Since assuming his role as the leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has earned both praise and criticism for coaxing the faith in a leftward direction. Conservatives have expressed concern over certain comments he has made, including one address during which he said believers pay too much attention to issues such as homosexuality and abortion.
The pope recently clarified his position on the latter of those two issues, offering a decisive argument against abortion that likely resonates with more traditional Christians.
While he expressed concern for women facing an unwanted or challenging pregnancy, he said the remedy for such situations should never involve the death of the child.
“Precisely because this involves the internal consistency of our message about the value of the human person,” he explained, “the Church cannot be expected to change her position on this question.”
Though Pope Francis alluded to his growing reputation as a reformer, he said abortion is inherently wrong.
“I want to be completely honest in this regard,” he continued. “This is not something subject to alleged reforms or ‘modernizations.’ It is not ‘progressive’ to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life.”
The pope, whose public displays of compassion have garnered him praise even from his detractors, dealt with the issue of abortion with a similar tone.
Saying “we have done little to adequately accompany women in very difficult situations,” he noted that the church should be more proactive in offering these struggling women another option.
His comments came as part of his first apostolic exhortation, titled The Joy of the Gospel. He also touched on the larger topic of human rights in the document.
“Human beings are ends in themselves and never a means of resolving other problems,” he explained. “Once this conviction disappears, so do solid and lasting foundations for the defense of human rights, which would always be subject to the passing whims of the powers that be.”
The death of millions of innocent children will one day be exposed for the horrendous crime against humanity that it truly is. For now, however, the fact that women, doctors, and even self-described Catholics such as Nancy Pelosi advocate for the barbaric practice is a sad commentary on our current culture.
Thankfully, the world’s most influential faith leader is making it a mission to address this serious issue with the unequivocal rebuke it deserves.
–B. Christopher Agee
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Photo credit: Catholic Church (England and Wales) (Creative Commons)