Pope Calls for Believers to Reject Abortion, Euthanasia

Pope Benedict XVI re-emphasized his call for Catholics everywhere to reject abortion and euthanasia.

The head of the Roman Catholic Church said Sunday that life is something given by God and is not to be cut short under the “guise of human compassion.”

“Life, which is the work of God, cannot be negated by anyone, neither at the very young and indefensible unborn stage, nor when grave disabilities are present,” Benedict said during his weekly address to pilgrims in St Peter’s Square in Vatican City.

Sunday was the Italian Catholic Church's “Day for Life,” and to mark the occasion the Pope said humanity could not legitimize euthanasia or be “fooled” into justifying it “under the guise of human compassion.”

Euthanasia is currently illegal and carries a jail term of up to 15 years in Italy. The issue was the focus of the Italian media last month when Italian doctor Mario Riccio disconnected the life support of Piergiorgio Welby, who was paralyzed and had asked to die.

Benedict’s statement came out just days after Riccio was cleared by a medical panel of any wrongdoing.