The Dispatch: More from CWR...

Pope Francis decries culture that ‘throws away’ unborn children, elderly, poor

Courtney Mares By Courtney Mares for CNA

Pope Francis greets the crowd at his Sunday Angelus address on Jan. 29, 2023. / Vatican Media

Vatican City, Jan 29, 2023 / 05:55 am (CNA).

In his Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis decried a culture that “throws away” unborn children, the elderly, and the poor if they are not useful.

“The throw-away culture says, ‘I use you as much as I need you. When I am not interested in you anymore, or you are in my way, I throw you out.’ It is especially the weakest who are treated this way – unborn children, the elderly, the needy, and the disadvantaged,” Pope Francis said on Jan. 29.

“But people are never to be thrown out. The disadvantaged cannot be thrown away. Every person is a sacred and unique gift, no matter what their age or condition is. Let us always respect and promote life! Let us not throw life away.”

Speaking from the window of the Apostolic Palace, the pope noted that the “throw-away culture” is predominant in more affluent societies.

“It is a fact that about one-third of total food production goes to waste in the world each year, while so many die of hunger,” he said.

“Nature’s resources cannot be used like this. Goods should be taken care of and shared in such a way that no one lacks what is necessary. Rather than waste what we have, let us disseminate an ecology of justice and charity, of sharing.”

Pope Francis underlined that Jesus’ call in the beatitudes to be “poor in spirit” includes the “desire that no gift should go to waste.” He said that this includes not wasting “the gift that we are.”

“Each one of us is a good, independent of the gifts we have. Every woman, every man, is rich not only in talents but in dignity. He or she is loved by God, is valuable, is precious,” he said.

“Jesus reminds us that we are blessed not for what we have, but for who we are.”

A small stage was set up in St. Peter’s Square ahead of the pope’s Angelus address where young people gathered with balloons and banners singing hymns as part of Catholic Action’s “Caravan of Peace.”

At the end of the Angelus, a young boy and girl in blue sweatshirts joined Pope Francis in the window of the Apostolic Palace and read aloud a letter sharing their commitment to peace.

A young boy and girl in blue sweatshirts joined Pope Francis in the window of the Apostolic Palace and read aloud a letter sharing their efforts as part of Catholic Action’s “Caravan of Peace.”. Vatican Media
A young boy and girl in blue sweatshirts joined Pope Francis in the window of the Apostolic Palace and read aloud a letter sharing their efforts as part of Catholic Action’s “Caravan of Peace.”. Vatican Media

Pope Francis thanked Catholic Action for the initiative, adding that it is especially important this year with the war in Ukraine.

“Thinking of tormented Ukraine, our commitment and prayer for peace must be even stronger,” he said.

The pope also appealed for peace in the Holy Land, expressing sorrow for the death of ten Palestinians killed in the West Bank in an Israeli military raid and a shooting outside of a synagogue in east Jerusalem in which a Palestinian killed seven Israelis.

“The spiral of death that increases day after day does nothing other than close the few glimpses of trust that exist between the two peoples,” Pope Francis said.

“Since the beginning of the year, dozens of Palestinians have been killed in firefights with the Israeli army. I appeal to the two governments and the international community to find, immediately and without delay, other paths, which include dialogue and the sincere search for peace. Brothers and sisters, let us pray for this!”

People in the crowd held up a "peace flag" as the pope prayed for peace in Ukraine and the Holy Land. Vatican Media
People in the crowd held up a “peace flag” as the pope prayed for peace in Ukraine and the Holy Land. Vatican Media

Noting that he will soon be traveling to Africa, Pope Francis asked people to pray for his apostolic journey to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan from Jan. 31 to Feb. 5.

“These lands, situated in the center of the great African continent, have suffered greatly from lengthy conflicts. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, especially in the east of the country, suffers from armed clashes and exploitation. South Sudan, wracked by years of war, longs for an end to the constant violence that forces many people to be displaced and to live in conditions of great hardship,” he said.

“In South Sudan, I will arrive together with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. Together, as brothers, we will make an ecumenical pilgrimage of peace, to entreat God and men to bring an end to the hostilities and for reconciliation. I ask everyone, please, to accompany this Journey with their prayers.”

If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.

About Catholic News Agency 6969 Articles
Catholic News Agency (


  1. I wonder will this message be blasted all over the media? Like the comments he made about homosexuals?? I doubt it. To call societies ‘affluent’ who destroy there off-spring in the womb every second of the day is ridiculous. They are Not ‘affluent’. Western Europe is poverty stricken, in that they have no love for themselves or their unborn & society is gone very selfish. That is not a prosperous society.

  2. Pope Francis repeatedly conferred the Order of St. Gregory on mass-murdering abortionists, calling them “forgotten greats. The Pontiff called abortionist Joe Biden a “good Catholic”. Whenever Pope Francis is exposed for his radical views, he quickly says something traditional and orthodox to protect the platform of the papacy he requires – to continue proclaiming his divisive and radical opinions…

    • So, Father John Mathew Duffy, every thing Pooe Francis does is given your interpretation and deemed unworthy of your approval. The word culmany comes to mind as a descriptor of your above statement. Like sn adolescent who sees all in black and white you steadfastly refuse to entertain the possibility that in making this statement, Pope Francis clearly enunciated his position while as is seen by his general approach to many issues, endeavours to acknowledge that all is not simply black or white. To me it seems your statement along with many other responses to this article reveals a damned if you do, damned if you don’t attitude towards Pope Francis. This is a bit of a shame I would think.

  3. How odd to conflate abortion with the other groups of people. It seems to be a very different type of “issue” with completely different “solutions”

  4. At first it seemed an angelus message that should be well received. Until I read the comments. Apparently Il Poverello cannot buy a good response.
    Francis, “Every person is a sacred and unique gift, no matter what their age or condition” is solid. He aptly referenced that to the economic environmental questions, utility, quality of life, for the living who are not candidates for disposal rather who dispose of the lives of the innocent.
    Italy is not a wealthy country. Rome’s Italian men, their wives in sink, which I observed when I spent years studying there largely focused on a fine Armani suit, a shiny Alfa Romeo, and excellent nightly cuisine. No children. Italy’s birth rate, well below the death rate. Pretty soon the peninsula will be occupied by Muslims and Gypsies. Italy, Europe, the planet has a dilemma of misplaced priorities due to jettison of faith in Christ. Or they worship lesser gods. Fantasy or not. Perhaps Nigerian Catholics whose faith and numbers are flourishing will emigrate and replace the dying ethnicities of Europe [except for Hungary who ignore the EU and where things are going well].
    Oh, how do we need a revival of the faith! I wonder if we can steal from the Protestants and have Catholic tent revivals?

  5. Spiral of death??? Maybe then he should have actually said SOMETHING serious to stop it, to both Pelosi and Biden, the two biggest merchants of death we have had in the US regarding the abortion issue. Instead he said NOTHING. Just patted them on the head with a broad SMILE and sent them on their destructive way.

    • You would end up propounding the ugly postulate, What goes around comes around, as it is sometimes proposed antithetically.

      I say no to it.

      People have done things I do not requite and make deliberately to forget. And I pray for this so that when the retribution makes a play God can quash the result and His goodness reign.

      I have seen this power in God, shared with mankind; and it comes through Jesus Christ and because of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.

      God even makes this possible without anyone being in fraternity.

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Pope Francis decries culture that ‘throws away’ unborn children, elderly, poor | Franciscan Sisters of St Joseph (FSJ) , Asumbi Sisters Kenya

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.