On Wednesday, Pope Francis compared having an abortion to “hiring a hit man” who eliminates problematic individuals, some of the Pope’s tougher comments on abortion to date during remarks to tens of thousands gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
While speaking to thousands of Catholics gathered in the square, Pope Francis asked the crowd if it was ever right to “take out” a human life, according to Reuters.
“I ask you: ‘Is it right to ‘take out’ a human life to solve a problem? What do you think? Is it right? Is it right or not?” Francis asked.
Most in the crowd shouted back, “No!”
“Is it right to hire a hit man 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 hit man to solve a problem,” Francis continued.
He added: “How can an act that suppresses an innocent and helpless life as it blossoms be therapeutic, civil or, simply, humane?” He went on to tell the crowd that “it is not right” to take a human life, no matter how small.
The Roman Catholic Church teaches that life begins at the moment of conception and only ends at the moment of one’s natural death. Euthanasia is also forbidden, but family members, or the patient themselves, can decide to stop using any extraordinary life-sustaining treatments that would prolong the process of dying when death is imminent – excluding palliative care.
Francis has turned to downplaying the importance of “cultural war” issues such as gay marriage, contraception and abortion, saying in a March 2013 interview that the Church had become “obsessed” with such issues. He stressed that the Catholic Church must move on from such issues in order to “heal wounds” while focusing instead on “compassion and mercy.”
“It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time,” he said in that interview, adding that the Church’s stand on them was very clear and that it also had to address social issues such as poverty, injustice and immigration.
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