In an address this morning to the United Nations, Pope Francis told world leaders that the right to life is a foundational human right and that it includes unborn children. His remarks come one day after he urged members of Congress to defend life.
Pope Francis directed some of his comments at liberals, saying if people care about the environment then they should also care about the right to life of human beings.
“First, it must be stated that a true ‘right of the environment’ does exist,” the Holy Father said. “First, because we human beings are part of the environment.”
“Because every creature, particularly a living creature, has an intrinsic value, in its existence, its life, its beauty and its interdependence with other creatures,” Pope Francis said.
“Consequently, the defense of the environment and the fight against exclusion demand that we recognize a moral law written into human nature itself, one which includes the natural difference between man and woman, and absolute respect for life in all its stages and dimensions,” the leader of the Catholic Church continued.
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“These pillars of integral human development have a common foundation, which is the right to life and, more generally, what we could call the right to existence of human nature itself,” he said in his UN address.
“The common home of all men and women must continue to rise on the foundations of a right understanding of universal fraternity and respect for the sacredness of every human life, of every man and every woman, the poor, the elderly, children, the infirm, the unborn, the unemployed, the abandoned, those considered disposable because they are only considered as part of a statistic,” he concluded.
Yesterday, Pope Francis brought a consistent pro-life message to the nation’s leaders and admonished members of Congress in a speech today to “defend life at every stage of development.”
The Pope said:
Here I think of the political history of the United States, where democracy is deeply rooted in the mind of the American people. All political activity must serve and promote the good of the human person and be based on respect for his or her dignity. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”
If politics must truly be at the service of the human person, it follows that it cannot be a slave to the economy and finance. Politics is, instead, an expression of our compelling need to live as one, in order to build as one the greatest common good: that of a community which sacrifices particular interests in order to share, in justice and peace, its goods, its interests, its social life. I do not underestimate the difficulty that this involves, but I encourage you in this effort.
Pope Francis talked about the importance of the Golden Rule and said it has significant pro-life implications.
“The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development,” he said. “I am convinced that this way is the best, since every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity.”
The Pope encouraged Congress “to protect, by means of the law, the image and likeness fashioned by God on every human face.”
He also indirectly referenced the pressure in pop culture against having children.
“At the risk of oversimplifying, we might say that we live in a culture which pressures young people not to start a family, because they lack possibilities for the future,” he said.
In Cuba, Pope Francis on Sunday told a group of nuns, priests, bishops and seminarians to protect their “smallest” and most vulnerable members, including unborn children. CNN reports that he also said Jesus shines in the lives of hidden and ignored people, referring to those who suffer from degenerative diseases.