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The role of conscience Print E-mail
By Benedict XVI   
Monday, 13 July 2009
The pressures [in developing countries] to legalize abortion are increasing . . . also with recourse to the liberalization of new forms of chemical abortion under the pretext of safeguarding reproductive health:  policies for demographic control are on the rise, notwithstanding that they are already recognized as dangerous also on the economic and social plane.
At the same time, the interest in more refined biotechnological research is growing in the more developed countries in order to establish subtle and extensive eugenic methods, even to obsessive research for the "perfect child", with the spread of artificial procreation and various forms of diagnosis tending to ensure good selection. 
A new wave of discriminatory eugenics finds consensus in the name of the presumed well-being of the individual, and laws are promoted especially in the economically progressive world for the legalization of euthanasia. 
All of this comes about while, on another front, efforts are multiplying to legalize cohabitation as an alternative to matrimony and closed to natural procreation. 
In these situations the conscience, sometimes overwhelmed by the powerful collective media, is insufficiently vigilant concerning the gravity of the problems at play, and the power of the strongest weakens and seems to paralyze even people of good will. 
For this reason it is necessary to appeal to the conscience, and in particular, to the Christian conscience. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us, "Conscience is a judgment of reason whereby the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act that he is going to perform, is in the process of performing or has already completed. In all he says and does, man is obliged to follow faithfully what he knows to be just and right." 
-from a 2007 address to the Pontifical Academy for Life
 

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