Pope Francis preaches on pro-life in a very integral way. He gives strong and clear messages that derive from the very substance of the Faith and a very broad vision of the demands that Faith places upon us. The conclusions and applications for the pro-life movement are undeniable, even if he does not use the specific words “pro-life movement” and “unborn.”
This was very clear in his homily at his installation on March 19, when he spoke of the need to protect every person, especially children, from the “Herods” of our day who plot death.
And it was clear again in his Palm Sunday homily, which contained the very strong message to have confidence in the victory of life over death.
He said it this way:
“Jesus takes upon himself the evil, the filth, the sin of the world, including our own sin, and he cleanses it, he cleanses it with his blood, with the mercy and the love of God.
Let us look around: how many wounds are inflicted upon humanity by evil! Wars, violence, economic conflicts that hit the weakest, greed for money, power, corruption, divisions, crimes against human life and against creation!
And our personal sins: our failures in love and respect towards God, towards our neighbour and towards the whole of creation.
Jesus on the Cross feels the whole weight of the evil, and with the force of God’s love he conquers it, he defeats it with his resurrection.
Dear friends, we can all conquer the evil that is in us and in the world: with Christ, with the force of good!
Do we feel weak, inadequate, powerless? But God is not looking for powerful means: it is through the Cross that he has conquered evil!
We must not believe the Evil One when he tells us: you can do nothing to counter violence, corruption, injustice, your sins! We must never grow accustomed to evil! With Christ we can transform ourselves and the world. We must bear the victory of Christ’s Cross to everyone everywhere, we must bear this great love of God.
And this requires all of us not to be afraid to step outside ourselves, to reach out to others. In the Second Reading, Saint Paul tells us that Jesus emptied himself, assuming our condition, and he came to meet us (cf. Phil 2:7).
Let us learn to look up towards God, but also down towards others, towards the least of all! And we must not be afraid of sacrifice.
Think of a mother or a father: what sacrifices they make! But why? For love! And how do they bear those sacrifices? With joy, because they are made for their loved ones.
Christ’s Cross embraced with love does not lead to sadness, but to joy!”
He mentions “crimes against human life,” using the same word the Second Vatican Council used in Gaudium et Spes to describe abortion (an “unspeakable crime”). He urges us to see evil for what it is, and then never to lose confidence in the victory we have over evil, thanks to the death and Resurrection of Christ.
What this means is that this Holy Week celebration is to increase our confidence as pro-life warriors.
What he also says is that “We must never grow accustomed to evil.” That’s a key thought for pro-lifers. Because abortion continues and continues, and its legality continues and continues, some get accustomed to it. Some think we have to bend to make room for abortion, whether in our laws, in the medical profession, in our health insurance policies or taxes, or in our habits of speaking and acting. But no — evil is not to be accommodated. No room is to be allowed for it, and every day its presence must awaken new outrage and new determination to end it.
When we talk about abortion, some say it’s “the same old thing” and they don’t want to listen. But the babies who are dying today never died before. Today, it is a new tragedy in each and every life that is torn apart. So yes, we will stand up again, we will speak up again, we will act up again! We must never grow accustomed to evil!