Pope Francis: Abortion ‘is Truly Murder’

Terence P. Jeffrey | October 20, 2021 | 11:44am EDT
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(Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
(Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - Pope Francis said in an address given to the Pontifical Academy for Life at the Vatican on Sept. 27 that abortions “is truly murder.”

An English translation of the pope’s address has been posted on the Vatican’s website.

In the same speech, Pope Francis also condemned euthanasia.

“Here too, I would like to mention that we are victims of the throwaway culture,” the pope said in his address.

“In his presentation, Msgr Paglia [Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life] referred to something: but there is the throwing away of children that we do not want to welcome, with that abortion law that sends them back to their sender and kills them.

“Today this has become a ‘normal’ thing, a habit that is very bad; it is truly murder,” said the pope.

“In order to truly grasp this, perhaps asking ourselves two questions may help: is it right to eliminate, to end a human life to solve a problem? Is it right to hire a hitman to solve a problem? Abortion is this,” said Pope Francis.

“And then on the other side, are the elderly: the elderly who are also a bit of ‘throwaway material’ because they are not needed.... But they are the wisdom, they are the roots of the wisdom of our civilization, and this civilization discards them!

“Yes, in many places there is a ‘hidden’ law on euthanasia, as I call it. It is the one that makes us say: ‘medicines are expensive, only half should be given,’”  said the pope. “This means shortening the lives of the elderly. In so doing, we deny hope, the hope of the children who bring us the life that makes us go forward, and the hope that is in the roots that the elderly give us. Instead, we discard both.

"And then the everyday throwing away, that life is thrown away,” said  the pope. “Let us be careful about this throwaway culture. It is not a problem of one law or another. It is a problem of throwing away. And on this point, you academics, the Catholic universities and also Catholic hospitals cannot allow themselves to go this way. This is a path which we cannot take: the throw away path.”

At a press conference he held on his flight back to Rome from Slovakia on Sept. 15, Pope Francis also referred to abortion as murder.

The Vatican News ran a transcript of that press conference under the headline: “Pope: Abortion is murder, the Church must be close and compassionate, not political.”

“The second problem, that of abortion: it's more than a problem, it's homicide, whoever has an abortion, kills,” the pope said in that press conference. “No mincing words. Take any book on embryology for medical students. The third week after conception, all the organs are already there, even the DNA... it is a human life, this human life must be respected, this principle is so clear!

“To those who cannot understand, I would ask this question: Is it right to kill a human life to solve a problem? Is it right to hire a hitman to kill a human life? Scientifically, it is a human life,” said the pope. Is it right to take it out to solve a problem?

“That is why the Church is so harsh on this issue, because if it accepts this, it is as if it accepts daily murder,” said Pope Francis.

In the 1995 encyclical letter, Evangelium Vitae, Pope John Paul II stated that abortion is murder.

“The moral gravity of procured abortion is apparent in all its truth if we recognize that we are dealing with murder and, in particular, when we consider the specific elements involved," said that encyclical. "The one eliminated is a human being at the very beginning of life. No one more absolutely innocent could be imagined.”

Here--first in Italian, then, as translated by the Vatican into English--is the passage from Pope Francis's Sept. 27 address where he says that abortion "is truly murder:"

Italian

Pope Francis: “Anche qui vorrei accennare che noi siamo vittime di una cultura dello scarto. Mons. Paglia, nella presentazione, ha accennato a qualcosa, ma c’è lo scarto dei bambini che non vogliamo accogliere, con quella legge dell’aborto che li manda al mittente e li uccide direttamente. E oggi questo è diventato un modo “normale”, un’abitudine che è bruttissima, è proprio un omicidio, e per capirlo bene forse ci aiuta fare una doppia domanda: è giusto eliminare, fare fuori una vita umana per risolvere un problema? È giusto affittare un sicario per risolvere un problema? Questo è l’aborto. E poi, dall’altra parte, gli anziani: gli anziani che pure sono un po’ “materiale di scarto”, perché non servono… Ma sono la saggezza, sono le radici di saggezza della nostra civiltà, e questa civiltà li scarta! Sì, in tante parti c’è anche la legge dell’eutanasia “nascosta”, come la chiamo io: è quella che fa dire: “le medicine sono care, se ne dà la metà soltanto”; e questo significa accorciare la vita degli anziani. Con questo noi rinneghiamo la speranza: la speranza dei bimbi che ci portano la vita che ci fa andare avanti, e la speranza che è nelle radici che ci danno gli anziani. Scartiamo ambedue. E poi, quello scarto di tutti i giorni, che la vita è scartata. Stiamo attenti a questa cultura dello scarto: non è un problema di una legge o dell’altra, è un problema dello scarto. E su questo punto [in questa direzione] voi accademici, le università cattoliche e anche gli ospedali cattolici, non possono permettersi di andare. Questa è una strada su cui noi non possiamo andare: la strada dello scarto.”

English

Pope Francis: “Here too, I would like to mention that we are victims of the throwaway culture. In his presentation, Msgr Paglia referred to something: but there is the throwing away of children that we do not want to welcome, with that abortion law that sends them back to their sender and kills them. Today this has become a “normal” thing, a habit that is very bad; it is truly murder. In order to truly grasp this, perhaps asking ourselves two questions may help: is it right to eliminate, to end a human life to solve a problem? Is it right to hire a hitman to solve a problem? Abortion is this. And then on the other side, are the elderly: the elderly who are also a bit of “throwaway material” because they are not needed.... But they are the wisdom, they are the roots of the wisdom of our civilization, and this civilization discards them! Yes, in many places there is a “hidden” law on euthanasia, as I call it. It is the one that makes us say: “medicines are expensive, only half should be given”. This means shortening the lives of the elderly. In so doing, we deny hope, the hope of the children who bring us the life that makes us go forward, and the hope that is in the roots that the elderly give us. Instead, we discard both. And then the everyday throwing away, that life is thrown away. Let us be careful about this throwaway culture. It is not a problem of one law or another. It is a problem of throwing away. And on this point, you academics, the Catholic universities and also Catholic hospitals cannot allow themselves to go this way. This is a path which we cannot take: the throw away path.”

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