On the Value and Inviolability of Human Life

John Paul II, Encyclical Letter on the Value and Inviolability of Human Life: Evangelium Vitae (1995).

This encyclical addresses, among other things, abortion, euthanasia, and the death penalty. Most important from a legal perspective is its view of the role of the state that leads to Church doctrine on the death penalty (¶¶55-56). In addition, the Pope speaks to political and civic activity of civil leaders, “intellectuals,” and teachers, among others, to create a “culture of life.”

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