Notable quotations from Pope John Paul II and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
Children ... are the hope that continually blossoms, a project that starts ever anew, the future that opens without ceasing. They represent the flowering of married love, which is found and strengthened in them. At their birth they bring a message of life.
Do not children themselves in a way continually "examine" their parents? ... It is as if a question were inscribed in their whole existence, ... which we could put into questions like these: Mama, papa, do you love me? Am I really a gift for you? Do you accept me for what I am? Do you always try to do what is really best for me?
In many regions, and paradoxically right in the more prosperous countries, bringing children into the world has become a decision taken with great hesitation... It could be said that at times children are seen as more of a threat than a gift.
No one knows as you do, dear parents, how essential it is for children to be able to count on you, on both of you — fathers and mothers — in the complementarity of your gifts. No, it is not a step forward for civilized society to support trends that obscure this elementary truth and even demand to be legally recognized.
Be certain of this, Christian spouses, the sacrament of Matrimony assures you of the necessary grace to persevere in the mutual love that your children need as much as bread.
You cannot avoid the essential question about your mission as teachers. Having given life to your children, you are also obliged to accompany them, in a way appropriate for their age, in their directions and life-decisions, while being concerned for all their rights.
We must be on guard so that the good of the child is always given priority: beginning with the moment that the child is desired.
The tendency to use morally unacceptable reproductive practices reveals the absurd mentality of a "right to a child", which has replaced the due recognition of the "right of a child" to be born and later to grow in a fully human way.
(Source: Address to Third World Meeting With Families, October 14, 2000)
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