Official portrait of Bishop Stephen Parkes, Diocese of Savannah
Monday, January 8, 2018
WHICH PONTIFF SAID THIS?
The pontiff also offered a ringing endorsement of the pro-life cause, lamenting that “innocent children are discarded before they are even born, unwanted at times simply because they are ill or mal-formed.” Later in the speech, the pontiff issued a strong defense of the traditional family, defining it as “that faithful and indissoluble communion of love that joins man and woman,” and linking declining respect for the family to a “demographic winter” in some parts of the world marked by historically low fertility rates.
The pontiff also spoke forcefully on the need to defend religious freedom, “including the freedom to change religion,” which was a direct challenge to anti-conversion laws in several nations around the world.
“Sad to say, it is well-known that the right to religious freedom is often disregarded, and not infrequently religion becomes either an occasion for the ideological justification of new forms of extremism or a pretext for the social marginalization of believers, if not their downright persecution,” the pontiff said.