PopeWatch: Rocksalt and Oranges



Pope Francis seems to be making rocksalt and oranges comparison when he tacks abortion on to a laundry list of issues:




Letting migrants die at sea was an “attack against life” akin to abortion or euthanasia, Pope Francis has said.

Decrying victims of abortion, euthanasia, terrorism, trafficking and other travesties, the pontiff told members of the Italian Science and Life Association on Saturday that progress in civilisation should not just be measured technological advancements, but also by the ability to “protect life during the most fragile stages.”

“Abortion is an attack against life. Leaving our brothers on boats to die in the Sicilian channel is an attack against life,” the pontiff said.

His comments came as reception centres across Sicily and southern mainland Italy struggle to host the latest wave of more than 5,000 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean at the weekend, according to Frontex, the European Union’s border agency.


Go here to read the rest. Here is why abortion is different:

1.  Sheer numbers:  Each year abortion globally claims 42 million lives.  For the unborn, every year is World War II when it comes to body counts.

2.  The victims:  The victims of abortion are the most helpless and innocent among us.

3.  The location:  Children are slain in their mother’s womb which should be the safest of refuges.

4.  Celebrating murder:  Unlike most other evils that afflict humanity, abortion is celebrated by powerful forces as a positive good.

5.  Tainting effect:  When legalized abortion is tolerated in societies it has a tainting effect.  Where child murder is not merely tolerated but embraced, the sanctity of human life flies out the window and people are reduced to the status of mere animals.

More to explorer


  1. Those who die at sea through illegal migration with the aid of traffickers are willing participants in their own situation.
    Don’t recall an aborted child being a willing participant.

  2. The pontiff’s remark runs contrary to the distinction between something willed and something permitted.

  3. I don’t really think it’s different in kind, but that the immensity of the degree makes it seem so.

    What I want to know is, who’s leaving migrants to die at sea?

  4. “I don’t really think it’s different in kind, but that the immensity of the degree makes it seem so.”

    I suspect if the Italian Navy, or others, was sinking the vessels and abandoning the immigrants to the sea it would be the same. But the article states that 4200 immigrants were saved in 24 hours. Obviously some will die when poorly maintained and overcrowded ships sink and rescue vessels cannot get there in time. There are realistic limits in Naval resources (unless the Pope is advocating a military build up possibly sponsored by international arms dealers) but that is not the same as actively killing the immigrants.

    Maybe the equivalent would be if the government was going into abortion centers, stopping the abortions, getting the mothers to carry the infants to term and then giving them up for adoption. There would be some abortions that would not be stopped due to limitations of police, etc. The govt. in that situation would be merely accepting natural limits – as is the case in the drowning of immigrants. But that is not the case in abortion.

  5. I wonder if these migrants lost at sea are fleeing Islam in Algeria, Tunisia and Lybia across the Mediterranean from Italy. If so, then perhaps the Pope should consider that life would be well served by open, honest, steadfast opposition – including military – against Islam. Defeat Islam in North Africa and the Middle East, and the problem of people fleeing Islam will go away.

  6. Phillip’s comment gave me an idea:
    [Legalized] abortion or euthenasia is an “attack against life” akin to letting migrants die at sea Pope Francis has said
    I wonder what the reaction to a statement like that would be.

  7. I have always felt that the French constitutional provision granting asylum to those “persecuted for their actions in favour of freedom” strikes the right balance. It was enshrined in the Constitution of 27 October 1946 and is based on the Decree of 19 November 1792 that promises “fraternity and assistance to those peoples wishing to recover their freedom.”
    Rather than being directed towards “victims,” constitutional asylum is aimed at people playing an active part in their political destinies as freedom fighters. It both prizes courageous actions and guarantees that its beneficiaries have demonstrated their adherence to the principles of the Republic.

  8. “If so, then perhaps the Pope should consider that life would be well served by open, honest, steadfast opposition – including military – against Islam. Defeat Islam in North Africa and the Middle East, and the problem of people fleeing Islam will go away.”

    But that might hurt people’s feelings (or worse), and we can’t have any of that in the Church of Nice. Much easier to make ludicrous comments and rail at menaces like climate change.

