The Pope TODAY on Abortion

I updated my previous post on the Pope's abortion comments, but I thought this is very important and needed its own post.  Today, after the release of his interview yesterday, the Pope made his first major comments on abortion.

Pope Francis today on Abortion:
Each one of us is invited to recognize in the fragile human being the face of the Lord, who, in his human flesh, experienced the indifference and loneliness to which we often condemn the poorest, either in the developing nations or in the developed societies. Each child that is unborn, but is unjustly condemned to be aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ, bears the face of the Lord, who, even before he was born, and then as soon as he was born experienced the rejection of the world. And also each old person and - I spoke of the child, let us also speak of the elderly, another point! And each old person, even if infirm or at the end of his days, bears the face of Christ. They cannot be discarded, as the "culture of waste" proposes! They cannot be discarded!
[Source] [Translation via Rorate]

I do not think it is coincidental that the Holy Father made these comments today, but I appreciate him doing so. It should never be either/or. The Catholic faith is not defined by its opposition to abortion, but we can never back down over this issue. We must keep it front and center as long as babies are dying by the millions.


  1. Exactly we need to be both/and, Love of God and love of neighbor.

  2. Can you please link to the source of this statement?

  3. "Each child that is unborn," "Each child WHO is unborn" recognizes and acknowledges the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in each and every human soul. "I AM WHO I AM" is God's name. God gives man his name: "I AM WHO I AM" when God adopts man. Therefore, man is a "WHO", not a "that". Man has free will. Animals do not. When anyone tries to take away man's free will, as in uninformed consent of Obamacare and the HHS Mandate, it is a swindle.


  4. A refreshing and moving statement from Francis. I had a headache all last night worrying about what the heck was going on in the Church. The phrase diabolical disorientation was really starting to sink in.

    Patrick, I don't know if you noticed, but one comment in the interview that really troubled me, just on a theological level, was Francis stating "Jesus has saved you" to his Jesuit interviewer. Isn't this jut plainly wrong theologically? Jesus has redeemed us, but salvation is to be worked out in "fear and trembling." It just struck me as protestant.

  5. I also don't like this repeated ridicule of single people, i.e., "spinster" and "bachelor" crack that he keeps making about clergy he views as too inward looking. i think he has no idea those comments are hurtful to single people who have not married, especially older single women.

  6. Again, this is precisely my problem with Pope Francis... he SEEMS to talk out of both sides of his mouth. I just never know what I'm getting with him from moment to moment- that makes me an uneasy Catholic.

  7. I was under the impression that Jesus Christ spend most of His life helping the poor and the most disadvantaged among us. That doesn't have to be JUST babies. It can and also should include the poor.

    Focusing solely on divisive issues like gay marriage and abortion will tear our Church apart. Radical ideology, however apparent it appears to be firmly rooted in the Gospels, will not allow us all to agree on these divisive issues.

    Proponents of ending this culture war within the Church, regardless of their ideology, are all fighting a losing battle. We are human beings in an imperfect world. The Church is a reflection of that imperfection. We won't ever agree on this issue, so why force others to see it the way you do? Why not focus on the issues we can agree on, like helping the poor and offering contraceptives in 3rd world countries? Isn't that the better way to address this great divide - reducing abortions by making them unnecessary in the first place through helping the poor?

    Please, criticize away. I'm proud of my Jesuit education and proud to call Pope Francis my spiritual leader. The creative minority can stand on a mountain and yell as loud as they can to convince the world otherwise, but it is a battle that is misguided and futile. God will decide what to do with me, and the rest of us, and how I live on this Earth will determine that - not how this blog believes I SHOULD live.

  8. Mr. Halverson, two points.

    1. No one has ever advocated focusing solely on issues like gay marriage and abortion. But while we're on the topic, let me ask you: how many more hundreds of millions of abortions will suffice for you to admit that abortion is far and away the most important moral issue we face today?

    2. The reason we try to persuade (not "force") others to "see it the way" we do is that abortion, contraception, and sodomy are objectively morally repugnant and, barring repentance, condemn a person to hell for all eternity. Cooperation in them, even by silence where charity demands that one speak the truth, ensures that they remain condemned.

  9. Beautiful words from our holy father. God bless him!

  10. 1) Your first point is completely inconsistent. To state "no one has solely advocated for" and to then go on to "the most important moral issue of our day" is as morally equivocal as you accuse Pope Francis of being. Who are you to choose which issue is more important? Are you going to be the one to tell a starving, homeless family that the needs of an unborn child come before them? Am I going to be the one to cast off the rights of the unborn human being as less important than the family that came before it? Abortion is an important issue, I agree, but is it the most important issue of our time? What about the starvation, poverty, and illiteracy that afflicts the world? How do you decide? And if you have a perfect way of deciding it, how do you justify forcing that relative value system on others?

    2) How do you know that someone remains condemned? Do you know gay souls are currently in hell? Your belief tells you that, but your belief is just as concrete a data point as my belief that those souls are not condemned to hell.

    God chooses who is saved, not you, not me, not the collective mind of the Creative Minority, not Pope Francis, not anyone on this planet. We're all debating an issue no one alive is capable of understanding - salvation. We have some ideas, we have supporting documents in the bible, but we have a world of God's people who were put on this planet for a reason. Who are you to challenge their salvation solely because you disagree with who they are? Who are you to condemn those who cooperate, even by silence, "where charity demands that one speak the truth?" Does that too mean that I am going to hell? As a practicing Catholic devout in my faith and just as certain of my own salvation as you seemingly are, which of us is right? I don't know. And either do you.

