In a speech to a family association Saturday, Pope Francis again stressed that God’s vision of the family is between a man and a woman, and compared the abortion of children who are sick or disabled to a Nazi mentality.
“I’ve heard that it’s fashionable, or at least usual, that when in the first few months of pregnancy they do studies to see if the child is healthy or has something, the first offer is: let’s send it away,” the pope said June 16, referring to the trend of aborting sick or disabled children.
This, he said, is “the murder of children…to get a peaceful life an innocent [person] is sent away…We do the same as the Nazis to maintain the purity of the race, but with white gloves.”
Pope Francis spoke to members of the Forum of Family Associations, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
His words on abortion come just days after his home country of Argentina voted June 14 in favor of a bill that would legalize abortion as early as the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. The comments also come just over a month ahead of his Aug. 25-26 trip to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families, which will feature Jesuit Fr. James Martin as a keynote speaker on how to be welcoming to the LGBT community.
The pope, the paper reported, said it is “painful” to think that society would accept the killing of children simply because they are sick or disabled, but this is the current mentality.
Turning to his 2016 post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis said that some have reduced the document to “you can, you can’t,” referring to the debate surrounding access to the sacraments for the divorced and remarried in the document’s eighth chapter.
“They have understood nothing,” he said, explaining that his exhortation “does not hide problems,” but goes beyond mere case studies. To understand the text, he said, one must read chapter four on the spirituality of everyday life, which he said is the “is the core” of the document.
Francis then pointed to the emphasis placed on marriage preparation in Amoris Laetitia, saying the family “is a beautiful adventure and today, I say it with pain, we see that many times we think of starting a family, getting married, as if it were a lottery. We go and if it works, it works, if not we end it and start again.”
What is needed, he said, is “a catechumenate for marriage…men and women are needed who help young people to mature.”
The pope also pointed to the increasing difficulty for families to spend time with their children, especially in times of social and economic crisis.
“To earn money today one has to have two jobs, the family is not considered,” he said, and encouraged parents to take up this “cross” and the excessive hours of work, while also spending time playing with their children.
“Children are the greatest gift,” he said, even when they are sick. Children, he said, must be “received as they come, as God sends them.”
Full story at Catholic News Agency.