Contempt for life is the source of all evil, pope says

IMAGE: CNS photo/Paul Haring

By Carol Glatz

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Procuring an abortion is wrong,
inhumane and like hiring a hit man “to fix a problem,” Pope Francis

It is a contradiction to allow for killing a human life
in a mother’s womb “in the name of protecting other rights,” he said
during his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square Oct. 10.

can an act that suppresses the innocent and defenseless budding life be
therapeutic, civilized or simply humane?” he asked the more than
26,000 people present.

“Is it right to snuff out a human life to solve a
problem?” he asked, until the crowd shouted loudly, “No.”

“Is it right to hire a hit man to solve a problem? No, you can’t. It’s
not right to take out a human being, a small one, too, in order to fix a
problem. It is like hiring a professional killer,” he said.

The pope took a brief break from the Oct. 3-28 Synod of
Bishops on young people to attend the morning general audience and continue his
series of talks on the Ten Commandments.

He reflected on the Fifth Commandment, “You shall not kill,” as being like a
wall of defense, protecting the most fundamental value in human relationships
— the value of life.

“One can say that all the evil done in the world can
be boiled down to this: contempt for life,” the pope said.

“Life is attacked by wars, by organizations that
exploit people” and creation, by “the throwaway culture,” by
systems that subjugate human lives to the calculated advantage of others, all
while a “scandalous” number of people live in disgraceful conditions.

“This is contempt for life, that is, to kill in some
way,” he added.

Violence and refusing life are rooted in fear, he said.

Welcoming another challenges one’s own selfish
individualism, he said, pointing to the example of when a mother and father
discover their unborn child will be born with disabilities.

These parents “need true closeness, true solidarity to face reality and
overcome understandable fears. Instead, they often receive hasty advice to
terminate the pregnancy,” he said, adding that the phrase,
“‘terminate the pregnancy’ means to directly take someone out.”

“A sick child is like every person in need on
earth,” like the elderly who need care, like the poor who can barely make
a living, he said.

They are all treated as if they were a problem, he said, but in fact,
they are “a gift of God that can pull me out of my egocentricity and help
me grow in love.”

“Vulnerable lives show us the exit, the road to save
us” from a selfish existence and to discover “the joy of love,” he
said, adding a word of thanks to Italian volunteers, saying they had the
strongest dedication he has ever seen.

The idols of the world that lead people to refuse life
are power, success and money, such as when decisions to end someone’s life are
based on the costs involved if that life were to continue.

“The only authentic measure of life” is love, he said; God loves
every single human life.

“In every sick child, in every weak elderly person,
in every desperate migrant, in every fragile and threatened life, Christ is
looking for us, he is seeking our heart in order to open it up to the joy of

“It is worth welcoming every life because every
person is worth the blood of Christ himself. You cannot scorn what God has
loved so much,” he said.

“Do not scorn life,” not the lives of others or
one’s own, he said, particularly with addictions that ruin lives and can lead
to death.

So many young people, the pope said, need to
hear the call to not devalue or refuse their lives, which are “a work of God, you are a
work of God!”

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