Pope Francis reiterated this Wednesday that “abortion is murder,” but urged the bishops to address the issue as pastors and not as politicians, in statements aboard the plane that was taking him back to Rome from Slovakia.
“I have never refused to give the eucharist to someone,” said the Argentine pontiff when asked about the proposal of some US bishops to deny communion to Catholic politicians who support laws in favor of abortion.
“Communion is not a prize for the perfect,” he said after stating that “abortion is more than a problem, it is a homicide. Whoever aborts murders is like that,” he said.
However, he warned that “when the Church, to defend a principle, does not behave as a pastor, it ends up taking a political party,” he said.
“It has always been like this, it is enough to remember history,” he added after citing the case of Joan of Arc and Savonarola, burned during the Inquisition for heresy.
“What should a pastor do? Being a pastor should not condemn,” he stressed.
“To be a pastor of the excommunicated? Yes. The pastor must be with them. To be a pastor with God’s style. And God’s style is closeness, compassion and tenderness,” he explained.
The issue of whether or not to legalize abortion is current in many countries, and even in the United States, President Joe Biden, at the beginning of the month, lashed out at the Supreme Court’s refusal to block a Texas law that prohibits abortion after six weeks pregnant.
At the end of 2020, Argentina, the country of birth of Pope Francis, joined the small group of Latin American countries where voluntary termination of pregnancy is decriminalized in the first weeks of gestation.