Pope Francis, it seems clearer and clearer, is a true “whole lifer.” In an interview published Thursday, he said that the Church cannot “obsess” with issuing pronouncements against abortion, but must approach that issue “in context” and must support persons “starting from their situation” and “accompany[ing] them with mercy.” He included powerful words about helping the poor. Some people—left and right—claimed he was weakening the church’s commitment to protecting the unborn among other vulnerable persons. Oops … today the Pope reemphasized that “every unborn child … has the face of the Lord” and called abortion part of a “throwaway culture” that fails to recognize that “[t]he first right of the human person is his life.” So now some people, no doubt, will go back to calling him a “right-winger.” No … he’s a true whole lifer. Hope our society can respond to his calls for protecting life at all stages, and providing the care and support that can make that possible.
By Tom Berg, DFLA Board member, law professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota)