Pope calls for respect for life and protection of consciences in the U.S.

This morning at the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI received the letters of accreditation from the new U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, Dr. Miguel H. Diaz. The Pope took the time during their meeting to weigh-in on issues being considered in the American health care debate, namely, respect for all human life and the protection of health care workers’ right to conscientious objection. As is customary, the audience began with Miguel Diaz presenting his letters of accreditation from President Obama to the Holy Father, followed by a speech by the new ambassador. In his speech, Ambassador Diaz praised Pope Benedict’s humanitarian efforts, his efforts at promoting “inter-religious dialogue for the sake of peace,” and his encouragement of “authentic stewardship of God’s creation in order to combat climate change and ensure food security.”