On Wednesday evening, in his first Urbi et Orbi message, Pope Francis offered his first papal blessing to all those gathered beneath his window in St. Peter’s Square, as well as to those who watched on television or listened on the radio or the Internet.
And this morning, he slipped out of the Vatican to pray before the Blessed Virgin in the Basilica of St. Mary Major; and he stopped, before leaving the church, to bless a young expectant mother and her unborn child.
The heartwarming scene was captured on RomeReports (it’s at 1:15 on the video embedded below.)
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To the frustration of some secular media outlets, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio (aka Pope Francis) is pro-life. I heard a reporter and his guest on NPR hypothesize that perhaps the next pope would help to rid the Catholic Church of all the outdated ideas, and open the door to the “fresh air” of contraception and abortion and same-sex marriage. The New York Times, NBC and CNN likewise bemoaned his pro-life bent.
To which I say: IS THE POPE CATHOLIC?
Of course Pope Francis is pro-life! In an October 2007 speech, then-Cardinal Bergoglio likened abortion to the death penalty. “We aren’t in agreement with the death penalty,” he said, “but in Argentina we have the death penalty. A child conceived by the rape of a mentally ill or retarded woman can be condemned to death.”
The new pope was speaking about the Aparecida Document, a joint statement of the bishops of Latin America.
In the Aparecida Document, our new Holy Father referred to abortion and communion, saying:
We should commit ourselves to “eucharistic coherence”; that is, we should be conscious that people cannot receive holy communion and at the same time act or speak against the commandments, in particular when abortion, euthanasia, or other serious crimes against life and family are facilitated. This responsibility applies particularly to legislators, governors, and health professionals.”
Uh-oh. It appears that Vice President Biden, Representative Pelosi and Senator Kerry have some explaining to do. I’m pretty sure that Pope Francis will be explaining Church teaching to them.