their relationship to the Gospel of Life, they become part of the important work of evangelizing the culture in which we live.

This task is not new to us, of course. Already in 1975 Pope Paul VI had observed that “the split between the Gospel and culture is without a doubt the drama of our time, just as it was in other times. Therefore every effort must be made to ensure a full evangelization of culture, or more correctly of cultures” (Evangelii Nuntiandi, n. 20). As we consider how we may more effectively address our task of preaching the Gospel to which our vocation as Bishops calls us, especially through the ongoing formation of our brother priests, and through the cooperation of Catholic scientists, medical personnel, theologians and philosophers, it may be useful to keep the following observations in mind.

First, we ought to recall the great importance of Christian witness in the work of evangelizing our cultures. The long history of the Church’s charitable service and health care ministry, in addition to the indispensable witness of every disciple of Jesus through the love of neighbor, give the testimony of the community of believers a particular credibility.

Second, the example of St. Paul at the areopagus in Athens recommends to us that we value what is good in the cultures in which we live, and not just criticize the defects. Preaching the Gospel of Life must always and first of all show forth the Gospel of Love of Jesus himself.

Third, we need to help our Catholic people avoid the tensions, even opposition, between the support of life and the promotion of justice and peace, too often in imitation of the political divisions that mark our cultures. In this regard, the Encyclical Letter Deus Caritas Est provides an important teaching that shows how justice and love are integrated rather than opposed in Christian teaching.

And fourth, we should reinforce in our preaching and teaching the final article of the Creed in order to rekindle the hope of eternal life. Just as it was for the people of Athens, for many people today the parameters of human life are closed – closed to the agency of a divine Creator in our beginnings, and closed to the invitation of living beyond death in the communion of God’s love. This cultural mindset affects the faithful as well, and needs therefore to be rekindled more than ever, for the hope of the world cannot be sustained without a living faith in the promise of eternal life Jesus came to bring us. This confident hope of eternal life also gives us confidence that—while not everything that science makes possible is moral—with God’s help moral solutions to the problems of this present age can be found.

Perhaps the most fitting conclusion to my remarks today would be a reference to the splendid and ever timely Encyclical on the Gospel of Life Evangelium Vitae of the Servant of God Pope John Paul II, who insisted with such clarity and passion: “The Gospel of life is not for believers alone: it is for everyone. The issue of life and its defence and promotion is not a concern of Christians alone. Although faith provides special light and strength, this question arises in every human conscience which seeks the truth and which cares about the future of humanity.” With him let us too pray, “may a new culture of love and solidarity develop for the true good of the whole of human society” (n. 101).