Gay Marriage and Abortion: In His Own Words

Pope francis from a distance

I’ve put together a few bits and pieces of Pope Francis’ living testimony on gay marriage, abortion and the sanctity of human life.

These homilies, letters and actions form a consistent, faithful, Catholic message going back years and extending up to yesterday morning. The Church is going to be attacked. We need look at these attacks with discernment instead of hysteria. There is no reason to allow ourselves to be blown this way and that by every bit of hype and spin that the media uses to try to manipulate us.

We are standing on the Rock of Peter. We should stand firm.

Here is Pope Francis, in his own words.

At the Vatican yesterday, from Vatican Radio:

Pope: Spread the Gospel of life



(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday received members of the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations who are in Rome on the occasion of their 10th International Conference on Catholicism and Maternal Healthcare. Lydia O’Kane reports RealAudioMP3  Following a greeting to conference participants, Pope Francis went on to address those gathered in three succinct points. Firstly, he described what he called the paradoxical situation facing the medical profession today. On the one hand, the Pope said we see the progress of medicine, and those dedicated to the search for new cures. But, on the other hand, he noted, there is the danger that a doctor might lose his identity as a servant of life. Pope Francis explained, that “if you lose the personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of a new life, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away.” He continued by saying that the acceptance of life strengthens moral fiber, before adding that the final objective of the doctor is always the defense and promotion of life. In his second point, the Holy Father underlined that “the first right of the human person is his life”. He spoke of a “culture of waste”, which he said, now enslaves the hearts and minds of many. The cost of this, he continued, is the elimination of human beings, especially if they are physically or socially weaker. The Pope stressed that every child that is not born, but unjustly condemned to be aborted and very elderly person who is sick or at the end of his life bears the face of Christ. The Pope also underlined the important role Gynecologists have which requires study, a conscience and humanity. In his third and final point the Holy Father said the mandate of Catholic doctors is “to be witnesses and promoters of the “culture of life”. The Lord, he said is counting on you to spread the “Gospel of life.” Pope Francis concluded his remarks by saying, “there is no human life more sacred than another, as there is no human life more significant than another. The credibility of a health care system is measured not only for its efficiency, but also for the attention and love towards people, whose life is always sacred.
Text from page http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/09/20/pope:_spread_the_gospel_of_life/en1-730182 of the Vatican Radio website

Pope Francis’ Pro Life Homily, when he was a Cardinal:

YouTube Preview Image

Pope Francis attends a March for Life. YouTube Preview Image Pope Francis talks about the sanctity of human life. YouTube Preview Image Pope Francis on gay marriage (emphasis mine):

[Letter of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, to the Carmelite Nuns of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires (June 22, 2010)]

Dear Sisters,
I write this letter to each one of you in the four Monasteries of Buenos Aires. The Argentine people must face, in the next few weeks, a situation whose result may gravely harm the family. It is the bill on matrimony of persons of the same sex.
The identity of the family, and its survival, are in jeopardy here: father, mother, and children. The life of so many children who will be discriminated beforehand due to the lack of human maturity that God willed them to have with a father and a mother is in jeopardy. A clear rejection of the law of God, engraved in our hearts, is in jeopardy.
I recall words of Saint Thérèse when she speaks of the infirmity of her childhood. She says that the envy of the Devil tried to extort her family after her older sister joined the Carmel. Here, the envy of the Devil, through which sin entered the world, is also present, and deceitfully intends to destroy the image of God: man and woman, who receive the mandate to grow, multiply, and conquer the earth. Let us not be naive: it is not a simple political struggle; it is an intention [which is] destructive of the plan of God. It is not a mere legislative project (this is a mere instrument), but rather a “move” of the father of lies who wishes to confuse and deceive the children of God.
Jesus tells us that, in order to defend us from this lying accuser, he will send us the Spirit of Truth. Today, the Nation [patria], before this situation, needs the special assistance of the Holy Ghost that may place the light of Truth amid the shadows of error; it needs this Advocate who may defend us from the enchantment of so many sophisms with which this bill is being justified, and which confuse and deceive even people of good will.
That is why I turn to you and ask from you prayer and sacrifice, the two invincible weapons which Saint Thérèse confessed to have. Cry out to the Lord that he may send his Spirit to the Senators who are to place their votes. That they may not do it moved by error or by circumstantial matters, but rather according to what the natural law and the law of God tell them. Pray for them, for their families; that the Lord may visit, strengthen, and console them. Pray that they may do great good for the Nation.
This bill will be discussed in the Senate after July 13. Let us look towards Saint Joseph, to Mary, the Child, and let us ask with fervor that they will defend the Argentine family in this moment. Let us recall what God himself told his people in a time of great anguish: “this war is not yours, but God’s”. That they may succour, defend, and accompany us in this war of God.
Thank you for what you will do in this struggle for the Nation. And, please, I beg you, pray for me also. May Jesus bless you, and may the Blessed Virgin protect you.
Affectionately,
Card. Jorge Mario Bergoglio s.j., Archbishop of Buenos Aires

  • Scott Sholar

    Rebecca, thank you for sharing.

