Pope Francis Reminds Bishops to Show Compassion to Politicians Who Support Abortion.
According to the Associated Press, Pope Francis exhorted Catholic bishops on Wednesday not to blame politicians who support abortion rights, but to approach them with “compassion and kindness.”
The pope made the remarks after being asked on his way home from Slovakia if politicians who support abortion rights, such as US Vice President Joe Biden, should be allowed to take Communion.
Francis did not clearly respond “yes” or “no” to the reporter’s question because he was unfamiliar with the situation in the United States, but he did say that abortion was “homicide” and that Catholic priests should not offer Communion to anybody who did not share the church’s teachings. He said this may include a Jew, someone who has not been baptized, or someone who has left the church.
The decision by opposing Catholic bishops to draft a “teaching document” aimed at rebuking politicians like Biden for receiving Communion despite their pro-choice abortion stances led to the decision by opposing Catholic bishops to draft a “teaching document” aimed at rebuking them for making the sacrament. According to the Associated Press, Francis urged bishops and priests to act “pastorally” rather than “politically” when confronted with such difficulties. He went on to say that “if we look at the history of the church,” “every time the bishops did not behave as shepherds,” it became a “issue.”
“What is a shepherd to do? “Be a shepherd, not someone who condemns or does not condemn,” the pope added. “They must have God’s manner of shepherding. And God’s own style is intimacy, compassion, and tenderness.”
See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.
Francis cited the Inquisition-era condemnation of Giordano Bruno for supposed heresy as an example of when the church stood firm on a stance on political reasons and it backfired. In Rome’s Campo dei Fiori, he was burnt at the stake.
“Whenever the church has taken political sides to defend a value, it has done so pastorally,” Francis stated. “When a pastor leaves the pastoral ministry of the church, he becomes a politician almost immediately.”
Francis claimed that he had never refused Communion to anyone, despite the fact that he had never met a pro-abortion politician before. He also claimed that he once gave Communion to an elderly woman who later confessed to being Jewish.
In June, the bishops of the United States reached an agreement. This is a condensed version of the information.