Pope com­pares abor­tion to a mafia hit

Lethbridge Herald - - FAITH PETS -

Pope Fran­cis com­pared abor­tion to a mafia-style killing Wed­nes­day, say­ing it’s the equiv­a­lent of hir­ing a hit man to “take out a hu­man life to solve a prob­lem.”

Fran­cis made the com­ments, among his strong­est yet against abor­tion, dur­ing his weekly Wed­nes­day au­di­ence ded­i­cated to the com­mand­ment ex­hort­ing the faith­ful not to kill.

Fran­cis said some peo­ple jus­tify abor­tion as re­spect­ing other rights. But, he asked, “How can an act that sup­presses in­no­cent and de­fence­less life as it blos­soms be ther­a­peu­tic, civil or sim­ply hu­man?”

He asked if it was fair “to take out a hu­man life” to solve a prob­lem: “Is it fair to hire a hit man to solve a prob­lem? It is not fair. We can­not take out a hu­man be­ing, even if it is small.”

It was the sec­ond time within re­cent months that Fran­cis has ex­pressed the church’s long­stand­ing op­po­si­tion to abor­tion in vi­o­lent, stark terms.

In June, Fran­cis de­nounced how some cou­ples re­sort to pre-natal test­ing to see if their un­born ba­bies have mal­for­ma­tions and then choose to have an abor­tion, which he said was the “white glove” equiv­a­lent of the Nazi-era eu­gen­ics pro­gram.

Fran­cis has framed both abor­tion and eu­thana­sia as part of what he calls to­day’s “throw­away cul­ture,” where the sick, the poor, the el­derly and the un­born are con­sid­ered un­wor­thy of pro­tec­tion and dig­nity by a so­ci­ety that prizes in­stead in­di­vid­ual prow­ess and suc­cess.

Of­fi­cial church teach­ing op­pos­ing abor­tion is ab­so­lute, pro­vid­ing for no ex­cep­tions. That said, Fran­cis has ac­knowl­edged that women some­times are driven by cir­cum­stance to abor­tion and he has ex­tended the abil­ity of or­di­nary priests — and not just bish­ops — to ab­solve them of the sin of abor­tion if they re­pent.

Fran­cis’ com­ments came dur­ing a three-week meet­ing of bish­ops from around the world.

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