THE POPE'S NEW GOSPEL

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Pope John Paul IIissued "The Gospel of Life," a new encyclical that seeks to address modern discontent with Catholic doctrine on abortion, birth control, mercy killing and euthanasia by linking them as assaults on human dignity.TIME religion writer Richard Ostlingsays the work completes a trilogy of major ethical pronouncements by "the most philosophically trained of modern Popes." The Pope subtly argues that abortion and contraception are "different evils, but closely connected as roots of the same tree. They are rooted in a self-centered concept of freedom that involves procreation as an object of personal fulfillment." At the same time, Pope John Paul II advocates a new feminism free of male domination, violence and exploitation. To women who have had abortions, he writes: "Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope."