On May 30, Pope Francis visited with a group from the Science and Life Association and praised parents of children who suffer from major illnesses. He also condemned the “scourge” of abortions that take place on children with disabilities.
He said, “The scourge of abortion is an attack on life. Leaving our brothers on the boats in the Sicilian channel is an attack on life. Death at work is an attack on life because it does not respect the minimal security conditions. The love of Christ urges us to become servants of the small ones and the elderly, of every man and every woman, through which the primordial right to life is recognized and protected.”
According to the Daily Mail, he said that technological advances shouldn’t measure progress in the modern world; rather, it should be societies ability to protect life. Additionally, the Pope thanked the association for protecting life in a world that’s “marked by the negative logic of discarding.”
The Pope’s comments come a day after he met with a group of severely ill children and their parents in the Vatican hotel chapel on Friday.
The families are participating in a series of pilgrimages to shrines such as Lourdes and Loreto. The Vatican said that Francis spent time with each child, who ranged in age from two to 14, who all suffered from life limiting conditions.
Father of one of the children, Andrea Maria, told the Pontiff how doctors had advised his wife to have an abortion because of a difficult pregnancy and the child’s ailments, but they refused.
After the closed meeting, Francis expressed his admiration for their courage saying abortion is a false solution and that such parents show ‘heroism’.
In the Catholic Church, abortion can result in automatic excommunication and only be forgiven by high-ranking clergy or by making a pilgrimage to Rome during a Holy Year. However, Pope Francis is sending “missionaries of mercy” all over the world to forgive and offer reconciliation to those hurting from abortion.
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Although some pro-abortion Catholics have argued that Pope Francis’ gesture is a sign that the Church is becoming more “progressive” on abortion, this is completely false. Pope Francis consistently says that Christians should offer grace and mercy to post-abortive women but simultaneously stand strong against abortion.
At a meeting with Catholic bishops in South Africa, Pope Francis said, “Abortion compounds the grief of many women who now carry with them deep physical and spiritual wounds after succumbing to the pressures of a secular culture which devalues God’s gift of sexuality and the right to life of the unborn. The sacrament of reconciliation, in particular, must be rediscovered as a fundamental dimension of the life of grace.”