Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life) is the encyclical of the Pope John Paul II on the value and inviolability of human life. The encyclical affects the fundamental issues relating to the human person in all aspects of their existence and reveals the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church on the death penalty, abortion, and euthanasia. The encyclical was promulgated on March 25, 1995 to celebrate the Annunciation of the celebration.
The main theses of the encyclical:
The man is called by God to the fullness of life that exceeds the dimensions of his or her earthly existence. The greatness of this supernatural vocation reveals the value of human life in all its manifestations, so life in time the is the main condition for the whole process of a single and integral human existence and, with only a divine calling in the beginning and end of life, it cannot be affected by interference from other human personalities.
John Paul II on behalf of the Church condemns any violence against human life as an insult to God Himself.
John Paul II compares the Gospel of life, which is preached by the Church, to the modern society, rejecting the integrity of human life and living by culture of death, which rejects the weak.
The Gospel of life is designed for all human society, which has to recognize the rights of every human being to life.
The encyclical is composed of 4 chapters: the first one is dedicated to the dangers that threaten human life, the 2nd one tells about the Christian teaching of the value of life, the 3rd one proposes the interpretation of the commandment Thou shalt not kill in connection with the problems of bioethics, and the 4th one is about social service and the protection of life.
Putting the concept of the Gospel of Life in the basis of the Message of the Lord Jesus Christ, Pope John Paul II pointed out that, although this phrase is not found in Scripture, it corresponds to a significant aspect of the Bible’s message. However, due to the fact that in the present-day society, there are not only new dangers threatening the life of individuals and people, but also a special cultural environment is formed that justifies crimes against life in the name of freedom of the individual, and the legislation of many countries supports this right. The Pope, after consultations with the bishops, found it necessary to appeal to Catholics and all people of good will to respect and protect all human life for the sake of constructing a genuine civilization of truth and love.
Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life) is the encyclical of the Pope John Paul II on the value and inviolability of human life. The encyclical affects the fundamental issues relating to the human person in all aspects of their existence and reveals the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church on the death penalty, abortion, and euthanasia.