The Vatican News translation into English of Pope Francis’ high altitude interview differs greatly, in terms of opinion, from Crux’s report on the interview. I will write about that below the two different translations into English. Please note what I highlight in blue as that will be the basis of my comments. The question is on France soon to liberalize its euthanasia laws.
(I) did not speak on this issue (euthanasia) today, but we (Macron) talked about it on the other visit when we met. I spoke clearly, when he came to the Vatican, and I spoke my opinion clearly: life is not to be played with, neither at the beginning nor at the end. We cannot play around. This is my opinion: to protect life, you know? Because then we wind up with a policy of “no pain”, of a humanistic euthanasia…
…Today we should be careful with ideological colonizations that ruin human life and go against human life. Today, for example, the lives of grandparents are erased, and when human wealth comes into play in the dialogue with grandchildren, they are erased. ‘They are old so are of no use.’ We cannot play with life.
This time I did not talk to the president [about this topic], but last time I did. When he came, I gave him my opinion that life is not something to be played with.Whether it's the law of not letting the baby grow in the mother's womb or the law of euthanasia in disease or old age, I'm not saying it's an issue of faith. It's a human issue, a human issue. There exists an ‘ugly compassion’. Science has come to turn some painful diseases into less painful events, accompanying them with many medicines. But life must not be played with.
Asked about a controversial law France is preparing to consider on euthanasia, the pontiff, who condemned the practices of abortion and euthanasia in his final Mass on Saturday, said he did not address the issue in his private conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron earlier that day.
He said he and Macron discussed the issue of euthanasia during one of Macron’s three previous visits to the Vatican, and on that occasion, “I told him my view, clearly, [that] you don’t play with life, not at the beginning, and not at the end. You don’t play with it.”
“It’s not just my opinion, it’s safeguarding life, because then, you end up with the politics of non-pain, a humanistic euthanasia,” he said. He once again referenced a 1903 futuristic romance novel titled The Lord of the World by a British convert to Catholicism which, Francis said, depicts “how things will be in the end. It takes away the differences of everyone, and also, they take pain, etc., and euthanasia is one of these things.”
“Sweet death, selection before birth. This shows how this man saw current conflicts,” the pope said, saying, “today let’s be attentive to ideological colonization that ruins human life and goes against human life.”
My commentary: Just which is it, Crux’s “It’s not just my opinion” or Vatican New’s “This is my opinion” and other variations of that??? Throughout his papacy, the pope has been clear about “his opinion” about abortion and euthanasia. In my opinion, I agree with his opinion.
Therein lies the problem. Vatican News more than once states the good and orthodox moral teachings on these two life issues, abortion and euthanasia as the pope saying these teachings are his opinion!
Crux, though, indicates he said, “It’s not just my opinion.”
The loose talk of Pope Francis is, in my most humble opinion, the problem of this 10 year papacy.
If what the pope is teaching President Macron is just the pope’s opinion, as Vatican News translates his answer to a reporter, then is President Macron’s opinion just as good and equal to the pope’s opinion?
The pope would do better to speak of these moral teachings in a more theologically rigid way so as to make clear these teachings are no mere mortal pope’s opinion, but Divine Truth and divinely revealed..
Otherwise Catholics in France and throughout the world will think all opinions are equal and you can pick and choose among men’s mere mortal opinions.
And therein lies what, in my most humble opinion, is the fatal flaw of Pope Francis’ synodal way: All opinions are equal and we must listen to all opinions and respect them all.
Certainly if this is true, this ideology is a joke as is Pope Francis’ vision of the synodal way.
This is a “Google Translation” of his Italian answer to this same question. The article where I found the Italian, also included a photo of the pope sitting alone for several minutes awaiting President Macon to speak with him—The caption says the pope was visibly annoyed to have been kept waiting!
Here’s the Google version:
Pope Francis: Today we didn't talk about this topic, but we talked about it during the other visit, when we met, I talked about it clearly, when he came to the Vatican; I told him my opinion, clearly: you can't play with life, neither at the beginning nor at the end. No playing. It's my opinion: cherish life, you know? Because then you will end up with that policy of non-pain, of humanistic euthanasia. On this I want to quote a book again, read it, it is from 1907 but it is a novel, it is called The Lord of the World, The Lord of the World or The Lord of the Earth, written by Robert Benson the author, he is a writer who it talks about the future, it shows how things will be in the end. And the differences are removed, all of them, and the pain is also removed... and euthanasia is one of these things, gentle death, selection before birth... This shows us how this man had seen current conflicts. Today we are careful with ideological colonizations that ruin human life and go against human life. Today the lives of grandparents are being erased, for example; when human wealth goes into the dialogue between grandparents and grandchildren... it is erased: they are old, they are of no use. You don't play with life. This time I didn't speak to the president, but the other time I did, when he came and I told him my opinion: you can't play with life, let it be the law not to let the child grow in the mother's womb, the law of euthanasia in illness or old age, I'm not saying this is a thing of faith, it's a human, human thing; there is bad compassion. Science has managed to make some painful illnesses less painful and accompanies them with many medicines. You don't play with life.
Another answer the pope gave about the war on Ukraine by Russia was truly befuddling to understand just exactly what the pope was saying as it was so convoluted and incoherent. This caused Vatican News to issue a clarification and this is it:
The Vatican later issued a clarification, saying the pope’s point was that arms merchants never pay the price of their choices, which fall upon “martyred” peoples such as the Ukrainians.