Pope Francis made his strongest statement in support of Church doctrine on abortion this week by not uttering a single word.
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Francis prayed silently at a monument to aborted babies during a visit to South Korea, the Boston Globe reported Saturday.
The “cemetery for abortion victims” is located at the Kkottongnae Home for the Sick, which houses and serves about 5,000 elderly and disabled people, the report said. It is a “grassy field dotted with white crosses as well as a statue of what Catholics refer to as the ‘Holy Family: Joseph, Mary, and Jesus as a child.’”
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South Korea is believed to have one of the world’s highest abortion rates, even though the practice was outlawed in 1953 with exceptions for rape, incest or severe genetic disorders, according to the Christian Science Monitor.
While some Catholic anti-abortion activists were initially concerned Francis was not using strong enough rhetoric in his opposition of the practice, he has come to use stronger terms in recent months.
“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods,” Francis said previously. He wanted to also focus on the other church teaching, according to The Globe.
Friday, during a Mass in another South Korean city, Francis listed a series of threats that include a “culture of death which devalues the image of God of life, and violates the dignity of every man, woman and child.”
The phrase “culture of death” was used by St. John Paul II when he spoke of abortion and other matters of sexual morality, the Globe reported, and by inserting it into his public comments, Francis associated himself with that agenda.
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