Abortion 'a symptom of throwaway culture'
Pope Francis has offered an olive branch, of sorts, to the conservative wing of the Catholic Church as he denounced abortion as a symptom of today's "throw-away culture" and encouraged Catholic doctors to refuse to perform them.
Francis cited Vatican teaching on the need to defend the unborn in a talk to Catholic gynaecologists.
It came a day after he was quoted as blasting the church's obsession with "small-minded rules" that are driving the faithful away – an interview that has sent shockwaves throughout the church.
Even before the interview was published, conservatives had voiced disappointment that Francis had shied away from re-stating church rules on such hot-button issues as abortion, homosexuality and gay marriage.
In his comments, Francis denounced today's "throw-away culture" that justifies disposing of lives, and said doctors, in particular, had been forced into situations where they were called to "not respect life".
"Every child that isn't born, but is unjustly condemned to be aborted, has the face of Jesus Christ, has the face of the Lord," he said.