Pope Francis on Abortion



Women who had abortions can be forgiven in Holy Year

Pope Francis will give all priests discretion to formally forgive women who have had abortions during the Roman Catholic Church's upcoming Holy Year, in the Argentine pontiff's latest move towards a more open and inclusive church.

In Church teaching, abortion is such a grave sin that those who procure or perform it incur an automatic excommunication. Usually only designated clergy & missionaries can formally forgive abortions. But from Dec.8 to Nov. 26, during an extraordinary Holy Year or "Jubilee" on the theme of mercy announced by Pope Francis in March, all priests will be able to do so, he said in a letter published by the Vatican.

In the letter, Francis described the "existential & moral ordeal" faced by women who have terminated pregnancies and said he had "met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision". He has shown no intention of retracting the Church's opposition to abortion, but has alarmed conservatives by taking a less forceful tone.

Source: Thomson-Reuters coverage of Pope Francis' 2015 U.S. visit , Sep 1, 2015

Abortion is like hiring a hit man to solve a problem

Pope Francis compared abortion to hiring a "hit man to solve a problem," and complained about a "depreciation of human life." The pontiff departed from the prepared text of his homily at his weekly audience on Saint Peter's Square to make the comments, some of his strongest yet against abortion.

"Interrupting a pregnancy is like eliminating someone," Francis said. "Is it fair to hire a hit man to solve a problem? It is not fair. We cannot take out a human being, even if it is small."

The pontiff's address was dedicated to the commandment exhorting the faithful not to kill. He also denounced war, exploitation and a culture of wastefulness. Francis said some people justify abortion as respecting other rights, but asked "How can an act that suppresses innocent and defenseless life as it blossoms be therapeutic, civil or simply human?" It was the second time within recent months that Francis has expressed the church's longstanding opposition to abortion in violent, stark terms.

Source: USA Today's Jane Onyanga-Omara on 2018 Papacy , Jul 25, 2015

Abortion for fetal abnormalities same as Nazi-era eugenics

[Likening abortion to hiring a "hit man to solve a problem"] was the second time within recent months that Francis has expressed the church's longstanding opposition to abortion in violent, stark terms. In June, Francis denounced how some couples resort to pre-natal testing to see if their unborn babies have malformations and then choose to have an abortion, which he said was the "white glove" equivalent of the Nazi-era eugenics program. Francis has framed both abortion and euthanasia as part of what he calls today's "throwaway culture," where the sick, the poor, the elderly and the unborn are considered unworthy of protection and dignity by a society that prizes instead individual prowess and success.

Official church teaching opposing abortion is absolute, providing for no exceptions. That said, Francis has acknowledged that women sometimes are driven by circumstance to abortion and he has extended the ability of ordinary priests to absolve them of the sin of abortion if they repent.

Source: USA Today's Jane Onyanga-Omara on 2018 Papacy , Jul 25, 2015

Quiet commitment to the defense of unborn life

Pope Francis' decision to talk less than his predecessors about abortion has puzzled and distressed some supporters of the pro-life movement. Yet the pope has made clear his commitment to the defense of unborn life and, thanks to his colossal popularity and gift for communicating across cultural divides, his pontificate could prove a boon to the pro-life cause in enormous and unprecedented ways.

The pope's comparative reticence on abortion became evident to many observers a few months into his pontificate. At a June Vatican Mass dedicated to pro-life causes, an event that had been planned under Pope Benedict, Pope Francis surprised many when delivered a homily without any reference to abortion, euthanasia or any other specific threat to life. The pope explained afterward to reporters that the "church has already expressed itself perfectly on that."

Source: Catholic News Service, "Few Words on Abortion" , Jan 10, 2014

Protecting the unborn is a form of social justice

A key element in the pope's words on abortion is the link he makes between protection of the unborn and the wider cause of social justice.

"Defense of unborn life is closely linked to the defense of each and every other human right," Pope Francis wrote in the apostolic exhortation. "It involves the conviction that a human being is always sacred and inviolable, in any situation and at every stage of development. Human beings are ends in themselves and never a means of resolving other problems. 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."

It is nothing new for a pope to draw such connections, as Pope Francis knows, since he made a similar point in September by quoting Pope Benedict: "If personal and social sensitivity in welcoming a new life is lost, other forms of welcome useful to social life will dry up."

Source: Catholic News Service, "Few Words on Abortion" , Jan 10, 2014

Other candidates on Abortion: Pope Francis on other issues:
Former Presidents/Veeps:
George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
V.P.Dick Cheney
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
V.P.Al Gore
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)
Dwight Eisenhower (R,1953-1961)
Harry_S_TrumanHarry S Truman(D,1945-1953)

Religious Leaders:
New Testament
Old Testament
Pope Francis

Political Thinkers:
Noam Chomsky
Milton Friedman
Arianna Huffington
Rush Limbaugh
Tea Party
Ayn Rand
Secy.Robert Reich
Joe Scarborough
Gov.Jesse Ventura
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform

Page last updated: Oct 28, 2021