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(LifeSiteNews) — It has been quite the week for Catholics as Pope Francis has once again shocked the world with the most un-Catholic statements. Like in 2016, when he praised Italy’s best known pro-abortion politician, Pope Francis this week praised the radically pro-abortion President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins. That came just as news broke about his backing of communion for pro-abortion politicians and his endorsement of homosexual civil unions.

LifeSite Irish correspondent Tim Jackson reports that on Friday, at his meeting with pro-abortion Irish President Michael D. Higgins, Pope Francis told those gathered that, “today, I did not just meet a man, a president; I met a wise man of today.” The Pope added, “I thank God that Ireland has such a wise man as its Head.”  

President Higgins is the one who signed into law an abortion bill in 2013 that made the killing of unborn babies legal in Ireland. It was the most devastating blow to Catholic Ireland in its history, worse even than the grave persecutions the nation has suffered. 

In November 2015, Higgins moved Ireland even further from its constitutional foundation in divine and natural law by signing a bill that legalized homosexual “marriage” following a referendum. Following a repeal of the country’s constitutional protection of the right to life, Higgins, who, again, was just praised by the Pope, signed another abortion bill in 2018 that legalized abortion-on-demand up until twelve weeks, with abortion up until birth allowed if the baby is found to have a life-limiting condition. 

That resulted in 6,666 Irish babies killed as a result in 2019 alone. No joke!

Higgins has also described Ireland’s historic ban on abortion as having “no concern” for Irish women who would travel to England for abortions. He claimed that the successful 1983 referendum campaign to protect unborn babies had been “callous,” “sinister,” and “undemocratic.” 

What’s more, in 2019, Higgins signed a bill that reduced the waiting time for divorce following another constitutional referendum. 

The Pope’s praise for this pro-abortion politician is reminiscent of his 2016 praise for Italian politician and abortionist Emma Bonino, who was Italy’s leading proponent of abortion for decades. 

Bonino, who Pope Francis called one of the country’s “forgotten greats,” was infamously pictured performing an illegal abortion during her early days of campaigning for abortion, after having had an illegal abortion herself at the age of 27. 

Responding to Pope Francis’s praise for President Higgins, Ireland’s Catholic Association chairman Brian Flanagan told LifeSiteNews that the most disappointing aspect of the meeting was the pope’s apparent unwillingness to call the Irish leader to repentance. 

 “Our Pope could have attributed wisdom to one of the principal pro-abortion politicians in Irish history,” Mr. Flanagan said. “He should have informed and warned President Higgins of the eternal consequences for the perpetrators of such a crime against the most defenseless of God’s beloved creation,” he continued.

LifeSite’s Michael Haynes has reported on a new airplane interview Wednesday where Pope Francis once again expressed support for same-sex civil unions, calling for laws to promote civil unions since “we are all equal.”  

Responding to a question from Stefano Maria Paci of Sky Tg 24 about the “recognition of homosexual marriages,” the 84-year-old pontiff  first referenced  marriage. 

“Marriage is a sacrament, the Church has no power to change the sacraments as the Lord has instituted them,” he said. 

And that is an interesting aspect to Pope Francis. Often when he goes contrary to Church teaching he says something strong seeming to support it first. But then he adds something like this: “if they want to support a homosexual couple in life together, states have the possibility of civilly supporting them.”

 “There are laws that try to help the situations of many people who have a different sexual orientation,” he further said. 

The Church, by way of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), already addressed the question of homosexuality and civil unions in a 1986 document “On the pastoral care of homosexual persons.” 

“A person engaging in homosexual behaviour therefore acts immorally,” wrote the CDF, and any such activity is “contrary to the creative wisdom of God.” 

“Christians who are homosexual are called, as all of us are, to a chaste life,” continued the document, while noting that a “truly pastoral approach will appreciate the need for homosexual persons to avoid the near occasions of sin.” 

The CDF’s 2003 document “Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons” repeated the Church’s strong condemnation of homosexual activity and homosexual unions, saying that “homosexual acts go against the natural moral law.” 

Presenting numerous reasons to argue against the legal definition of homosexual unions, the CDF characterized any law in favor of same-sex unions as “contrary to right reason.” 

“All Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions,” the CDF document affirmed. 

The Catholic Church teaches, moreover, that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered” and that respect for homosexuals “cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions.” 

John Horvat, vice president of the  American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, told LifeSiteNews that, “it is apocalyptically scandalous and a great shame that the highest authority on earth, the Vicar of Christ, publicly endorses homosexual civil unions. It is indicative of our sinful times and why Our Lady warned us of a great chastisement in Fatima.”

Following the Wednesday interview, LGBT advocates were very public in their praise of the Pope’s support for civil unions. 

Dissident  Jesuit and  pro-LGBT campaigner  Fr. James Martin  wrote  on Twitter that the Pope was “again supporting civil unions.” 

Meanwhile, pro-LGBT “Catholic” group New Ways Ministry  praised  Francis. “If there was any debate left over whether  @Pontifex  supports same-gender civil unions, it is settled,” tweeted  the group. 

Only last year, Pope Francis  voiced his support  for the unions in the film  Francesco, calling for “a civil union law.” 

Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan  has pointed  out how such an approach is no act of kindness toward persons with same-sex attraction; rather, it is an act of cruelty. 

“[B]ecause these persons will be confirmed in mortal sin, they will be solidified in their interior psychological dichotomy, since their reason tells them that homosexual acts are against reason and against the explicit will of God, the Creator and Redeemer of men,” he explained. 

That in-flight interview wasn’t all though. LifeSite’s David McLoone has reported on another alarming remark by Pope Francis backing the giving of Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians like Joe Biden. And again, just like with his support for homosexual civil unions, Francis starts off with a strong statement that seems to affirm church teaching. 

Abortion is “murder, whoever has an  abortion kills,” he said. But then he goes on to allow for giving Holy Communion to the likes of Joe Biden. “The problem is not theological, it is pastoral, how we bishops manage this principle pastorally.” 

“Communion is not a prize for the perfect,” Francis said further, proceeding to talk about the “hypothesis” by which priests may give the Eucharist to such people, suggesting that priests might be “close, tender, and give Communion.” 

The Pope criticized priests who “go beyond the pastoral dimension” and “become a politician” on the issue of distributing Communion to opponents of the Faith, asking: “What must the pastor do? Be a pastor, don’t go condemning.”  

Asked if  he had ever given the Eucharist to a pro-abortion politician, the Pope revealed that he has never denied the Eucharist to anyone  since becoming a priest.

In all this we can and must remember what St. Paul said of Holy Communion. 1 Corinthians 11:29 speaking of receiving Holy Communion unworthily, St Paul taught: “For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.” 

And there is another apropos teaching from St. Paul to mention. Galatians 1:8: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema.” 

A most-fitting verse to recall during these most “merciful” of  times.

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John-Henry is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of He and his wife Dianne and their eight children live in the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, Canada.

He has spoken at conferences and retreats, and appeared on radio and television throughout North America, Europe and Asia. John-Henry founded the Rome Life Forum an annual strategy meeting for pro-life leaders worldwide. He co-founded Voice of the Family and serves on the executive of the Canadian National March for Life Committee, and the annual National Pro-Life Youth Conference.

He is a consultant to Canada’s largest pro-life organization Campaign Life Coalition, and serves on the executive of the Ontario branch of the organization.  He has run three times for political office in the province of Ontario representing the Family Coalition Party.

John-Henry earned an MA from the University of Toronto in School and Child Clinical Psychology and an Honours BA from York University in Psychology.


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