Pope Francis condemns abortion, beauty cult
Vatican City: Pope Francis has taken aim at women who have abortions to keep their figures as he warned about the modern world’s obsessions with power, success and beauty.
In an anecdote he said dated from his time as Bishop of Buenos Aires, Francis recounted the story of a a very beautiful woman who was inordinately proud of how she looked.
He said she had an abortion to preserve her looks.
‘She said, as if it was natural, “Yes, I had to have an abortion because my appearance is important”,’ the 80-year-old, whose papacy began in March 2013, said during his midweek public audience on Wednesday.
Attitudes like this, he said ‘are the idols, and they take you on the wrong path and they don’t bring you happiness’.
‘When values such as physical beauty, health become idols to which everything must be sacrificed they create confusion in our spirit and in our hearts.
‘Rather than promoting life, they drive us towards death,’ he added in comments that also targeted ‘power, success and vanity with their illusions of eternity and omnipotence.’
Catholic teaching considers abortion as akin to the most heinous of murders.
Francis does not waver from that line but has authorised priests to absolve women who have had terminations, something which only a bishop could previously do.
In November last year, he said priests will from now on be able to permanently absolve the ‘grave sin’ of women who have abortions.
The Argentine-born pontiff agreed to make it a permanent policy.
In a document published by the Vatican he said: ‘There is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart.’
But he reiterated the Roman Catholic Church’s position that ‘abortion is a grave sin, since it puts an end to an innocent life.’
The Pope did not make any concessions to cases where the pregnancy resulted from rape or where it threatened the life of the mother.
(source: Daily Mail)