There’s an interesting array of news out there about Saturday’s audience with Pope Francis for a group called the Forum of Family Associations.
The first story, as you will see below, was on the Vatican news website. It mentions that the Holy Father set aside his prepared remarks and spoke off the cuff, yet the story summarizes only the prepared remarks. I will be anxious to see if they eventually publish the improvised remarks as they contained some very important statements about abortion, marriage and same sex unions.
For the off the cuff remarks, I offer a story by a colleague at CNA and a report by Robert Royal for The Catholic Thing – just a few paragraphs of each article, then a link to the full story.
POPE TO FORUM OF FAMILIES: ‘THANK YOU FOR YOUR EFFORTS!’
On Saturday, Pope Francis met in the Sala Clementina with members of the Forum of Family Associations celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary in Italy thanking them for their advocacy for family values.
By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp (vaticannews.va)
Pope Francis set his prepared remarks aside after hearing the passion spoken by the member of the association who introduced the group to the Pope. The following are the remarks prepared in advance by the Pope, and given to the representative of the association to be distributed.
Family is centre of God’s plan
“The family, which you promote in various ways, is at the centre of God’s plan,” are the words with which Pope Francis opened his prepared remarks to members of the Forum of Family Associations. The Pope received the group in the Sala Clementina on the occasion of their twenty-fifth anniversary.
Cradle of life
Pope Francis called the family “the cradle of life”. Jesus’ love for children, his teaching on the family and the indissolubility of marriage reveal the family’s place in God’s plan. “It is like a window which is directed toward the mystery of God Himself which is Love in the unity and trinity of Persons”, he said.
A world guided by self-centered logic has lost the sense of stable bonds, the Pope continued. This makes it difficult to understand the value of the family. Civil institutions should rather work toward providing families with adequate support. Those who have learned “to live authentic relationships within the family” will also live them in other contexts in society, he said.
Testify to the joy of love
Pope Francis then encouraged those present to testify to the joy of love. “There is no more persuasive argument than joy” with which to “indicate the treasure that we have discovered and wish to share”, he said.
‘Thank you for your efforts!’
The Pope also expressed his gratitude to the group. Citing the Statutes of the Association, he said, “thank you for the commitment you have taken on, … through an ‘active and responsible participation of the family in the cultural, social, and political spheres’ and for the ‘promotion of adequate family policies that protect and sustain the functions of the family and its rights’.”
Family rights rooted in the dignity of every person
Concluding his remarks, the Pope said that the problems families find in society need to be confronted “firmly and charitably”. “The sensitivity you bring to society regarding the family cannot be labelled ‘confessional’,” the Pope said. Rather it is rooted “on the dignity of the human person. Thus, it can be recognized and shared by all”.
POPE FRANCIS: MARRIAGE IS BETWEEN A MAN AND WOMAN: COMPARES SELECTIVE ABORTION TO NAZI MENTALITY
(CNA/EWTN News).- In a speech to a family association Saturday, Pope Francis again stressed that God’s vision of the family is between a man and a woman, and compared the abortion of children who are sick or disabled to a Nazi mentality.
“I’ve heard that it’s fashionable, or at least usual, that when in the first few months of pregnancy they do studies to see if the child is healthy or has something, the first offer is: let’s send it away,” the pope said June 16, referring to the trend of aborting sick or disabled children.
This, he said, is “the murder of children…to get a peaceful life an innocent [person] is sent away…We do the same as the Nazis to maintain the purity of the race, but with white gloves.”
“It’s an atrocity but we do the same thing,” he said, according to Italian media.
Pope Francis spoke to members of the Forum of Family Associations, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
His words on abortion come just days after his home country of Argentina voted June 14 in favor of a bill that would legalize abortion as early as the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. The comments also come just over a month ahead of his Aug. 25-26 trip to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families, which will feature Jesuit Fr. James Martin as a keynote speaker on how to be welcoming to the LGBT community.
During his speech, Francis tossed his prepared remarks, telling participants that a prepared text “seems a bit cold,” according to Italian newspaper La Stampa.
FRANCIS CONDEMNS “EUGENIC” ABORTIONS AND FAKE MARRIAGE
In The Catholic Thing – Robert Royal praises recent pro-life words by Pope Francis. But why was the Holy Father all but silent about abortion votes in Ireland and Argentina?
I’d been on the road for much of the past week and hadn’t been very carefully following the news. But I woke yesterday to the heartening news that Pope Francis had strongly condemned selective abortion and the various attempts to redefine marriage as something other than a life-long commitment between one man and one woman.
Even more, he did so off-the-cuff, departing from the text he had prepared to deliver to the Forum delle famiglie, an Italian family association. It’s usually been on just such occasions – when he speaks spontaneously and “from the heart” – that he’s delivered the most troubling remarks of his pontificate. It was largely because of those and his early criticism of Catholics who are constantly “insisting” and “obsessing” on life issues and marriage that he alienated and, sad to say, even lost the confidence of many active Catholics – even before the ambiguities and implied infidelities of Amoris Laetitia.
He has, of course, condemned abortion and gay “marriage” on multiple occasions. But the world, Catholic and not, seemed to sense that his heart wasn’t in it. The coverage of his recent remarks in the main secular outlets was very brief, usually just reproducing parts of an Associated Press story – quite a contrast to the extensive coverage when he seemed to be moving towards modern culture.
Only the Wall Street Journal made the obvious observation that the latest remarks were “unusually strong for a pope who has generally played down medical and sexual ethics and taken a strikingly conciliatory approach to gay people.”
The question arises: why now?