  11. Mr. Halverson,

    1. My first point is not inconsistent. Focusing on a variety of important issues while admitting the clear moral precedence of one or more over the others is called prioritizing. Since my point was lost on you, please take another stab it.

    And if you can't see that abortion (murder of the most innocent) is a more serious injustice than starvation, poverty, and illiteracy, then we may not be able to have a serious conversation.

    2. I don't claim to know whether any particular person is condemned, but I do know that mortal sins condemn a person to hell for eternity. I know that because it's the timeless teaching of the Church founded by God who cannot deceive or be deceived.

    It's always interesting how people of your persuasion can't differentiate between the objective nature of evil acts like abortion and sodomy and the circumstantial state of someone's soul after death. You read me talking about objective good and evil, and all you seem to hear is personal judgement.

  12. @ Benjamin Halverson:

    I don't believe that God chooses who is saved.

    Salvation is a free choice, available to all, through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. We choose to be saved or to be condemned, through our own free choice, based upon whether we choose to follow Him and, in following Him, make the totality of what He has taught us, our own.

  13. @Mary de Voe: He didn't say it in English. In Romance languages (he said it in Italian), the only way to introduce a relative clause is with "that". Latin, by the bye, has no word for "who"—"quis" means both "who" and "what" interchangeably.

  14. @Sophia's Favorite

    Sorry to nitpick, but "quis" as a substantive in Latin always means "who?". You're thinking of the relative "qui", which can refer to any masculine noun.

  15. Actually, that's not quite correct. "quis" can also be an indefinite pronoun, but even in those cases, it refers to persons.

  16. If one is speaking Latin, does one say "quid rōsit calceōs meōs", or "quis rōsit calceōs meōs"? "Quis" tends to be used for anything animate, but not many "whos" chew shoes.

    "Quis" means "what masculine or feminine, i.e. animate (originally), person or possibly thing", while "quid" means "what neuter, i.e. inanimate (originally) thing, or possibly person". It doesn't quite map to English pronouns 1-to-1.

  17. @Sophia's Favorite

    Yes, I think that's fair to say, but from the point of view of the speaker, who doesn't know the antecedent of the interrogative "quis", I think it's always better translated as "who?", even if the answer turns out not to be a person.

  18. The left / catholic politicians will be using the popes comments for years to come to push anti-life legislation and policies.

    Liberals in the Church will use his comments to belittle and block pro-life efforts.

    Babies will of course be killed as a direct result of these comments and how they will be used and spun.

  19. "Each child that is unborn, but is unjustly condemned to be aborted, "

    Does that leave room for children that are unborn, but justly condemned?

    Just wondering.

  20. It seems that Father Longenecker changed mine.

    I made the following comment in his blog:

    I would like to add one more thing to show that you were correct in your previous post (Poking the Pope) and now you are wrong:

    During WYD Brazil was discussing a law facilitating abortion. Everyone knew that. CNBB (Brazilian USCCB) asked Dilma (Brazilian president) to veto two major articles of the law. Pope should know that.

    Pope Francis did not say a word for a week in several opportunities. After four days he left, Dilma approved the law without vetos.

    You need popes to talk to difficult problems and attack the worst sins.

  21. The soul, newly created by God for the fertilized egg, makes an act of free will to accept God’s existence, otherwise it is a miscarriage. The spontaneous act of free will to exist made by the individual human being at conception is an act of his sovereign personhood. The act of the human being to constitute the sovereign nation by being an individual member of the human species is also an act of free will of the rational, immortal human soul, endowed by “their Creator” with Life, Liberty and the freedom to pursue Happiness. The will to pursue Life, Liberty and Happiness, one’s vocation to fulfill one’s destiny, is created by God. The act of being is an act of free will and sovereign personhood.

  22. "Each child that is unborn, but is unjustly condemned to be aborted, "
    Each child WHO is unborn, but is unjustly condemned to be aborted. The child is a human being of body and soul, rational, immortal human soul, with endowed rights and gifts, a child adopted by God because the child is created by God and bears God's name: "I AM". I exist, because God is existence.

  23. "unjustly condemned to be aborted." To save the mother's life, the mother's life must be in IMMINENT danger of death. IMMINENT means right now, not later, to justify use of the Just War Theory.

  24. Viva Cristo - Why does it have to be a choice between one moral obligation and the other? The Pope is only speaking to the reality of where these issues rest in the modern era. No one, least of all me, is saying that we as Catholics shouldn't pursue the end of abortion. The Pope is acknowledging that there are also other problems to be addressed on the global scale. My point is that addressing some of those glaring problems (eg poverty) will start reducing abortion en masse. When the Pope says that there are other issues afflicting our world besides abortion, he isn't pushing abortion to the side for liberals to use to justify abortion. Your assertion is intellectually dishonest and a totally political play for unjustified rage that won't actually change anything other to inflame a raging radical minority of our Church.

  25. The Pope is speaking to the root causes: man's hatred of God, abortion, euthansia, assisted suicide, IVF, embryonic stem cell research, transhumanism, transgenderism, homosexual behavior, pornography, human sex slavery and trafficking, man's rejection of God: atheism, man's denial of the human soul, conscience, free will, the destruction of the human race and enslavement by the demons. Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI and now Pope Francis are calling for exorcism of the demons destroying God's children.

  26. Sophia's Favorite: "Quis" tends to be used for anything animate, but not many "whos" chew shoes. The Holy Spirit is WHO "WHO" is particular to the human being composed of body and soul. While there is Latin, there is the will of God, man's vocation to do the will of God. Dogs do not have rational, immortal souls and only praise God by being animals and maybe chewing shoes.


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