X
UCA News
myron-j-pereira
shay-cullen
mary-aileen-d-bacalso
william-j-grimm
michael-kelly
benedict-rogers

Vatican City

EU head meets pope after endorsing abortion as human right

The European Parliament voted by 378-255 to endorse the report at its plenary session in Brussels

UCA News reporter

UCA News reporter

Published: June 28, 2021 11:16 AM GMT

Updated: June 28, 2021 11:22 AM GMT

EU head meets pope after endorsing abortion as human right

Archbishop Paul Gallagher (left) meets with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (right) at the Vatican on June 28 as part of a three-nation tour of Europe. (Photo: AFP)

Pope Francis met with the president of the European Parliament on June 26, two days after the European Union legislative body endorsed a report on abortion.

European Parliament head David Sassoli met Pope Francis, Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Archbishop Paul Gallagher, secretary for relations with states, at the Vatican.

The 65-year-old Italian politician met the church leaders two days after the European Parliament adopted the Matić Report, which called abortion a “human right” and an “essential healthcare.”

But Sassoli played down the significance in an interview with Vatican News. “This resolution is not binding because it is not a legislative act,” he said.

Only two EU nations — Poland and Malta — do not allow abortion on demand or social grounds.

The European Parliament voted by 378-255 to endorse the report at its plenary session in Brussels.

Before the vote, pro-life groups Catholic groups had urged the European Parliament to reject the report

“I think there is a bit of instrumentalization that is good to put aside. We have seen that many countries behave in different ways and I believe that some experiences like the Italian one can be useful to them as well,” Sassoli added.

The Matić Report called abortion a “human right” and violations of “sexual and reproductive health and rights” are “a form of violence against women and girls.”

It will redefine conscientious objection of abortions as a “denial of medical care.”

Before the vote, pro-life groups Catholic groups had urged the European Parliament to reject the report, presented by the Croatian politician Predrag Fred Matić.

Thank you. You are now signed up to Daily newsletter

The Secretariat of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) said the report was “ethically untenable” to term abortion as an “essential” health service.

Many European bishops, including Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, president of the Polish bishops’ conference, had criticized the report.

On May 11, the Matić Report was adopted by the European Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality.

The migrants’ issue is one of the central points of Pope Francis’ pontificate, which seeks a more humane reception from rich countries towards refugees.

A Europe that does not save people at sea and leaves them to die does not express humanity

At the meeting, Sassoli addressed the immigrants’ issues and stressed on the “duty” to save lives in the Mediterranean.

“We must make it clear that the reception is very important, but rescuing lives is even more,” said Sassoli at the end of the private audience with the pope.

“A Europe that does not save people at sea and leaves them to die does not express humanity.” 

A European Parliament press release said Sassoli’s meetings focused on on the need to protect the weakest and most vulnerable.

“The European recovery will only be successful if it produces a reduction in inequalities,” the statement said.

“Particular focus was given to European efforts to make vaccines available in low-income countries, especially in Africa.”

Also Read

 
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia