Pope Benedict Tells Catholics to Defend Life, Welcome Post-Abortion Women

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 19, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pope Benedict Tells Catholics to Defend Life, Welcome Post-Abortion Women Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
November 19,

The Vatican (LifeNews.com) — Pope Benedict XVI met with bishops from Kenya today and urged Catholic around the world to continue to do everything possible to defend human beings from abortions. He also urged Catholics to welcome women who have had abortions back to the Church so they can rebuild relationships the abortion destroyed.

The Pope praised the way that the people of the eastern African nation revere human life and said, “This precious treasure must be guarded at all costs.”

"This direct destruction of an innocent human life can never be justified, however difficult the circumstances that may lead some to consider taking such a grave step," the pontiff added, according to a Catholic News Agency report.

The Holy Father instructed the bishops: "When you preach the Gospel of Life, remind your people that the right to life of every innocent human being, born or unborn, is absolute and applies equally to all people with no exception whatsoever."

But Pope Benedict warned Catholics that they need to do more than vocalize opposition to abortion — they must also provide tangible support to women in need.

He said the Catholic community “must offer support to those women who may find it difficult to accept a child, above all when they are isolated from their family and friends.”

Benedict also said Catholics should welcome post-abortive women back to their churches and provide them hope and healing, CNA reported.

He called on them to “be open to welcome back all who repent of having participated in the grave sin of abortion, and should guide them with pastoral charity to accept the grace of forgiveness, the need for penance, and the joy of entering once more into the new life of Christ."

Ultimately, he called on Catholics in nations like Kenya to resist outside pressure from the United Nations, other countries, or pro-abortion groups to promote abortion.

"While this understanding of Christian family life finds a deep resonance in Africa, it is a matter of great concern that the globalized secular culture is exerting an increasing influence on local communities as a result of campaigns by agencies promoting abortion,” he said.