Each year the Pope gives an address to the approximately 180 ambassadors to the Vatican. The speech for 2014 was given by Pope Francis last week. It has many passages of interest for those seeking to determine the priorities of Pope Francis. PopeWatch was struck by this passage:
Peace is also threatened by every denial of human dignity, firstly the lack of access to adequate nutrition. We cannot be indifferent to those suffering from hunger, especially children, when we think of how much food is wasted every day in many parts of the world immersed in what I have often termed “the throwaway culture”. Unfortunately, what is thrown away is not only food and dispensable objects, but often human beings themselves, who are discarded as “unnecessary”. For example, it is frightful even to think there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day; children being used as soldiers, abused and killed in armed conflicts; and children being bought and sold in that terrible form of modern slavery which is human trafficking, which is a crime against humanity. Nor can we be unmoved by the tragedies which have forced so many people to flee from famine, violence and oppression, particularly in the Horn of Africa and in the Great Lakes Region. Many of these are living as fugitives or refugees in camps where they are no longer seen as persons but as nameless statistics. Others, in the hope of a better life, have undertaken perilous journeys which not infrequently end in tragedy. I think in particular of the many migrants from Latin America bound for the United States, but above all of all those from Africa and the Middle East who seek refuge in Europe.
That the Pope would place abortion in this paragraph is understandable when one comprehends that one of the prime concerns of Pope Francis is that too many times people are viewed as abstractions, as statistics. Stalin, during the famine he created in the Ukraine chillingly observed, “If only one man dies of hunger, that is a tragedy. If millions die, that’s only statistics.” In regard to how people should be treated, Pope Francis should be viewed as the anti-Stalin.