Pope Francis addresses civil authorities and other dignitaries at a former a Carmelite monastery in Budapest, Hungary, on April 28, 2023, on the first day of his three-day pilgrimage to the country. / Credit: Vatican Media
Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Apr 28, 2023 / 11:40 am (CNA).
Pope Francis spoke out strongly against abortion and gender ideology Friday, citing both as examples of “ideological colonization” during a speech in Budapest.
The pope’s denunciation came during an address to civil authorities and other dignitaries at a former Carmelite monastery in Hungary’s capital in which he lamented “self-referential forms of populism” and “supranationalism” gaining traction in Europe.
Pope Francis meets civil authorities and other dignitaries at a former a Carmelite monastery in Budapest, Hungary, on April 28, 2023, on the first day of his three-day pilgrimage to the country. Credit: Vatican Media
“This is the baneful path taken by those forms of ‘ideological colonization’ that would cancel differences, as in the case of the so-called gender theory, or that would place before the reality of life reductive concepts of freedom, for example by vaunting as progress a senseless ‘right to abortion,’ which is always a tragic defeat,” said the pope, who is in Budapest for a three-day visit.
“How much better it would be to build a Europe centered on the human person and on its peoples, with effective policies for natality and the family — policies that are pursued attentively in this country — a Europe whose different nations would form a single family that protects the growth and uniqueness of each of its members,” the Holy Father said.
Before his address, Pope Francis met with Hungary’s President Katalin Novák and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, whose family-centered initiatives, including government bonuses of $33,000 for married couples who have three children, have helped boost the country’s birth rate.
Abortion is legal in Hungary up to the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and is permissible up to 24 weeks under certain conditions. Under a new decree issued last year, women seeking an abortion must first listen to a fetal heartbeat.