Pope Francis: Thou shall not kill ‘innocent budding life’
Thursday, October 11, 2018

Yesterday, Pope Francis gave one of his strongest statements against abortion to date during the General Audience during when he reflected on the 5th Commandment: ‘Thou Shall Not Kill’, and challenged common arguments used to support the violence of abortion.

Pope Francis began by explaining that the 5th Commandment, next in his series of teachings on the Ten Commandments, concerns relations with one’s neighbor andstands as a wall of defense of the basic value in human relations”. He posed the question, “And what is the basic value in human relations?” and answered, “The value of life. Therefore, do not kill.”

He explained the far-reaching impact of the Commandment stating, “It could be said that all the evil done in the world is summarized in this: the contempt for life”.

In his reflection, Pope Francis can be observed challenging the pro-abortion falsehood that the very act of abortion is a so-called woman’s right or a reproductive right as he described abortion as permitting “the suppression of human life in the maternal womb in the name of safeguarding other rights”. He states that this is “a contradictory approach” to the command to value life and not kill.

In regard to so-called therapeutic abortion for broad physical or mental health of the mother, as a ‘civil right, or simply as an act that professes to be human, Pope Francis posed the following questions:

“But how can an act that suppresses innocent and defenseless budding human life be therapeutic, civil or simply human? I ask you: it is right to do away with a human life to solve a problem? Is it right to hire a hitman to solve a problem? One cannot do this, it is not right to do away with a human being, albeit small, to solve a problem. It is like hiring a hitman to solve a problem.”

The pope’s comparison of abortion to that of the killing done by a hired hitman received broad media attention for his direct and descriptive portrayal of the violence of abortion.

Pope Francis reflected on fear as the root cause for violence and the refusal to accept the gift of new life addressing the misplaced fearful response to a unborn child diagnosed with a disability, another widely used pro-abortion argument. He lamented that when parents first discover “that a nascent life is the bearer of a disability, even a serious one”, they often “receive hasty advice to interrupt the pregnancy”, using the common pro-abortion expression for abortion.

The term was challenged by the pope who explained that “‘interrupt the pregnancy’ is a figure of speech which means to ‘do away with’ someone, directly.”

Pope Francis said that rather than abortion, “parents, in these dramatic cases, need true closeness, true solidarity, to face reality overcoming the understandable fears.”  He reflected that a sick baby is like any needy person on earth “who appears as a problem is, in reality, a gift of God” that can help us grow in love.

The pope also asked in his reflection, ‘What leads man to reject life?’ and answers that “it is the idols of this world: money— better to take this away from our midst, because it will cost –, power and success. These are erroneous parameters to value life.”

The question, “What is the only authentic measure of life?” was also asked and answered by Pope Francis who stated, “It is love, the love with which God loves it!  The love with which God loves life: this is the measure — the love with which God loves every human life.”

Pope Francis explained that the positive meaning of “Do not kill” is that God is “lover of life” while exhorting the men and women of the world to “don’t scorn life! The life of others, but also one’s own, because for it also the Commandment “Do not kill” is true.”

Young people were implored by the pope to not “scorn your existence! Stop rejecting God’s work! You are a work of God! Don’t underestimate yourself, don’t scorn yourself with addictions that will ruin you and lead you to death!

In closing, Pope Francis admonished the audience to not “measure life according to the deceits of this world, but each one should accept himself and others in the name of the Father who has created us. He is ‘lover of life’: this is beautiful. ‘God is lover of life’.

“And we are all so dear to Him that He sent His Son for us. The Gospel says, in fact: “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).