Pope Francis lamented the evils of idolatry and the horrible things that it has driven people to do during his weekly address Wednesday at the Vatican.
The pope used the example of a woman who was obsessed with her personal beauty, and said without hesitation that she aborted her unborn child to preserve her figure, Crux reports.
“It’s terrible, it hurts the soul what I heard one time years ago in another diocese,” Pope Francis said. “A woman, a good woman, very, very beautiful and who bragged about her beauty, commented as if it were natural: ‘Yeah, I had to have an abortion because my figure is so important.’”
Later, he added: “Rather than promoting life, [idols] drive us toward death. … when values such as physical beauty, health become idols to which everything must be sacrificed, they create confusion in our spirit and in our hearts,” RT News reports.
The words were part of the pontiff’s weekly address on Wednesday in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall.
Like the pontiffs before him, Pope Francis consistently has been a strong advocate for the right to life from the moment of conception until natural death. He also has reached out to women hurting because of past abortions and urged priests to extend forgiveness to those who are repentant.
As LifeNews previously reported, Pope Francis said Christians should offer grace and mercy to women and men involved in abortions but simultaneously stand strong against the destruction of unborn babies’ lives.
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“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,” he said in 2014. “The sacrament of reconciliation, in particular, must be rediscovered as a fundamental dimension of the life of grace.”