ROME — Pope Francis waded into the abortion debates Sunday, slamming the pro-choice position and lauding an Italian pro-life group that defends unborn life as sacred and inviolable.
In the immediate aftermath of a decision by San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone to bar Nancy Pelosi from receiving Holy Communion due to her aggressive abortion advocacy, Pope Francis expressed concern over a pro-choice mentality that fails to respect life.
At his weekly recitation of the Regina Caeli prayer, the pontiff thanked participants in a national "Let's Choose Life" event for their "dedication in promoting life and defending conscientious objection, which there are often attempts to limit."
The pope went on to lament an erosion of an ethics that values and defends human life in favor of a mistaken exaltation of individual "choice."
"Sadly, in these last years, there has been a change in the common mentality," Francis said, and today people believe more and more that life is "at our complete disposal, that we can choose to manipulate, to give birth or take life as we please, as if it were the exclusive consequence of individual choice."
Pope Francis says in a new book that anyone who truly cares about the environment will necessarily be opposed to abortion. https://t.co/kT1jNkvkK5
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) November 24, 2020
"Let us remember that life is a gift from God! It is always sacred and inviolable, and we cannot silence the voice of conscience," he concluded.
In his own notification to Speaker Pelosi, Archbishop Cordileone noted that Christians have always "upheld the dignity of human life in every stage, especially the most vulnerable, beginning with life in the womb" and that this "fundamental moral truth has consequences for Catholics in how they live their lives, especially those entrusted with promoting and protecting the public good of society."
Those who are "directly involved in lawmaking bodies have a 'grave and clear obligation to oppose' any law that attacks human life," the archbishop said, citing the Vatican's doctrinal office (CDF). "For them, as for every Catholic, it is impossible to promote such laws or to vote for them."
"A Catholic legislator who supports procured abortion, after knowing the teaching of the Church, commits a manifestly grave sin which is a cause of most serious scandal to others," Cordileone observed. "Therefore, universal Church law provides that such persons 'are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.'"
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