Pope Francis used very harsh words in his condemnation of abortion which he described it as a “white gloves” equivalent of the Nazis’ eugenics programmes. The Pope was addressing members of the Family Forum who were celebrating their 25th anniversary.

Francis referred to the custom of the Spartans who used to take disabled babies to the mountain and throw them down for “the purity of the race”. 

Pope Francis said: “It was an atrocity. Today we do the same. Have you wondered why you do not see so many dwarves on the street? Because the protocol of many doctors – many, not all – is to ask the question: ‘Is it malformed?’ I say this with pain. 

“In the last century the whole world was scandalised by what the Nazis did to treat the purity of the race. Today we do the same, but with white gloves.” This was the Pope’s first major anti-abortion speech since Ireland voted to liberalise its abortion laws.

Marriage: its challenges and magic phrases

During a recent audience with a delegation of the Forum of Family Associations, Pope Francis said: “Family life: it is a sacrifice, but a good sacrifice. Love in marriage is a challenge for men and wo­men. What is the greatest challenge of a man? To make his wife more of a woman. That she grows as a woman. And what is the woman’s challenge? To make her husband more of a man. And so they both go forward.”

He added that three magic phrases are important in marriage: “First of all, ‘leave’: do not be intrusive with each other. ‘Can I?’: Show respect for each other. Second: ‘Sorry’. Apologising is something so important. Everyone can be wrong in life. ‘Excuse me, I did this... sorry, I forgot…’. And the third: ‘Thank you’. Have the greatness of heart always to say thank you.”

Life-giving nourishment

During an audience with Theatine Sisters, Pope Francis said: “Do not deprive the men and women of today of this nourishment [experiential knowledge of God], as necessary as bread. Together with people in material poverty, there are many who have lost the meaning of life, hearts parched and thirsty for good bread and living water, that even without realising it, are waiting to meet Jesus. There are also hearts that hunger and thirst. Go to assuage that hunger, that thirst, where there is not the capacity to be satiated with that illusion, the illusion of lights that do not give life, of lights that do not illuminate.”

(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)