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ROME, April 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – In an interview that aired on Sunday, Pope Francis told left-wing journalist Jordi Évole that it is not “licit” to kill an unborn child or hire an “assassin” in order to solve the “problem” of an unexpected pregnancy, even as a result of rape.  

Near the end of a wide-ranging interview that touched on immigration, homosexuality, and the Catholic Church’s response to the sexual abuse crisis, Évole posed an extreme theoretical case of a girl victim of trafficking who is impregnated as a result of rape. When the journalist asked if the Pope could understand the girl’s choice to end her child’s life, the Pope said, “I would understand her desperation, but I also know that it is not licit to eliminate a human life in order to solve a problem.”

When Évole countered, “And in one of those extreme cases?” the Pope asked, “Is it licit to eliminate a human life to solve a problem? Is it licit to hire someone to eliminate [the baby]? The answer is yours, not mine.” Évole refused to answer, saying, “No, I have not come to answer. I am going to try to get as many answers from you that I can.” 

The Pope went on to say, “But you can’t leave her in the street,” adding, “Thank God, in the last 10 years, 15 years, there has been much attention paid to these cases, of girls who are by themselves who are becoming mothers, and there has been undertaken a great work of accompaniment, of giving them dignity.” 

When Évole countered by saying that in some countries there are women who have been imprisoned for participating in the abortion of their children, the Pope said, “I won’t argue about the civil law of each country. My question comes before civil law, before Church law, to the human: Is it just to eliminate a human being to solve a problem? Is it just to hire an assassin to solve a problem? Everything else stems from that. That is the basic question.” 

On homosexuality

Regarding homosexuality, the Pope told Évole “tendencies are not sinful.” The pontiff said, “If you have a tendency for wrath, that is not a sin. Now, if you are angry and inure people, the sin is there.” Clarifying, the pope said, “The sin is in acting, with thought, word and deed, upon a tendency.”

The Catholic Church teaches that while “homosexual tendencies” are not sinful, it calls such tendencies “objectively disordered,” according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This teaching is based on the understanding that God created human beings as “male and female” and gave them the command to “increase and multiply”, providing them with reproductive organs as well as sexual attraction to one another in order that they might fulfill this command.

“Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that 'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.' They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved,” states the Catechism. 

The pope also referred to statements he made on his return flight to Rome from Ireland in August 2018, in which he recommended psychiatric evaluation for children whose parents fear their children are showing homosexual tendencies. “Every person has a right to have a father and a mother, to have a home. And a father and mother have a right to have a child, whether it is a boy or a girl. If there is a case of homosexuality, I understand that this may cause pain for a family, because of the current culture and all those things. But dialog, dialog, you are a father and mother, you are daughter or son, but no one should ever be cast out of home because of a homosexual tendency.”

Referring back to his statements of 2018, which caused considerable controversy among LGBTQ advocates worldwide, the pope said, “I drew a distinction: it’s another thing when the person is very young, very small and begins to reveal strange symptoms and there it is advisable to go…and I said ‘psychiatrist.’ It is in that moment a word comes out of you, however, in a language that is not your own.” Explaining his intention, the pope said he meant that parents should consult “a professional, a psychologist, who can more or less see what is going on in advance of the diagnosis.” 

The pope said, “The media published that the pope is sending homosexuals to the psychiatrist, an did not see the other. That is malicious.” 

“I am talking about a child who is developing, the parents begin to notice strange things,” the pope clarified. ”Please, go and consult a professional and there you will see what it is. It may be that [the child] is not homosexual, that it is due to something else.” 

Journalist Évole’s anti-Catholic credentials are well-known in Spain. In 2008, Évole went to Rome where he presented Pope Benedict XVI with a toy guitar used by Spanish celebrity David Fernández Ortiz, who devised comedic character Rodolfo Chikilicuatre. The Pope received the present, not knowing that it was part of a television stunt. Évole also pulled a stunt on Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco. As a result of public criticism, several commercial sponsors, including Heineken and Fujitsu, pulled their sponsorships of his show.