Pope Francis condemns abortion as the beginning of the commoditisation of people

In an address to politicians and pro-life activists Pope Francis sets the horror of abortion in its true sphere – the reduction of man to a commodity.

“If you look at life as something that is consumed it will also be something that sooner or later you can throw away, with abortion to begin with.  Human life, however, is a gift from God and if it is accepted as such, then you have before you a valuable and intangible asset, to be protected by all means and not to be discarded…

This economy kills.  It considers the human being in himself as a commodity; a commodity that you can use and then throw away….

One of the most serious risks of the modern world is the divorce between economics and morality… elementary ethical standards of human nature are more and more neglected.”  (emphasis added)

Pope Francis quoted from Gaudium et Spes to further condemn abortion as an abominable crime:

“For God, the Lord of life, has conferred on men the surpassing ministry of safeguarding life in a manner which is worthy of man.  Therefore from the moment of its conception life must be guarded with the greatest care while abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes. (GS 51)”


Link to Gaudium et Spes


M Donnelly:  The insidiousness of evil is that it works in steps towards a grand perversion.   If you start to develop new criteria of what makes a human being ‘human’, the first step has been taken to seeing human beings as ‘objects’.  Objects which can be judged, valued, disposed of…  As the Pope indicates, failing to see a human as a human being from the moment of conception opens the possibility of new definitions that lead to commoditisation of people…

leading to euthanasia as a next step…

the right to take one’s own life…

then perhaps the right to take others life if they are no longer a useful ‘commodity’ to society…

then perhaps the right to buy and sell such commodities…

15 comments to Pope Francis condemns abortion as the beginning of the commoditisation of people

  • Lionel (Paris)

    What is the bishops’ reaction? I hope they agree with the Pope!… Otherwise they would be not more than “mercenaries”…

  • frebonius the 2

    There are strong rumours that the Irish State will ask that the Pope come to visit. Given that the visit of President Higgins was such as success, maybe they should take the example set by Parliament in 1554, and humble themselves asking for pardon for enacting such gross legislation.

  • Nicholas Hinde

    The same attitude is at work with talk in the UK of rationing medical care to the “less useful”elderly.

  • Catholic at Rome

    And yet, how rarely if ever do you find a bishop at a Pro-life Rally, or protesting in front of a place where our little ones are destroyed?

    How is it that our Bishops do not know what it means to be a shepherd of Christ?

  • John M

    To be fair, I don’t know of any English bishop who would disagree with what the Pope has said on this. A few of our bishops may be perceived as being a bit ‘liberal’ but when it comes to abortion there is a consistent line.

    • Nicolas Bellord

      Really? And when referrals for abortion were to be introduced at our “leading Catholic Hospital” what did the Bishops do? And when the code of ethics was amended to drop the ban on referrals what did they do?

  • bernadette

    The key to arguing logically about this, is, as Pope Francis has pointed out, the understanding of “personhood”. It was a term used first by the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights and John Paul 11 used it repeatedly in his expansion of Humane Vitae.

    Once people understand Personhood and a right to live, the natural understanding of life issues arising from this such as abortion, euthanasia and embryo research tend to fall into place. The clarity of this teaching is so striking that it appeals especially to young people who tend to like information laid down in black and white abject focus. They dislike this new thing called “nuance”.

  • scary goat

    This is the whole modern atheist thing. They think themselves so clever complaining that Christianity is outdated. We hear talk of compassion and conscience….but without God everything becomes relative…just someone’s opinion. And ultimately without God there is nothing that has any intrinsic value. If you follow atheism through to its natural conclusion we are all just freaks of pond life who happen to be here by chance…nothing means anything. If nothing has any value and nothing has any meaning or purpose, it’s all just dust in the wind, disposable. You can see this attitude spreading everywhere in everything…education, relationships, and without some higher motives, the goal becomes “my happiness”…this is all we’ve got so enjoy and don’t worry. This is where morality goes out the window. People are just factory farmed as workers, and if you aren’t economically viable you are worthless. Unborn babies are an inconvenience and disposable, old people are a nuisance and disposable, when we get bored with our partners it damages our happiness so they are disposable, sick or disabled people are a drain so they are disposable. What was that about Russia spreading her errors? Look at us in the west now….atheism is rampant…communism by any other name smells just as foul.

  • Chrysostom

    Well done, your Holiness! Perhaps his Holiness could say something to CAFOD.

    CAFOD never says a word about abortion or about homosexuality but it has a great deal on its website about British left-wing politics. Go and have a look on its website. There is not one hit against abortion or against homosexual but 691 about global warming.

    • Hi Chrysostom – I went onto the CAFOD website and got three hits on abortion. The first hit contained the statement “In line with Church Teaching CAFOD does not support the use of artificial methods of family planning and is utterly opposed to abortion.”

      Regarding homosexulality there were two hits. The first is in realtion to Faith and Freedom in Nigeria in the Anglican Church. The second hit is to an article published in 1994 in the Irish Theological Quarterly Vol 60 No 2 by Enda McDonagh: “Theology in a time of AIDS”. This needs careful reading – it states “Moral theologians and teachers have usually settled for the simple negative guidelines – no intercourse outside marriage. Reducing the whole sexual life to intercourse is not particularly helpful to married people either. Celibates and singles, heterosexual and homosexual, need more help than that if they are to become dynamically chaste. They too are called to be people whose sexuality promotes loving and life-giving/enriching relationships as signs and realisations of the presence and power of God. Some further consideration will be given to this in the later sections.” It is then considered later where it states “One area in which many people with AIDS/HIV, their companions and carers are struggling is that of homosexuality. Part of the struggle and suffering is caused by prejudice and social rejection. The Christian call to unconditional acceptance of all people and especially of the marginalised must clearly apply to homosexuals as people. It cannot be achieved overnight. Education is needed. That education will have to face new evidence about the origins and development of homosexuality. Kingdom truth demands no less, and the kingdom values of justice and freedom exclude discrimination against homosexuals just as much as against other social “lepers”. The kingdom value of peace with its implications of unity, reconciliation and forgiveness confirms this need to integrate homosexuals into a genuinely Christian and inclusive community.”

      I agree that 3 and 2 hits is small compared to the 692 I got on global warming.

  • Dear Mrs Donnelly,

    Your comments on the various posts are always so apt and concise and if you go on as you have been doing since Deacon Nick was advised to ‘keep quiet’,you could well ‘take over’ altogether!

    A Happy and blessed Easter to you both.

    • Thank you Frank – but I know that I really miss Nick doing this and am only doing it during his period of prayer and reflection. I know that I do not have the same gift that he has and I am very grateful to all the prayers and words of encouragement and support that are helping me.

      • Sonja

        You have been doing an absolutely brilliant job keeping this much need awareness raising resource about serious Catholic issues going, aided and abetted by some sterling contributors. I continue to follow with interest, and I am learning a lot from the many fine resources often cited here.

      • Wake Up England

        Mrs Donnelly,

        Three cheers, and many thanks to you.

        God bless, strengthen and protect you and Deacon Nick.

        William Weber.

  • Lynda

    We need the Pope to speak like this on all of the non-negotiables of Faith and morals – to the disoriented mass of Catholics, and to the enemies of the Church.

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