MANILA, Sept. 4, 2015 – Following yet another secularist attempt at hijacking his statement, concerned Catholic netizens have come to the defense of the Holy Father, stressing that while the Church condemns abortion as a grave sin, She never tires of reaching out to mothers who may have committed grave mistakes.
“Presenting Pope Francis’ words this way makes it appear that the Catholic Church is either changing Her teaching or realizing that She’s been wrong about abortion all along. In a sound-byte world, people will read those headlines and conclude wrongly that abortion really isn’t the major evil that CMP, conservatives, and pro-lifers, and all those fanatic Christians/Catholics are always portraying it to be. … Except that it still is,” shares Stef Ofhfs, a member of the pro-life group Filipinos for Life, in a recent blog post.
She explains the Holy Father did not relax the rules on abortion, underscoring the fact that it was, still is, and will always be considered a sin by the Catholic Church.
Invitation to Sacraments
Nonetheless, the mother of four points out abortion can be pardoned like all sins are provided the sinner who committed it is able to meet the conditions needed for complete absolution.
According to Ofhfs, what the Holy Father has relaxed is the way the sin of abortion is forgiven, but not its inherent sinfulness, making it easier for people who committed it to once again partake of the Sacraments.
“Note that Pope Francis is simply addressing the forgiveness of those who procured an abortion. He doesn’t say anything about abortionists. And he makes a distinction between those who know how serious a sin abortion is when they get one, versus those that don’t or that are coerced into getting one. This is called culpability,” she adds.
Hating sin, loving sinner
For Sylvia Garcia Czaja, also a mother, this is the latest case of pro-choicers twisting Pope Francis’s words for their own end “as if it’s a special passport from the Catholic Church allowing them to bask in their permissive culture.”
She also finds it strange that the same people who have consistently bashed the Church now “hangs on to her,” hoping some morsels will fall from her table.
“For over 2,000 years, the Catholic Church has always been open and inclusive in terms of acting as a hospital for sinners. But this does not in any way mean that She will support or bend to the Culture of Death,” she shares.
Czaja believes amid the #PPSellsBabyParts controversy in the United States, pro-choicers only wanted to hear something to their liking.
She observes they kept twisting Pope Francis’ recent pronouncement in a desperate bid to win over to their camp confused Catholics and other Christians, especially those who are undecided on the issue.
“They want to own Pope Francis’ statement and say, ‘Getting an abortion is perfectly fine. Just go to your church, get a confession and you’re all sorted. Repeat steps for a repeat abortion.’ But it does not work like that. This is exactly why Pope Francis emphasized the phrase ‘contrite heart.’ Jesus said, ‘Go and sin no more,’” Czaja notes.
Meanwhile, responding to these “misleading” reports, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has recently issued a statement clarifying that abortion is unjustifiable and a “grave” offense against moral law.
CBCP president Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas said abortion “remains a serious wrong” because terminating the life of the unborn “trespasses the sacred ground that human life is.”
“In the traditional language of older catechisms, it is a moral sin, a deadly sin,” the prelate says.
“Not only does it bring death on another; it brings about the spiritual death of one who commits it with full knowledge of its malice and the consequences of this absolutely abhorrent act,” he adds.
Villegas reiterates the Church’s position that every new life begins at conception and that abortion should be rejected. (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)