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Pope affirms link between Church’s pro-life and social teaching

May 25, 2015

Quoting Pope Benedict XVI’s 2009 encyclical Caritas in Veritate, Pope Francis said on May 22 that the Church “forcefully maintains [the] link between life ethics and social ethics.”

Pope Francis made his remarks in a message to a Vatican conference devoted to women and sustainable development, a conference cosponsored by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, the World Union of Women’s Catholic Organizations, and the World Women’s Alliance for Life and Family.

“Women face a variety of challenges and difficulties in various parts of the world,” Pope Francis wrote. “In the West, at times they still experience discrimination in the workplace; they are often forced to choose between work and family; they not infrequently suffer violence in their lives as fiancées, wives, mothers, sisters and grandmothers.”

“In poor and developing countries, women bear the heaviest burdens: it is they who travel many miles in search of water, who too often die in childbirth, who are kidnapped for sexual exploitation or forced into marriages at a young age or against their will,” he continued. “At times they are even denied the right to life simply for being female.”

“Issues relating to life are intrinsically connected to social questions,” Pope Francis added. “When we defend the right to life, we do so in order that each life – from conception to its natural end – may be a dignified life, one free from the scourge of hunger and poverty, of violence and persecution.”

 


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