The day after Pope Francis told reporters the Church needed to refocus, concentrating on the mercy of Jesus, Pope Francis called on doctors to protect life at all its stages. Zenit News Agency released Saturday the translation of the address Pope Francis gave to the International Federation of Catholic Medical Association on Friday, September 20..
In his address, Pope Francis defended the sanctity of life. He encouraged gynecologists to say ‘yes’ to life, saying the first right of a human person is his/her life.
“Dear doctor friends, you who are called to take care of human life in its initial phase, all of you must remember with facts, and words, that this is always, in all its phases and at every age sacred and is always of quality. And not because of a discourse of faith, but of reason and science! There is no human life that is more sacred than another, as there is no human life that is qualitatively more significant than another". .
He also said, "Every unborn child, condemned unjustly to being aborted, has the face of the Lord, who before being born and then when he was just born, experienced rejection of the world. And every elderly person, even if he/she is sick or at the end of he /her days, bears in him/herself the face of Christ. They cannot be discarded!
He concluded his address by asking the doctors to never neglect to pray to the Lord and the Virgin Mary asking for the strength to do your work well and to witness with courage the gospel of life. “I bless you from my heart.”
Many in the media seemed surprised that Pope Francis would defend life after saying we need to focus on the mercy of God. It would be more surprising if Pope Francis neglected to stand firm in the teachings of the faith. He has simply said we need to emphasize the primary message of forgiveness. This message is often never heard.
The beauty of the Catholic Church is the sacramental system. We are all sinners! Practicing Catholics participate in the sacrament of reconciliation, also known as confession. Any sin can be forgiven. All that is needed is the humility to acknowledge the sin, saying out loud to a priest that he/she is sorry for the sin committed. The priest absolves the person of their sin by the power given him by the Holy Spirit received in the sacrament of Holy Orders. What a blessed moment....to have your soul become ‘as white as snow’! After being absolved of serious sin, we are than able to receive the sacrament of the Eucharist (living bread) in a state of grace. We are nourished by the Lord himself.
All sinners are welcome in the Catholic Church. Every Catholic knows he/she is a sinner. At every Mass we pray for the mercy of God.....Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.
Jesus came not to condemn the world but to save the world. He came to forgive our sins!
While it is being reported that many conservative Catholics have issues with Pope Francis, I believe liberal and conservative Catholics alike love and respect him. He is not changing the teachings of the church, he is focusing on what matters. Jesus forgives our sins!!