For Pope Francis, “Abortion Is Not a Primarily Religious Matter”

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For Pope Francis, “Abortion Is Not a Primarily Religious Matter”
For Pope Francis, “Abortion Is Not a Primarily Religious Matter”

Argentine Catholics set an example for the world by fighting hard against the legalization of abortion. They had no support from the Argentine pope, however. His leftist agenda does not include such concerns.

Silence in the Face of Abortion in Argentina

Pope Francis’s silence during the fight against legalizing abortion in Argentina was shocking.

For example, Prof. José Arturo Quarracino points out that in his latest Christmas message, Pope Francis spoke about the problems of several countries, but “not a single word about Argentina, his native homeland.” He stressed that “this indifference confirms what is commonly said among the bishops and priests friendly with Bergoglio: ‘Abortion isn’t as important a topic as the environment or migrants.’”1

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This silence is all the more inexplicable considering that the pope has good relations with Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández. Shortly after being elected, he was warmly received by the pope. Professor Rubén Peretó Rivas wrote:

“The Argentine president, Alberto Fernández, was the one who promoted the law and pledged to personally and insistently put pressure on several legislators to change their vote and allow its approval. It is the same president who was greeted with complacency and broad smiles by the Supreme Pontiff on January 31, 2020, the same one who that day attended the mass celebrated for his party by Archbishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo in the crypt of the Vatican Basilica [at the tomb of Saint Peter], where he received communion with his concubine, the former showgirl Fabiola Yañez.”2

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Naturalism Concerning Abortion

Pope Francis refrained from encouraging Argentine Catholics to fight abortion’s legalization. Moreover, in private letters to people who consulted him, he said that abortion is not primarily a religious issue. He repeated this statement in a recently published interview.3 This stance suggests that one should not carry out a religious struggle to block this grave sin’s legalization.

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In one of these letters—which, although private, was published by the Argentine Bishops’ Conference—the pope stated: “To [a letter] asking me about the problem of abortion, I answered … [that] the subject of abortion is not primarily a religious but a human issue, a matter of human ethics that predates any religious confession.”4

The pope went on to suggest that non-religious arguments be used in the fight against abortion: “And I suggest that you ask yourself two questions: (1) Is it fair to eliminate a human life to solve a problem? And (2) is it fair to hire a hitman to solve a problem?”5

Abortion Is Primarily a Religious Issue

In moral matters, as abortion, the most decisive argument is the religious one. This is especially true in a Catholic country like Argentina. The religious argument places man before his eternal destiny, his ultimate end.

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On the other hand, to say that abortion is not primarily a religious issue is to deny that abortion is, above all, a grave offense against God. It is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being. It is one of the four sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance.6

Furthermore, procured abortion goes against God’s infinite wisdom in linking natural sexual intercourse to humanity’s procreation. It also runs counter to His adorable will, which determined that the sexual act should be performed only in marriage and without interference that would render it unfruitful.

Abortion is, therefore, a revolt against God, an “aversio a Deo, conversio ad creaturam” (turning away from God, turning towards some created good), as Saint Augustine defined sin.7

The Sin of Omission

The woman who procures a completed abortion and the medical personnel who perform it sin by commission. Whoever should have opposed abortion’s legalization and failed to do so sins by omission. Saint Thomas says that being negligent in “an act or a circumstance necessary for salvation will be a mortal sin.”8

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Procured abortion is an extremely serious mortal sin. Not only is it a grave offense against God, but it has consequences on a people’s moral and social life. Thus, those whose mission is to guide, especially spiritually, and do not actively oppose abortion but limit themselves to ambiguous statements or feeble opposition disproportionate to the situation commit a grievous sin.

Their omission contributes to the sin of procured abortion becoming widespread. It helps make the crime appear “normal,” leading many into this sin.

Obligation to Defend the Truth

Pope Saint Felix III already warned in 492:

“An error which is not resisted is approved; a truth which is not defended is suppressed…. He who does not oppose an evident crime is open to the suspicion of secret complicity.”9

Eternal and Natural Law: The Foundation of Morals and Law

All Argentine religious authorities, including Pope Francis, who failed to combat abortion’s legalization in this Catholic country as was their duty shall render accounts to God for their responsibility in this national sin. “What have you done? Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground!” (Gen. 4:10).

Updated January 20, 2021.


  1. Marco Tossati, “Quarracino. Aborto en Argentina: la Indiferencia del Papa Bergoglio,” Stilum Curiae, Dec. 26, 2020,
  2. See Aldo Maria Valli, “L’aborto in Argentina e gli amici di papa Francesco,”, Dec. 30, 2020, “Presidente argentino concubino y abortista recibe la Comunión en el Vaticano (Vídeo)”,, accessed Jan. 13, 2021.
  3. Elisabetta Piqué, “Fuerte condena del papa Francisco al aborto: ‘¿es justo cancelar una vida humana para resolver un problema?’” La Nación, Jan. 10, 2021,
  4. Conferencia Episcopal Argentina, “Carta del Papa Francisco a sus alumnos y compañeros de colegio,”, Dec. 5, 2020,
  5. Ibid.
  6. “8 Q. Which are the sins that are said to cry to God for vengeance? A. The sins that are said to cry to God for vengeance are these four: (1) Willful murder; (2) The sin of sodomy; (3) Oppression of the poor; (4) Defrauding laborers of their wages. 9 Q. Why are these sins said to cry to God for vengeance? A. These sins are said to cry to God for vengeance because the Holy Ghost says so, and because their iniquity is so great and so manifest that it provokes God to punish them with the severest chastisements.” Catechism of St. Pius X, accessed Jan. 5, 2021,
  7. Battista Mondin, Dizionario Enciclopedico del Pensiero di San Tommaso d’Aquino (Bologna: Edizione Studio Domenicano, 1991), 445.
  8. Summa Theologiae, II–II, q. 54, a.3, c.
  9. Quoted by Leo XIII Encyclical Inimica vis (On Freemansory), Dec. 8, 1892, no. 7.

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