Pope Francis on abortion: ‘Never, never does killing a person resolve a problem’

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from LifeSiteNews,

In an audience with a group of seriously ill children and their parents on Friday afternoon in the Vatican’s Chapel of Santa Marta, Pope Francis offered them words of encouragement in their suffering, and reiterated the Church’s teaching that abortion is not the solution to a diagnosis of disability in a pre-born child.

“Never, never does killing a person resolve a problem. Never,” the pontiff said in response to a father relating to him how he and his wife were advised to abort their daughter Andrea Maria but refused, despite her serious illness.

Pope Francis told the couple he was convinced that “God has called you to a vocation of greater love as parents. To be parents not once but twice: for human nature and for being chosen to accompany a special child, a special gift of God the Father.”

The Holy Father greeted each of the 20 children individually, then asked them, their parents, and their accompanying volunteers from the UNITALSI association, which organizes pilgrimages of the sick to Lourdes and other international shrines, why suffering exists, especially suffering in children.

“It is a question I often ask myself,” he said, “and which many of you, many people, ask themselves: why do children suffer? And there are no explanations. This is also a mystery. I simply look to God and ask, ‘But why?’ And I look at the Cross and ask ‘Why is your son there?’ It is the mystery of the Cross.”

Francis told the children to not be afraid of asking God ‘why,’ because consolation would come from their prayer.

“Perhaps no explanation will come, but the gaze of the Father will give you the strength to go on. The only explanation He may give you is, ‘Even my son has suffered’. This is the explanation. The most important is his gaze. This is your strength, the loving gaze of the Father.”

As he has in the past, Pope Francis condemned the culture that would eliminate the weak and vulnerable in society, saying, “in this world it is so normal to experience a throwaway culture – if we are not happy with something we discard it.”

But he added with wholehearted admiration that in the midst of this “throwaway culture,” the sick children and their parents are in fact “heroes.”

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