Pope Francis included abortion and euthanasia in a broad critique of threats to human dignity on a trip to France at the weekend.
He travelled to Marseille to attend the closing session of an international conference focussing on the Mediterranean Sea to discuss challenges related to the environment, migration, and violent conflict.
It was attended by Church and government leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron; Vice President of the European Commission Margarítis Schinás; and Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank.
Pope Francis told the delegates: “Who listens to the groaning of our isolated elderly brothers and sisters, who, instead of being appreciated, are pushed aside, under the false pretenses of a supposedly dignified and ‘sweet’ death that is more ‘salty’ than the waters of the sea? Who thinks of the unborn children, rejected in the name of a false right to progress, which is instead a retreat into the selfish needs of the individual?”
He told participants at a mass human life is discarded not only in the “rejection of many immigrants,” but also in “countless unborn children and abandoned elderly people”.
He reiterated his comments on the Papal plane on his return to Rome.
“You don’t play with life, neither at the beginning nor at the end. It is not played with!”