[Published as a “Letter to the Editor” in the Guardian, April 21, 2015]

Pope Francis holding infant

A recent Guardian editorial accuses Bishop Grecco of intruding into the P.E.I. election campaign on abortion, stating that “Bishop Grecco didn’t pose for any photo ops with Mr. Trudeau on Friday, but it’s likely Pope Francis would have – gladly;” and, “Perhaps Island Catholics should listen to Pope Francis who has urged the church to cool its obsession with abortion…and just talk about Jesus.”

These statements suggest that the Pope no longer sees abortion as a serious moral and spiritual issue. Such a view seriously misrepresents what Pope Francis actually says about abortion. The following words are from his document “The Joy of the Gospel.”

“Among the vulnerable for whom the Church wishes to care with particular love and concern are unborn children, the most defenceless and innocent among us. Nowadays efforts are made to deny them their human dignity and to do with them whatever one pleases, taking their lives and passing laws preventing anyone from standing in the way of this. Frequently, as a way of ridiculing the Church’s effort to defend their lives, attempts are made to present her position as ideological, obscurantist and conservative. Yet this defence of unborn life is closely linked to the defence of each and every other human right. It involves the conviction that a human being is always sacred and inviolable, in any situation and at every stage of development. Human beings are ends in themselves and never a means of resolving other problems. Once this conviction disappears, so do solid and lasting foundations for the defence of human rights…the Church cannot be expected to change her position on this question. This is not something subject to alleged reforms or ‘modernizations.’ It is not ‘progressive’ to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life.”