Pope Benedict addresses Ambassador Diaz [CN-USA]

Allow me, Mr. Ambassador, to reaffirm a conviction which I expressed at the outset of my Apostolic Journey to the United States. Freedom - the freedom which Americans rightly hold dear - “is not only a gift but also a summons to personal responsibility;” it is “a challenge held out to each generation, and it must constantly be won over to the cause of good”.

The preservation of freedom is inseparably linked to respect for truth and the pursuit of authentic human flourishing. The crisis of our modern democracies calls for a renewed commitment to reasoned dialogue in the discernment of wise and just policies respectful of human nature and human dignity. The Church in the United States contributes to this discernment particularly through the formation of consciences and her educational apostolate, by which she makes a significant and positive contribution to American civic life and public discourse.

Here I think particularly of the need for a clear discernment with regard to issues touching the protection of human dignity and respect for the inalienable right to life from the moment of conception to natural death, as well as the protection of the right to conscientious objection on the part of health care workers, and indeed all citizens.

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