"In fact, the commitment to peace—so crucial in a world torn apart by violence—begins with the unconditional respect of human life, created in the image of God and thus endowed with an absolute dignity." With these words Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI began the greeting that he addressed to the International Conference "Respect for Life, the Way to Peace", which met in recent days at the Pontifical University Bolivariana in Medellin, Colombia.
"Faith in God the Creator—Pope Benedict continues in his message—is the fundamental foundation of human dignity and an essential part of any state of law. The theme of peace and the issue of respect for human life are related to the faith in the Creator God as the true guarantee of our dignity."
The Medellin encounter was the Fourth Conference sponsored by the Fondazione Vaticana Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI, after those in Bydgoszcz, in Poland (2011), in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2012) and in Rome (2013). The majority of the participants were Colombians, but many also came from other Latin American countries and from overseas.