Pope Francis Decries Abortion and Euthanasia as Treating Human Life Like ‘Waste’

The Pope added that both abortion and euthanasia “deny hope” by negating “the hope of children who bring us the life that keeps us going and the hope that is in the roots that the elderly give us.”

Pope Francis addresses participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life in the Vatican’s Clementine Hall, Sept. 27, 2021.
Pope Francis addresses participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life in the Vatican’s Clementine Hall, Sept. 27, 2021. (photo: Vatican Media. / Vatican Media)

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis decried abortion and euthanasia in a speech Monday in which he said that today’s “throwaway culture” leads to the killing of children and discarding of the elderly.

“There is the discarding of children that we do not want to welcome with the law of abortion that sends them to the dispatcher and kills them directly. And today this has become a ‘normal’ method, a practice that is very ugly. It is really murder,” Pope Francis said Sept. 27.

Vatican Media.

Vatican Media.

In a live-streamed address to members of the Pontifical Academy for Life, the Pope said that to understand what abortion is, it helps to pose two questions. 

“Is it right to eliminate, to take a human life to solve a problem? Is it right to hire a hitman to solve a problem? That’s what abortion is,” the Pope commented.

Vatican Media.

Vatican Media.

Pope Francis said that the elderly today were also viewed as “waste material” and “of no use” in today’s throwaway culture.

“But they are wisdom. They are the roots of wisdom of our civilization, and this civilization discards them,” he said.

Vatican Media.

Vatican Media.

“Yes, in many parts there is also the law of ‘hidden euthanasia,’ as I call it. It is the one that makes people say: ‘Medications are expensive, only half of them are needed,’ and this means shortening the life of the elderly.”

The Pope added that both abortion and euthanasia “deny hope” by negating “the hope of children who bring us the life that keeps us going and the hope that is in the roots that the elderly give us.”

Vatican Media.

Vatican Media.

Pope Francis underlined that this was not a path for Catholic universities or hospitals to follow. 

“This is a road on which we cannot go: the road of discarding,” he said.

The speech marked the second time this month that Pope Francis has spoken out strongly about abortion. 

Vatican Media.

Vatican Media.

During a press conference on his return flight from Slovakia on Sept. 15, the Pope repeatedly said that “abortion is murder” and compared the acceptance of abortion to “accepting daily murder.”

The Pontifical Academy for Life was founded by Pope John Paul II in 1994. It is dedicated to promoting the Church’s consistent life ethic. 

This week, the academy is holding its plenary assembly in Rome, focused on the pandemic, bioethics, and the future of public health.

Vatican Media.

Vatican Media.

“I entrust to the Virgin Mary the work of this assembly and also the whole of your activity as an Academy for the defense and promotion of life,” Pope Francis said in his speech in the Vatican’s Clementine Hall.

Oscar Wergeland, “Service in a German Village Church,” ca. 1880

This Sunday, I’ll Be Going to Church. Will You Join Me?

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