    • hamiltonr

      Thank YOU Scott.

  • http://jessicahof.wordpress.com/ JessicaHof

    Thank you Rebecca. I have had trouble with my disqus a/c, but it seems fixed now, so good to be able to comment again. You remind us of what the media like to forget – that the Pope is a Catholic :)

    • hamiltonr

      :-)

  • Green_Sapphire

    Pope Francis: “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”

    Rebecca Hamilton: (the next day) “I’ve put together a few bits and pieces of Pope Francis’ living testimony on gay marriage, abortion and the sanctity of human life. … We are standing on the Rock of Peter. We should stand firm.”

    Excuse me, Rebecca, but since Francis is in the chair of St. Peter and since he has just explicitly said that the church has to stop being obsessed about these topics and Catholics value obedience, especially to the pope, does it seem that you might be perhaps maybe possibly not listening very well by immediately posting a blog entitled “Gay Marriage and Abortion: In His Own Words,” quoting him on those topics about which he has intentionally “not spoken much” because he wanted to broaden the church’s message?

    Rebecca Hamilton: “We should stand firm” and keep focusing on these topics.

    Pope Francis: “This is not possible. … it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”

    He’s not saying he’s changed his mind, but he is saying that you should change the subject.

    • hamiltonr

      No. The pope did not say that pro life people should be silent about it. What he said is that we need to look at the whole Gospel. You are trying to twist and mis-use the pope’s words in exactly the same way the press has, gs, and probably for the same motivations.

      • Green_Sapphire

        I didn’t say that he said you should be silent on this topic. He has not been silent on this topic, and I never indicated that you should be silent.

        I did quote Pope Francis as saying, “[I]t is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.” I did quote Pope Francis as saying, “We cannot insist only on [these] issues.”

        My intention was to indicate that Pope Francis said that you might want to also speak of other topics a higher percentage of the time than you have — such as poverty, criminal justice, education, immigration reform, peace, and climate change — and reduce the percentage of your blog posts about abortion, contraception, gay rights, and gay marriage topics. And that, when you discuss these topics, that you always do it in the context of core church teachings.

        • hamiltonr

          That is also not what the Pope said. Pope Francis was simply saying that the whole of the Gospels apply and not just one or two sins. As far as the Holy Father editing Public Catholic, he has never expressed a desire for the job that I know of, but he is absolutely welcome, anytime he wants to do it.

          You, not so much. :-)

          • Green_Sapphire

            I think he’d make a better editor than me, frankly. Good with language, that one.

        • Dale

          Green Sapphire, in reading the interview which Pope Francis gave to America Magazine, I was struck by his pastoral and evangelical emphasis. He wants to bring the Gospel to other people, to share the Good News.

          When Pope Francis said that we can not simply talk about those three issues, what he was saying is that we need to get back to basics. We need to preach the Gospel of Jesus, always and everywhere. He wasn’t saying that we need to talk about other moral issues (such as the ones you mentioned,) Instead, we need to focus on the basics of the faith.

          Quoting from Pope Francis:

          The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to
          be imposed insistently. Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus. We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards,losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel. The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow.

          http://www.americamagazine.org/pope-interview

          • FW Ken

            Disjointed multitude of doctrines appears to be a key concept here. I think of the pope talking about abortion to a group of gynecologists. That’s context.

            The Catholic Faith is like a tapestry, woven with the thread of faith in Jesus. It has many components, each in their place, each essential.

            • hamiltonr

              I agree.

    • Sus_1

      I think he was confronting all Catholics who think they are sweetness and light because they aren’t getting abortions and not getting gay married when the reality is that we all commit sin just as much as people who get abortions and gay married. They are different sins but sin all the same. These sins are committed much more frequently than abortion and gay marriages.

