Vatican ‘Foreign Minister’: ‘We Are Against the Idea that Abortion Could be a Human Right’

The European Parliament voted last month in favor of a report describing abortion as “essential healthcare” and seeking to redefine conscientious objection as a “denial of medical care.”

Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican secretary for relations with states.
Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican secretary for relations with states. (photo: Daniel Ibáñez/CNA / EWTN)

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican’s “foreign minister” said on Wednesday that the Holy See rejects the assertion in a report adopted by the European Parliament that abortion is a “human right.”

Archbishop Paul Gallagher made the comment on July 7 during a visit to Portugal’s capital, Lisbon. 

“Obviously it’s not difficult to imagine what the position of the Holy See is on this. We are against the idea that abortion could be a human right,” the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States told Rádio Renascença.

The European Parliament voted last month in favor of a report describing abortion as “essential healthcare” and seeking to redefine conscientious objection as a “denial of medical care.”

Members of parliament, the EU’s law-making body, voted on by 378 votes in favor and 255 against, with 42 abstentions, to adopt the text, known as the Matić Report, at a plenary session in Brussels, Belgium.

Asked about the threat to conscientious objection, Archbishop Gallagher said: “And we’re very disappointed that conscience clauses, wherever they exist, in whatever circumstances, whatever law, are eliminated. And we know that it’s a growing tendency in many parts of the world. So we are disappointed by that decision as well.”

Archbishop Gallagher met with Augusto Santos Silva, the Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs, during his visit to Portugal, which will host World Youth Day in 2023.

The Church-owned radio station also asked the archbishop whether Pope Francis’ decision to make a brief trip to Hungary, before visiting Slovakia on Sept. 12-15, was a snub to the government of Viktor Orbán.

“No, it’s not any judgment on a government or authorities in Hungary,” he replied. “The pope was very clear right from the beginning that he was going to Budapest exclusively to celebrate the concluding Mass of the International Eucharistic Congress.”

Archbishop Gallagher also commented on the pope’s summit of Lebanese Christian leaders on July 1. 

“I think that the strategy, if you like, is that the Christian religious leaders have gone back and that they are going to talk with their people. They are going to talk with the politicians and we will try to find a way forward to whatever contribution that we can make. And the Holy See is very willing,” said Archbishop Gallagher, 67, from Liverpool, England. 

“The Holy Father has made a commitment to visit Lebanon. He has also said that he will visit Lebanon when there is a government. So that’s a great stimulus to form a government. But there may be other visits as well. We’ll wait and see.” 

In conclusion, he said: “We don’t really have what you’d call a ‘roadmap’ for what we’re doing. We’re trying to do small steps, move forward, see what the reaction is. But we are appealing at the same time to the international community to do everything in its power to help Lebanon at this critical time.”

An aerial view of the Kansas State Capitol in Topeka, Kansas.

State Ballot Initiatives on Abortion (Aug. 13)

After the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision overturned Roe v. Wade’s false assertion that abortion is a federally protected ‘right,’ the question of regulating abortion in America has returned once again to the 50 states. Many legislators and citizens will be faced with decisions on this important topic in the coming months. This week on Register Radio, we are joined by Paul Linton, a Catholic attorney and author of ‘Abortion Under State Constitutions,’ to discuss upcoming state battles on abortion. And then we talk with Alyssa Murphy, the Managing Editor of NCRegister.com, with a roundup of the stories you won’t want to miss.