Pope Francis condemns abortion in new comments about Roe v. Wade decision, responds to question on Communion

Hannah Brockhaus   By Hannah Brockhaus for CNA


Pope Francis speaks to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Paul Pelosi after Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on June 29, 2022. / Vatican Media

Vatican City, Jul 4, 2022 / 03:43 am (CNA).

Pope Francis condemned abortion in new comments about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

When asked whether a Catholic politician who supports the right to choose abortion can receive the sacrament of Communion, he warned of bishops losing their “pastoral nature.”

Speaking to Reuters over the weekend, the pope said he respected the ruling in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, though he did not know enough to speak about the juridical aspects.

The interview, published July 4, said Francis compared abortion to “hiring a hit man.”

“I ask: Is it legitimate, is it right, to eliminate a human life to resolve a problem?” Pope Francis said.

He was also asked about the debate over whether Catholic politicians who promote legal abortion should be admitted to Holy Communion.

In May, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was barred from receiving Communion in her home diocese of San Francisco by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone because of her advocacy of abortion.

Pelosi (D-Calif.) reportedly received Holy Communion at a Mass with Pope Francis at the Vatican on June 29. It is not clear if the pope was aware that Pelosi attended, though the Vatican issued a photo showing the two greeting each other in St. Peter’s Basilica.

Pope Francis told Reuters: “When the Church loses its pastoral nature, when a bishop loses his pastoral nature, it causes a political problem. That’s all I can say.”

The 90-minute interview in Italian took place on July 2 in a reception room on the ground floor of the Vatican’s Santa Marta guesthouse, where the pope lives.

In addition to the abortion topic, the interview covered the pope’s health, resignation rumors, and the possibility of trips to Kyiv and Moscow.

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  1. A welcome testament to the faith by Pope Francis. Perhaps he doesn’t hold to enforcing doctrine on abortion and the Eucharist as a matter of pastoral preference. Although therein is the exact line of demarcation to permitting misunderstanding of Church policy and abuse of the sacraments, and restoring the practice of the faith as a good shepherd.

  2. Tying more knots is not undoing knots. If the first knots are bad the new knots add badness. Calling it undoing of knots is even worse; and misleading.

    Using the name of the BVM deflecting attention from the new knots and the other knots not untied, is a bad thing too, piling on badness and injury.

    If you admit you do not know enough about the juridical aspects, it doesn’t follow that allowing communion is “not political” or “not political consequences”.

    Even if you knew the juridical issues down pat, giving communion also has “political consequences” and can unfold into “political” arranging and lunging.

    If during the 20th Century a same type of casuistry admitted homosexuality to the extent we have witnessed, then: What do you think you are doing now?

    • In this Reuters posting, sourced from LIFESITE, there is a 3-minute video with some of the discussion directly coming from the Holy Father.

      ‘ In a 90-minute conversation on Saturday afternoon, conducted in Italian, with no aides present, the 85-year-old pontiff also repeated his condemnation of abortion following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last month.


      Francis used a cane as he walked into a reception room on the ground floor of the Santa Marta guest house where he has lived since his election in 2013, eschewing the papal apartment in the Apostolic Palace used by his predecessors.

      The room has a copy of one of Francis’ favourite paintings: “Mary, Untier of Knots”, created around 1700 by the German Joachim Schmidtner.

      Asked how he was, the pope joked: “I’m still alive!” ‘


  3. We read: “Pope Francis told Reuters: ‘When the Church loses its pastoral nature, when a bishop loses his pastoral nature, it causes a political problem. That’s all I can say.’”

    The false dichotomy regarding what is truly “pastoral”? The Laity, then, must turn to others who do have more to say…Surely, there’s more to say on what is actually the cause of the “political problem” and, within the Church, on the significant details of the sacramental life?

    “A separation, or even an opposition, is thus established in some cases between the teaching of the precept, which is valid and general, and the norm of the individual conscience, which would in fact make the final decision [not moral judgment] about what is good and what is evil. On this basis, an attempt is made to legitimize so-called ‘pastoral’ solutions contrary to the teaching of the Magisterium, and to justify a ‘creative’ hermeneutic according to which the moral conscience is in no way obliged, in every case, by a particular negative precept [thou shalt not]” (Pope St. John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor, n. 56).

  4. Does he reflect well on the church? Is he a man of constant prayer and devotion to the duties of a servant of Christ?

    James 1:6-8 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

    Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

    We must examine our ways constantly, our enemy is strong, yet Christ is stronger.

  5. Then, by the Pope’s own reasoning, he has been a pastoral failure himself. He has not led Biden and Pelosi back to the Church relative to their unrelenting support and advancement of abortion on demand while claiming it is in accord with Catholic doctrine.

    A feckless and increasingly ignored papacy.

  6. From what I have read, the pope believes pro-abortion catholic politicians should be led through a dialogue with compassion and tenderness to see the error of their ways. Is this any way to treat Nancy Pelosi? What prominent politician has ever changed to pro-life from pro-choice because of a pastoral dialogue with his bishop? Politicians understand clearly the Church’s teaching; they just want to win elections and get money, power and votes any way they can.

    • Abp Cordileone has spent years talking with or trying to talk with Speaker Pelosi. In recent months (or longer), she’s not responded to his requests for conversation. So, he followed the path encouraged by Pope Francis. There simply comes a time when a line must be drawn. Endless talk leads to no action, which only perpetuates the problems.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Pope Francis condemns abortion in new comments about Roe v. Wade decision, responds to question on Communion – Via Nova Media
  2. Pope Francis condemns abortion in new comments about Roe v. Wade decision, responds to question on Communion | Passionists Missionaries Kenya, Vice Province of St. Charles Lwanga, Fathers & Brothers

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