      For example – I was on the phone with a friend on Friday. “Did you hear about so-and-so and blah blah blah.” That’s gossip and that sin is much more important and harmful than anything I’ve said or not said or thought or not thought about gay marriage or abortion.

      Condemning people who do have abortions and get gay married isn’t right under any circumstances but it’s especially wrong when you don’t have your own sins under control. I think he was saying if your own house isn’t in order, you shouldn’t be screaming about abortion and gay marriage and think that you are all set with God because you are against those things while you are gossiping and sinning in other areas.

    • FW Ken

      It’s good to “see” you, GS. But you fail to note that the day after the interview appeared, the pope gave a speech calling on gynecologists to abstain from committing abortions. The timing is serendipitous, as the interview was given in August. However, the timing is also instructive.

      The context the pope speaks of is the rich, abundant, and generous mercy of God. That mercy forgives all repented sins, which is how the pope can call a woman pregnant with a married man’s baby and offer to baptize the baby. It’s how he can say that being gay is not a bar to seeking God, although sex outside of marriage is a sin, which sin can also be forgiven.

      The pope has taken charge of the conversation. He hasn’t changed the terms of morality, but he has given us a context: mercy. Our sins can be forgiven. Go to confession with a good confessor. He hasn’t yet spoken of the Grace of Communion, but he will, since that is the on-going font of mercy.

      Again, good to see you. But you are wrong. :-)

  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

    The business of that March for Life in Rome earlier this year is particularly interesting in that it shows how the media miss even their own points and forget their own obsessions. As I think I told you at the time, that March had unfortunately allowed a few hard-right organizations to endorse it without doing enough to distance themselves from those thugs, and of course the Italian mainstream media had gone to town on that. By the time the March was staged,all right-thinking and correctly-reading people in the Italian public regarded it as little more than a jackbooted, blackshirted mob of unmentionable political pariahs. And when Pope Francis suddenly turned up in it, I thought, oh-oh, here we go – they’re going to make him a Fascist too, now, like they did with Benedict. It was also the moment, I think, when it came to me that this Pope was really the same all through and all along, with no pretensions and no consideration for his image whatsoever. He attended the March, being surely aware of the bad image it had been stuck with, because he thought it right – period, end of story. He was not bothered about giving the papers a handle against him – clearly, he knows as well as you do that if they can’t get something they’ll make something up – but only with backing people who were doing a good and brave thing. And, as it happened, the media storm about the Fascist Pope did not materialize. Perhaps foreign journalists had missed the Italian media storm about the Rome March for Life, but more likely the narrative of Pope Francis being the great liberal reformer who’ll let in abortion and gay marriage simply had too strong a hold on them.

    • hamiltonr

      Very interesting, and something only someone familiar with Italy would know. Thank you Fabio.

  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

    Some interesting remarks from the blog of a very strange Catholic, the Englishman Damian Thompson. I would not normally quote him without precautions, but on this he is wholly right, and draws attention to an unnoticed aspect of Pope Francis:

    The long interview with Pope Francis published this week contained a revelation that really delighted me. The pontiff turns out to have a knowledge of classical music so detailed that he could present Radio 3’s Building a Library.
    “I love Mozart performed by Clara Haskil,” he says – very much a connoisseur’s choice of pianist: Haskil, a frail Romanian lady, could float a melody above the orchestra as if pulling it out of the air.
    Francis listens to Beethoven “in a Promethean way, and the most Promethean interpreter for me is Furtwängler”. Spot on. In Wagner’s Ring cycle, the Pope also chooses Furtwängler. “La Scala in Milan in 1950 is for me the best,” he says, knowing full well that a rival camp prefers the ’53 studio recording. Parsifal? “Knappertsbusch in 1962.” Again, he mentions the date: other fans of “Kna” prefer the mono 1951.
    All in all, then, a Pope whose taste in music is supremely refined. Unlike, alas, his taste in vestments…

    It’s an individual thing, of course. There is too much Wagner there for my taste, and too much Furtwaengler. But Thompson is exactly right in saying that a man who speaks like this is a man who loves classical music for its own sake, and that he knows what he is talking about.

  • FW Ken

    My phone shows 18 posts on one page. Two concern the interview itself, so let’s kick those. 11, by my count, don’t concern same-sex issues our abortion. That means slightly more than two-thirds of the posts concern other topics, including a particularly delightful post on passing the piano. Is that a decent percentage?

  • SF_NotANun

    Thank God! The Pope’s Catholic! Thanks for the good news.


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