Skip to comments.Pope Francis denounces abortion as George Pell clarifies church stance on social issues
Posted on 09/23/2013 11:59:52 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Pope Francis has denounced abortions as a symptom of a modern "throwaway culture", a day after criticising the Catholic Church's "obsession" with social issues, such as contraception and homosexuality.
Speaking to a group of Catholic doctors, the Pope said that they should refuse to perform abortions because he says the first right of a person is to life.
"Dear friends, doctors, those of you who are called to deal with human life in its initial phase, remind everybody, with facts and words, that this is always, in all its phases and at every age, sacred and always quality life, and not for a reason of faith, but for a reason of science," he said.
The comments seem to contradict those he made in a landmark interview on Thursday, where he said the church must shake off an obsession with teachings on abortion, contraception and homosexuality.
In the interview Francis called on priests to be more welcoming and not cold, dogmatic bureaucrats.
"Otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards," he said.
Some Church commentators have suggested the Pope's comments represent a shift in the church's approach to social issues.
But the Archbishop of Sydney, George Pell, released a statement seeking to clarify the Pope's remarks, saying the church's position on the issues has not changed.
"Two paragraphs in Pope Francis' important 12,000-word interview have been the focus of particular attention. He also emphasised the importance of not taking issues out of context," Cardinal Pell said.
"Questions like abortion and homosexual practice involve very important human and scriptural values, and they need to be articulated clearly, sensitively and with a compassionate understanding of our weaknesses and struggles.
(Excerpt) Read more at abc.net.au ...
This is the continued onslaught of the MSM to completely inaccurately portray Pope Francis' comments. It intentionally loses the entire context of when and how the intended-to-alarm word "obsessed" (NOT "obsession") was used. It was used specifically in relation to a personal encounter between a merciful confessor and a woman with a failed marriage and an abortion in her past. This was not a general comment on the Church or its proper focus on the hierarchy of the 'dogmatic and moral teachings of the church'. And he does not say the Church is "obsessed" with these things. He says that the confessor, in that intimate setting of the sacrament of confession, cannot be obsessed 'with doctrines to be imposed insistently'.
We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being. In life, God accompanies persons, and we must accompany them, starting from their situation. It is necessary to accompany them with mercy. When that happens, the Holy Spirit inspires the priest to say the right thing.
This is also the great benefit of confession as a sacrament: evaluating case by case and discerning what is the best thing to do for a person who seeks God and grace. The confessional is not a torture chamber, but the place in which the Lords mercy motivates us to do better. I also consider the situation of a woman with a failed marriage in her past and who also had an abortion. Then this woman remarries, and she is now happy and has five children. That abortion in her past weighs heavily on her conscience and she sincerely regrets it. She would like to move forward in her Christian life. What is the confessor to do?
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.
The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The churchs 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.
Life - that is and should always be a Christian ideal — compared to Islam - which glorifies death at every opportunity — only the dark one would subjugate its followers to that...
On the Papal interview: