16 Notes & Comments

posted Oct 16, 2018, 10:29 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Oct 16, 2018, 10:29 AM ]

Abortion is like hiring a hitman: Pope Francis


In his general audience on October 10, Pope Francis said that abortion "suppresses innocent and helpless life in its blossoming."

"Is it right to take a human life to solve a problem? It's like hiring a hitman," Pope Francis said in St Peter's Square, in a departure from his prepared remarks.

"Violence and the rejection of life are born from fear," the Pope added. For this reason, parents who learn that their unborn child will have a disability need "real closeness, true solidarity to face reality; overcoming understandable fears," he explained.

Pope Francis lamented that parents receiving a difficult prenatal diagnosis often "receive hasty advice to stop the pregnancy." It is contradictory to suppress "human life in the womb in the name of safeguarding other rights. How can an act that suppresses innocent and helpless life in its blossoming be therapeutic, civil, or simply human?"

The Pope's remarks on abortion came during a reflection on the fifth commandment - "Thou shall not kill." In recent weeks, the Pope has dedicated his weekly general audiences to a series of reflections on the Ten Commandments recorded in the scriptural books of Exodus and Deuteronomy.

"One could say that all the evil done in the world is summarized in this: contempt for life," Pope Francis told the pilgrims gathered in St Peter's Square.


Indian delegate: we desire to find ourselves


What the young people of India are asking of Catholic bishops is that they "help us find our way by realizing ourselves, not just by imitating Western models," said Percival Holt, a young Indian present at the Synod of Bishops.

The 25-year-old Holt, who has a long involvement in Catholic outreach, described the life experience of the new generations of his country, their anxieties and fears. A new "prototype of youth" emerged from his words, made of more open relationships between males and females and with other religions, of interest for Western culture, of search for personal autonomy and good jobs to achieve economic independence. A new awareness of being Christian has formed: "Prayer is no longer enough for us. Today's youth want to put their faith into action."

Percival has a Master's degree in biotechnology; he lives in New Delhi, and is the President of the Indian Catholic Youth Movement. He started attending the group at the age of 17, and has since got to know different Indian realities. He points out that "there is a marked difference between how young people live in the country, from north to south."


Synod: accompanying the choices of young people by offering 'higher' goals


The Synod on Young People focused on accompanying the choices of marriage and consecration, promoting both in order to meet the need to give young people the opportunity of looking up at higher goals.

Two traits of accompanying both marriage and celibacy for the Kingdom of God require being welcoming and showing high goals and the demanding proposal of the Gospel.

The Church must also promote the two vocations, because they both fall within the broader "baptismal vocation" of each and every Christian.

The interventions of some of the day's auditors stressed such an approach, emphasising the inadequacy of an ecclesial proposal centred on an ethical theism in the face of the profound thirst for the Spirit among the young.

Young people want Jesus, and the Church has the duty to show Him, and not to consider "lost time" the work dedicated to pastoral outreach towards the new generations.


"We wish to learn your life"


Joseph Pamplany, Auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Tellicherry in South India, described what the young people are saying as "really enriching". He explained that it "sheds new light upon the future mission of the Church, especially for young people."

Bishop Pamplany is representing the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church of India in the ongoing Synod of Bishops, which he said is prioritising the discovery of new pastoral methodologies. He said that he's very happy with the "proceedings of the Synod", describing them as being "systematically arranged."

He talked about the interventions so far, by both the Synod Fathers and the young people. Bishop Pamplany said there are some "cultural differences, as well as national differences" especially between "youth from the Third World and First World. But the major challenges being raised on the Synod floor resemble what we experience in India as well."