I just had the occasion to re-read a terrific speech that then-Cardinal Ratzinger gave back in 1991 entitled “The Problem of Threats to Human Life.”http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=187&repos=1&subrepos=&searchid=292732 The speech anticipated Pope John Paul II’s great encyclical Evangelium Vitae. http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_evangelium-vitae_en.html
Soon after re-reading the speech, I realized that Father John Conley, SJ, gave a talk at the 2005 University Faculty for Life conference in which he highlighted the importance of the 1991 speech (and another later speech by Cardinal Ratzinger on freedom and truth). Here is Father Conley’s assessment of these speeches: “Cardinal Ratzinger made a central contribution to the cause of human life by illuminating the background anthropological disputes, especially those concerning the nature of human freedom, that have made the case for the comprehensive right to life unintelligible in elite sectors of the Western world.” http://www.uffl.org/vol15/conley05.pdf
The speeches (and Father Conley’s essay) are well-worth reading.