The problem of protection of life in the teachings of Saint Paul John II is one of the most important topics. The Holy Father devoted lots of activities and statements to it, of which the Evangelium Vitae encyclical of 25th February 1995 has a particular meaning. This amplification of statements on one hand points to the value of human life from conception to natural death, seen in dignity inherent to each human being and the inviolability of their right to life, and on the other hand – it was connected to the intensification in the current times of attacks on human life, in particular by way of abortion and euthanasia. In Evangelium Vitae saint John Paul II by the power of authority given to him confirmed that each killing of innocent life, abortion and euthanasia in particular, are deeply immoral acts. He also pointed to the wickedness of in vitro conception and genetic manipulations.

            Saint Paul John II in his teachings on the subject of protection of life shaped the strategy of this protection and pointed two fundamental tasks that fulfill it – promotion of life and protection  of life. Promotion relies particularly on a firm and unequivocal affirmation of the value of life and its inviolability, which the Holy Father connected to the formation of conscience and attitudes towards life.

            Protection of life is a multidimensional task, an important though not sufficient part of which is legal protection. The holy father emphasized the fact that no legislator can claim to have the right to legitimize assault on life, on the contrary, their duty is to protect the life of each human being from conception to natural death. He connected it to the necessity of removing the causes leading to abortion, pointing to the state needing to follow an appropriate family-oriented and social policies.

The teachings of John Paul II on the subject of protection of life have a holistic and systemic character. It is directed towards all people of good will.


Key words: Saint John Paul II, teachings on the protection of life, abortion, euthanasia, Evangelium Vitae encyclical, promotion of life.

Autor: Zuzanna Gądzik
Ostatnia aktualizacja: 14.10.2018, godz. 17:19 - Zuzanna Gądzik