Pope Francis answered questions regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that overturned Roe v. Wade during a new interview, though he noted he does not fully understand the legal issues involved in the ruling.
The Pope responded to the ruling while speaking to Reuters on Monday in a discussion that touched on a wide range of recent political and social topics.
“I respect the decisions,” Pope Francis stated, affirming the Roman Catholic view that life begins at conception.
The Pope, however, was more cautious regarding the legal implications of the ruling.
“I tell you the truth. I don’t understand it from a technical point of view,” he said. “I have to study it because I don’t really understand [the details of] the ruling 50 years ago and now I can’t say whether it did right or wrong from a judicial point of view.”
Pope Francis also addressed the issue of abortion beyond the court ruling, noting the evidence from science reveals that the child in the womb is a human being.
“Leaving that [the Supreme Court decision] aside, let’s go back to the issue of abortion, which is a problem,” the Pope stated. “In this we have to be scientific, see what science tells us today. Science today and any book on embryology, the one our medical students study, tells you that 30 days after conception there is DNA and the laying out already of all the organs.”
The Pope then posed the question, “Is it legitimate, is it right, to eliminate a human life to resolve a problem? It’s a human life – that’s science. The moral question is whether it is right to take a human life to solve a problem.”
In addition to addressing the recent SCOTUS decision, Pope Francis also addressed speculation regarding his potential retirement. He spoke against rumors that he had cancer or planned to step away from his role as leader of the Roman Catholic Church.
Instead, Pope Francis admitted he was forced to postpone a recent trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan initially scheduled for this week due to an ongoing knee problem.
He noted during the interview that a “ligament that became inflamed, and because I walked badly and this walking badly moved a bone, [this caused] a fracture there.”
The Pope certainly has additional plans for future travel. He mentioned he would like to visit Kyiv as well as Moscow to help encourage an end to Russia’s invasion and bring peace. Pope Francis also has a trip scheduled to Canada.
Pope Francis has also made recent headlines for meetings with high-profile guests at the Vatican.
“Honored to meet @Pontifex yesterday,” Tesla CEO Musk tweeted after a stop to visit with the Pope last week. Musk was accompanied by his sons with ex-wife Justine Wilson: Griffin, 18, and 16-year-old triplets Damian, Kai, and Saxon.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 2, 2022
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) also stirred controversy when she recently visited the Vatican and took communion despite her pro-abortion stance. Pope Francis did not distribute communion, but Pelosi received it from another priest.