“What should the pastor do?” Francis said when a reporter asked him about the subject. “Be a pastor, don’t condemn.”
Pope Francis on Wednesday focused on an ongoing debate in the Roman Catholic Church in the United States, where bishops are considering refusing communion to politicians such as President Biden, who support abortion rights.
“I have never forbidden the Eucharist to anyone,” Francis said, adding that bishops should be clergy, not politicians.
In his usual way, the Pope did not give a simple, direct answer. But he left no doubt about his approach, invoking a phrase he used earlier: “Communion is not a reward for the perfect.” In June, the Vatican warned the country’s conservative bishops against refusing to host a banquet for Mr Biden, who is only the second Roman Catholic to become US president.
“If we look at the history of the church, we will see that every time bishops have not managed a problem as pastors, they have taken sides on the political front,” Francis told reporters on his plane, when he was four. – Day trips to Slovakia and Hungary. He cited the history of atrocities committed in the name of faith.
“What should the pastor do?” He asked. “Be a pastor, do not condemn. Be a pastor, for he is also a pastor to the disfellowshipped.”
The Pope vehemently reiterated the Catholic position that abortion is a murder.
“It’s more than a problem – it’s murder,” he said, speaking in Italian. “He who has an abortion does not kill half a word.”
“It’s a human life,” he said. “This human life must be respected – this principle is so clear.”
Francis was not asked, nor addressed, about last week’s decision by Mexico’s Supreme Court, which decriminalized abortion in the country.