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Pope refers to Hitler in decrying abortion of the disabled

Pope Francis - Visit - Bambino Gesù - Rome
HO / OSSERVATORE ROMANO / AFP
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Francis notes how the world is scandalized by Nazi policies to "purify the race" but today we do the same "with white gloves"

Pope Francis has repeatedly spoken out harshly about abortion, and especially the abortion of children because they are disabled. On Saturday, he again decried this practice, saying that “everyone is scandalized” by Hitler, but the practice of aborting children with disabilities is somehow accepted.

In addressing a Delegation of the Forum of Family Associations, the Holy Father laid aside his prepared address and spoke off-the-cuff, asserting that marriage can only be between a man and a woman, that patience is a key to keeping marriage alive, and that grandparents are key members of the family.

Regarding abortion, he spoke about a memory from his school days that deeply affected him, and which he has referred to on several occasions, including at least twice in the last few weeks.

I have heard it said that it’s popular—or at least habitual—to have certain exams during the first months of pregnancy, to see if the baby is not well, or is developing with some problem… The first proposal in that case is, ‘Should we get rid of it?’ Homicide of babies. And in order to have a peaceful life, an innocent is killed.

When I was a boy, the teacher taught us stories and told us what the Spartans did when a baby was born with deformations: they took it up the mountain and threw it down, to protect the “purity of the race.” And we were shocked: “But how? How could they do that? Poor children!” It was an atrocity.

Today, we do the same. Have you asked yourself why you don’t see so many children on the street? Because the protocols of so many doctors—many, not all—is to ask, “Is it developing badly?” I say it with sorrow.

In the past century, the whole world was scandalized by what the Nazis did to protect the purity of the race. Today we do the same, but with white gloves.

Here is a full translation of this portion of his talk:

~

Once I met a couple married for ten years, without children. It’s very delicate to talk about this, because so often children are wanted, but don’t come, right? I didn’t know how to approach the subject. Then I learned that they didn’t want children. But these people had three dogs and two cats at home… It’s nice to have a dog, a cat, it’s nice… Or when sometimes you hear people say to you, “Yes, yes, but we’re not ready for children yet, because we need to buy a house in the countryside, and travel…”

Children are the greatest gift. Children are welcomed as they come, as God sends them, as God allows—even if at times they are sick. I have heard it said that it’s popular—or at least habitual—to have certain exams during the first months of pregnancy, to see if the baby is not well, or is developing with some problem… The first proposal in that case is, “Should we get rid of it?” Homicide of babies. And in order to have a peaceful life, an innocent is killed.

When I was a boy, the teacher taught us stories and told us what the Spartans did when a baby was born with deformations: they took it up the mountain and threw it down, to protect the “purity of the race.” And we were shocked: “But how? How could they do that? Poor children!” It was an atrocity. Today, we do the same. Have you asked yourself why you don’t see so many children on the street? Because the protocols of so many doctors—many, not all—is to ask, “Is it developing badly?” I say it with sorrow. In the past century, the whole world was scandalized by what the Nazis did to protect the purity of the race. Today we do the same, but with white gloves.

Family, love, patience, joy, and wasting time in the family. You talked about something ugly: that there isn’t the possibility of “wasting time,” because in order to make money today you have to work two jobs, because the family isn’t taken into consideration. You also spoke of young people who cannot get married because there aren’t any jobs. The family is threatened by the lack of work.

And I’d like to finish with some advice that a professor gave me once—he gave it to us at school—a philosophy professor, the department head. I was in the seminary, in the stage of philosophy. … He said: “What is an everyday criterion for knowing if a man, if a priest, is mature?” We answered various things… And he said: “No, here’s a simpler one: an adult person, a priest, is mature if he’s able to play with children.” This is the test. And I tell you: waste time with little children, waste time with your sons and daughters, play with your children. Don’t say to them: “Don’t bother me!” I once heard a young father say: “Father, when I go to work, they are asleep. When I return, they are asleep.” It’s the cross of this slavery of an unjust way of working that today’s society brings us.

I said that his was the last thing. No, it’s the second to last. The last is what I will say now, because I don’t want to forget it. I’ve spoken of children as a treasure of promise. But there is another treasure in the family: the grandparents. Please, take care of the grandparents! Have them talk, may the children talk with their grandparents. Caress the grandparents, don’t push them away from your family because they are burdensome, because they repeat the same things. Love the grandparents, and let them talk with the children.

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