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Evangelium Vitae 20 Years Later: Abundant Life

AP File

Caitlin Bootsma - published on 05/05/15

John Paul writes,

Even in the midst of difficulties and uncertainties, every person sincerely open to truth and goodness can, by the light of reason and the hidden action of grace, come to recognize in the natural law written in the heart (cf. Rom 2:14-15) the sacred value of human life from its very beginning until its end, and can affirm the right of every human being to have this primary good respected to the highest degree (EV 2).

Evangelium vitae seeks to remind people of the law inscribed on the heart—the law that is “the source of invincible hope and true joy for every period of history” (Ibid). This Gospel of Life will never change. Regardless of new technologies, new cultures or new ideologies, receiving God’s love, being open to life and always seeking to protect it will never fail us.

In recognition of the timeless relevance of Evangelium vitae on its 20th anniversary this year, a diverse group of priests, scholars and theologians have explored the rich topics contained within this encyclical. Issues including the real meaning of freedom, the connection between protecting life and our spiritual life, the dual crimes of abortion and euthanasia; how life issues play out in civil society, and how to sustain a culture of life are crucial to our lives both as individuals and as a society. You can find the series as it is published, here.

As we grow in love and knowledge of the incredible gift of life God has given us, we also should recognize the responsibility we have to share this knowledge, which is applicable to every human person. John Paul reminds us, “The Gospel of life is for the whole of human society. To be actively pro-life is to contribute to the renewal of society through the promotion of the common good.” During this 20th anniversary year, we have the opportunity to renew our commitment to defending the truth, not out of a sense of moralistic duty, but rather an unquenchable desire to share the joy that only comes from recognizing the fullness of the gift of abundant life. 

Caitlin Bootsmais the editor of Human Life International’s Truth and Charity Forum ( as well as the Communications Director for Fuzati, Inc., a Catholic marketing company. 

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AbortionCatholicismContraceptionEuthanasiaPope John Paul IIPro-life

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