3 Days After Abortion Referendum, Pope Releases Statement

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Pope Francis urged Catholic health care professionals to defend the life and dignity of the weak and unborn three days after Ireland’s abortion referendum.

Francis spoke on May 28 to a delegation from the World Federation of the Catholic Medical Associations, which represents more than 100,000 medical professionals across 80 countries.

The pontiff exhorted them to be courageous in the fight to defend human dignity and humanize medicine, according to Crux Now.

Francis had not commented on Ireland’s May 25 vote to legalize abortion and did not directly address it before the delegation, except to say that they should engage in debates about legislation concerning “pregnancy termination, end of life and genetic medicine.”

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“The Church is for life and her concern is that nothing be against life,” at any stage of development, Francis said, according to Crux Now.

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“It is not acceptable that your role be reduced to that of being a simple executor of the will of those who are ill or of the demands of the health care system in which you work,” Francis added.

Francis told the delegation that Catholic health care providers must faithfully adhere to the Church’s pro-life stance, despite the push for euthanasia, medically assisted suicide and abortion throughout Europe and the West.

“This fidelity required and requires hardship and difficulties, which, in certain circumstances, can call for a lot of courage. Keep on this path with serenity and determination,” Francis said, according to Crux Now.

He followed with what seemed to be an indirect rebuke of Ireland’s referendum.

“In fact, even the field of medicine and health care has not been spared from the onslaught of the technocratic-cultural paradigm, from the adoration of unlimited human power and from a practical relativism, in which everything that doesn’t serve one’s own interests becomes irrelevant,” he said, according to the report.

Catholic leaders outside the Vatican, meanwhile, have lamented the weakening of the Catholic Church’s influence in Ireland.

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They also have rebuked Irish Catholics who voted “yes” in the referendum, calling them to confess and repent.

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