dPope Francis. Credit: Stephen Drsicoll/CNA.
Vatican City, Sep 20, 2013 / 07:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Speaking to a group of gynecologists at the Vatican, Pope Francis affirmed that all human life has dignity and rejected the discarding of “defenseless” human persons through abortion.
“Every unborn child, although unjustly condemned to be aborted, has the face of Jesus Christ, the Lord’s face,” Pope Francis said, adding that like Christ, these aborted children experience the rejection of the world.
The Holy Father asked doctors “who are called to take care of human life in its initial phase” to remind people that “in all its phases and at any age, human life is always sacred.”
“This is a commitment to the new evangelization that often requires going against the current,” he added in his Sept. 20 address. “The Lord counts on you to spread the ‘Gospel of Life.’”
The comments come one day after the publication of an extensive interview with Pope Francis, conducted by the Jesuit-run Italian newspaper La Civiltà Cattolica and translated into English by U.S. Jesuit magazine America.
In the interview, the Pope called Christians to proclaim moral truths in the context of the Gospel and Jesus Christ rather than as “disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently.”
“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible,” he said. Rather, “when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context,” allowing moral issues to flow from the proclamation of the Gospel.
Several commenters and media outlets interpreted the Pope’s remarks as a shift in Church teaching on moral issues. However, the Holy Father – who has spoken out against abortion several times during his papacy – also explained in the interview that the “teaching of the Church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the Church.”
Speaking today before a meeting sponsored by the International Federation of Associations of Catholic Physicians, Pope Francis emphasized the doctor’s role in protecting and promoting all life, which, from the unborn to the elderly, “carries the face of Christ.”
“In the fragile human being each of us is invited to recognize the face of the Lord, who in his human flesh experienced the indifference and loneliness that often condemn the poorest” members of society, he said.
The Pope lamented the “widespread mentality of profit, the ‘throwaway culture,’ which now enslaves the hearts and minds of many,” and “requires the elimination human beings, especially if they are physically or socially weaker.”
“Our response to this mentality is a firm and unhesitating ‘yes’ to life,” he emphasized.
The Holy Father noted that the defense of life in all stages “has become in recent years a real priority of the Magisterium of the Church,” especially with regard to the “most defenseless,” the unborn, elderly and sick.
He noted that, paradoxically, in medicine today, “the health professions are sometimes induced to disregard life itself” while at the same time trying to care for patients.
“The paradoxical situation can be seen in the fact that while the person is given new rights, sometimes only presumed rights, life as a primary value and basic right of every man is not always protected,” he said.
But despite the culture’s denial, the “final objective of doctor is always the defense and promotion of life,” Pope Francis affirmed.
Doctors must not discard life, which is at the center of social development, he emphasized. The intrinsic dignity of the human person is beyond any measurable worth, and no human life is “more sacred” or “more significant” than another.
With this understanding of the human person, he challenged the doctors present to “be witnesses and speakers of this ‘culture of life,’” helping the contemporary culture to recognize “the transcendent dimension” of human life from “the moment of conception.”
The Pope encouraged doctors to pray for “the strength to do your job well and to witness with courage.”
Vatican City, May 25, 2013 / 06:31 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis warned that some Christians establish the eighth sacrament “of pastoral customs” when they insist on protocol instead of seeking to meet spiritual needs.
He made his remarks during his May 25 homily on the Gospel reading from Mark 10 in which the disciples rebuked people who were bringing children to Jesus.
“I remember once, coming out of the city of Salta, on the patronal feast, there was a humble lady who asked for a priest’s blessing,” Pope Francis recalled in the chapel of St. Martha’s House.
“The priest said, ‘All right, but you were at the Mass’ and explained the whole theology of blessing in the Church. You did well: ‘Ah, thank you father, yes father,’ said the woman. When the priest had gone, the woman turned to another priest: ‘Give me your blessing!’
“All these words did not register with her,” the Pope underscored, “because she had another necessity: the need to be touched by the Lord. That is the faith that we always look for, this is the faith that brings the Holy Spirit. We must facilitate it, make it grow, help it grow.”
Vatican City, Mar 16, 2013 / 08:11 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis told thousands of journalists today he loved them and thanked them for their recent work.
“I love you so much and I thank you for all that you have done,” Pope Francis told over 5,000 journalists today at Paul VI Hall in the Vatican.
“We aren’t called to communicate about ourselves, but on this trinity of truth, goodness and beauty,” he told the journalists at 11:00 a.m. local time.
The newly elected Pope from Argentina spoke to them and their families on the third day of his pontificate.
“Your work needs study, sensibility, experience like all other professions, but needs to also give special attention to truth, goodness and beauty,” said the Pope.
“That is why we are so close because the Church exists to communicate precisely this,” he stated.
He thanked the journalists for their “hard work” covering the days since Benedict XVI announced his resignation adding that it is not easy to communicate to “a vast and varied public.”
“Be sure that the Church reserves a big attention to your precious work,” said the 76-year-old Argentinian.
The pontiff told the professionals that Jesus is the center of the Church and not himself.