The Catholic pope recently taught traditional Catholic teaching. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, but it did for some in the media.
On Sunday, CNN reported that Pope Francis compared abortion to Nazi-era eugenics and, later, defined marriage as between one man and one woman. His comments agreed with Catholic Church teaching, but that didn’t stop media figures from outlets like Cosmopolitan and Rewire from mocking the “wonderful progressive pope” who’s “everyone’s supposed buddy,” but really represents “misogynist views.”
According to CNN and the Vatican, Pope Francis commented on abortion and marriage Saturday when he addressed Italy’s Family Association in Rome. He began by challenging prenatal testing.
“I have heard that it’s fashionable, or at least usual, that when in the first months of pregnancy they do studies to see if the child is healthy or has something, the first offer is: let’s send it away,” Pope Francis said.
That mentality was not only wrong, but also evil – because it treats human persons like commodities.
“I say this with pain,” he said. “In the last century the whole world was scandalized about what the Nazis did to purify the race. Today we do the same, but now with white gloves.”
The pope also defined the family as between one man and one woman, adding that the “human family in the image of God, man and woman, is the only one.”
And the media, who so often applaud the pontiff on immigration and the environment, suddenly turned on him.
Cosmopolitan and CNN columnist Jill Filipovic jeered on Twitter, “Ah yes, our wonderful progressive Pope, comparing women who have abortions (and even prenatal scans) to Nazis.”
In a similar tone, ThinkProgress LGBTQ editor Zack Ford added, “Pope Francis, everybody’s supposed buddy, said that same-sex families don’t actually count as ‘families’ and also compared abortion to the Holocaust.”
“Happy Pride month from the Woke Pope!” mocked author Sady Doyle, who writes for outlets like Elle magazine and Quartz.
For Rewire, author Sikivu Hutchinson wrote that the pope “masquerades as a champion of global economic justice but his misogynist views on abortion demonstrate why Catholic church poses a mortal threat to the lives of women.”
Never mind that abortion always poses – and follows through – a threat to end the life of an unborn baby (many of whom are women). That’s why the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which outlines the Church’s teachings, forbids it.
“Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception,” the Catechism states, and if a woman instead knowingly ends that life, she is automatically excommunicated.
Pope Francis’s comments were nothing new. With regard to prenatal testing, the Catechism urges that it can be used for good – or evil.
A prenatal diagnosis, the Church teaches, is “gravely opposed to the moral law when this is done with the thought of possibly inducing an abortion, depending upon the results,” or, “a diagnosis must not be the equivalent of a death sentence.”
The pontiff’s marriage stance was also no departure from Catholic teaching.
“Sexuality is ordered to the conjugal love of man and woman” the Catechism teaches, and their spousal union “achieves the twofold end of marriage: the good of the spouses themselves and the transmission of life,” with children.
If only the media did their research.
Instead, they often cherry-pick or spin reporting when it comes to Pope Francis and Catholic teaching. But the beauty of the Catholic Church is that it transcends party lines instead of following media trends. While it evolves to address different issues in different times, it also stays true to doctrine. And yes, that includes abortion and marriage.