Pope Francis re-emphasized Wednesday that the Catholic Church is firmly and adamantly against abortion as he addressed questions from reporters about giving pro-abortion Catholic politicians Communion.
During a flight from Slovakia to Rome Wednesday, Pope Francis told reporters that “abortion is more than an issue,” adding that “abortion is murder,” the Catholic News Agency reported.
The pope stressed the importance of priests acting as both pastors and shepherds without becoming political, but said that he did not know enough “details” to discuss problems presented by pro-abortion Catholic politicians in the U.S.
“Scientifically it’s a human life,” the Holy Father said, according to CNA. “The textbooks teach us that. But is it right to take it out to solve a problem? And this is why the Church is so strict on this issue because it is kind of like accepting this is accepting daily murder.”
He commented on controversy over his 2016 apostolic exhortation “Amoris laetitia,” which sparked a media firestorm for its commentary on divorced and remarried Catholics receiving Communion.
“Do you remember the storm that was stirred by Amoris laetitia when that chapter on accompanying separated, divorced couples came out,” he asked reporters. “‘Heresy, heresy!’ Thank God there was Cardinal Schönborn, a great theologian who clarified things.”
“But always condemnation, condemnation, enough with excommunication,” he continued. “Please let us not place any more excommunications. Poor people. They are children of God. They are outside temporarily, but they are children of God and they want, and need, our pastoral closeness. Then the pastors work things out by the Spirit of God.”
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