Pope Francis compared abortions to hiring a “hitman” on Saturday in a strong plea for unborn babies.
CNN reports the pope defended unborn babies’ lives at the “Yes to Life” conference in Rome, sponsored by the Vatican. Hundreds of people attended, including doctors and religious leaders from across the world, the report states.
“Just two phrases, two questions, can help us understand” the abortion issue, the pope said. “First question: Is it licit to eliminate a human life to solve a problem? Second question: Is it licit to hire a hitman to resolve a problem?”
Pope Francis condemned abortion as a modern form of eugenics that promotes “fear and hostility toward disability.”
“Human life is sacred and inviolable and the use of prenatal diagnosis for selective purposes must be strongly discouraged because it is the expression of an inhuman eugenic mentality, which deprives families of the possibility of welcoming, embracing and loving their weakest children,” he said, according to the Catholic News Service.
“No human being can ever be incompatible with life, not for his age, nor for his health conditions, nor for the quality of his existence,” the pope continued.
He said every child is a gift, and their life changes the “history of a family.”
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The pope urged leaders to provide compassionate support to families of children with disabilities
Here’s more from CNS:
When it is likely the baby will die, Pope Francis said, many people assume that the parents’ suffering will be lessened if the baby is aborted. But welcoming the child, holding him or her and giving comfort and love helps bring “completion to a family’s love.”
“In fact,” he said, “taking care of these babies helps the parents work through their mourning and understand what happened not only as a loss, but as a stage of a journey taken together. That baby will remain in their lives forever, and they were able to love him or her.”
Last year, Pope Francis also likened abortion to hiring a hitman, and faced criticism for doing so. When he first made the comparison, it was not in the text of his prepared homily. Instead, he apparently spoke from the heart about the pervasive violence against unborn babies.
“Is it right to hire a hitman to solve a problem? You cannot, it is not right to kill a human being, regardless of how small it is, to solve a problem. It is like hiring a hitman to solve a problem,” the pope said in October.
His condemnation of abortion upset abortion activists and prompted responses from the French Medical Council, the German family minister, a British ethics professor and many others.
In the past, Pope Francis often has condemned abortion as a moral evil. He repeatedly has said aborted babies are victims of a “throwaway culture.”
The Catholic Church teaches that every human life is valuable from the moment of conception to natural death because human beings are created in the image of God.