Nascent Human Life

The word “nascent” comes from the Latin word meaning “being born”. Today the term is used in both science and literature to mean “coming into existence” or “coming into being”.

At the beginning of Advent of 2010, Pope Benedict XVI, called upon “all people of life” to join the Church a vigil of prayer for “nascent human life.” We may wonder why he chose the word “nascent” over the more familiar and four-square term: “unborn human life”.

In using this term, Pope Benedict seems to want to emphasise both the fragility and the dynamic process of human life, the interdependency and yet the opportunity which belongs not only to the human embryo but also to all of us: those of us disabled, ageing or suffering in mind or body.

If you would like to know about the Holy Father’s reflections on nascent human life, follow this link to ‘Red-Letter Advent: Awakening Consciences to Nascent Mystery’ in Anna’s Blog.

Watch the video clip below of the panel discussion on Nascent Human Life from the CWLA 45th Biennial Conference. Panel members are Anna Krohn (CWLA Bioethics Convenor), Fr Pascal Corby OFM Conv (Parochial Vicar of St. Mark’s Church and a student to the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family, working towards a Masters in Bioethics), Jo Grainger (League member and Lecturer, BN course advisor & health care ethicist, School of Nursing and Midwifery (Vic), Australian Catholic University) and Marcia Riordan (League member and Director of the Life, Marriage and Family Office, Archdiocese of Melbourne).

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