On Thursday, Pope Francis released a papal encyclical primarily focused on environmental issues, but which aggressively ties stewardship of nature with protecting preborn life, the Catholic News Agency reports.
In the encyclical, Francis makes a concerted appeal for environmentalists to see fetal rights as a natural extension of their values, that “concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion.”
“A sense of deep communion with the rest of nature cannot be real if our hearts lack tenderness, compassion and concern for our fellow human beings,” the Pope said. “This compromises the very meaning of our struggle for the sake of the environment.”
Pope Francis also rejected population control as a means of saving the environment, and extended his defense of the preborn to human embryos destroyed during stem cell research: “There is a tendency to justify transgressing all boundaries when experimentation is carried out on living human embryos.”
“We forget that the inalienable worth of a human being transcends his or her degree of development.” He said. “[W]hen technology disregards the great ethical principles, it ends up considering any practice whatsoever as licit.”