  9. So deliberately killing tiny, helpless babies is the same as not managing to save people who break a dozen laws to attempt to violate the boarders of a different country and gain economic advantage?
    So he’s in support of that guy who suggested blowing up the EMPTY boats so that the coyotes can’t haul people out to where they’re dying, right?

  10. It is what happens when morality founded on reason becomes morality founded on emotion. One makes inane equivocations that do justice to none.

  11. The Roman Pontiff’s words that equate abortion with emigration, or any other number of issues, cheapens the efforts done to end abortion.

    It is the Catholic laity who lead the charge against abortion, who commit most of struggle against it, who do the most to help women in trouble with unexpected pregnancies.

    Killing defenseless babies while they are in the womb is the greatest, most hideous crime of the times whether or not the Pope or any Catholic clergy say something else is or not. All respect for human life and dignity starts its erosion with abortion.

  12. The social activism implied in the words is fleeting commentary. The scourge of abortion could be well revealed and ended by this Pope who has the ear of the media. He does not ever strictly speak as a true father, bringing the Fifth Commandment of God to the fore, or the prophesies, or the plain teaching of how to actually exercise “the ability to “protect life during the most fragile stages.”” Politics are not religion.

  13. Perhaps my impression is incorrect, but I thought people in Europe were desperately trying to save the refugee migrants from N. Africa who were fleeing their homes in overcrowded and inadequate vessels, the only vessels available to them. I never heard that anyone in Europe was against trying to save the lives of every one of these unfortunate people. There cannot be a sin without an intention. I also think most people all over the world were sending out heartfelt, loving prayers that these poor suffering souls would be rescued and saved.

  14. Human life is the first and greatest gift from God. And it comes along with an eternal soul. The intentional destruction of that life is a mortal sin against His fifth commandment – “Thou shall not murder.” New life has no way to defend itself and is dependent on the mother and society to protect it. Man’s failure to do so leads to destruction of God’s second greatest gift – the sanctity of marriage. In less than 40 years from legalizing abortion in the U.S., legalizing an abomination for the first time in human history – the so called “marriage” of two men, or two women has been imposed by judges, mostly, and a vote of the people in a few cases. The destruction of Christian society is at hand. To date, the Catholic Church, founded by Jesus Christ, has failed in her responsibility to arm and protect her people against these unending attacks by Satan against God. Why? Because the modern church has saddled up to government to implement duties Jesus directed the Church to do itself. He never directed his disciple to go get Caesar to take care of the poor.

    How does limitless abortions have anything to do with what Pope Francis wants to compare it to – born people able to fight to protect themselves, even fleeing from harm in boats on open waters. If their own common sense does not enable them to do it safely, don’t go putting blame on some government that didn’t get emergency help out to them in time. I’m reminded of the images of the South Vietnamese people desperately trying to climb aboard a single helicopter, hovering over the rooftop of a building, via a single ladder that has people on every wrong hoping there will be room for them, and the military person assisting the emergency evacuation cutting the line off for safety of those aboard when there was no more room, during the fall of Saigon, a fall that only occurred because the Democrats in Congress, lead by Catholic Senator Edward Kennedy, reneged on our country’s treaty promise to fund South Vietnam’s military needs to defend itself after we withdrew our forces three years earlier.

    I hold the Catholic Church responsible for the evil running wild on the earth today. And our new Pope isn’t going to make it any better because he is a governmentalist.

  15. “I wonder if these migrants lost at sea are fleeing Islam . . .”
    It is my understanding that many of the migrants are in fact Muslim, and have no intention to leave Islam once they move to a country that respects religious freedom and allows them to choice to leave Islam (leaving Islam in Saudi Arabia is a very dangerous thing to do.) And these Islamic migrants bring with them a disgust for “infidels”. Indeed, there were 15 Muslim migrants charged in the death of 12 Christians
    So no, they are not all fleeing Islam it would seem. Non-Muslim may be fleeing Islam, but the Muslims themselves may only be fleeing the very violence and corruption their own religion encourages.

  16. Thank you for pointing out the primacy of abortion as the foremost life issue. Pope Francis, like quisling Cardinal Dolan and many other bishops, is too comfortable in his “seamless garment.” Popularized by the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin Archbishop of Chicago, this philosophy downgrades the “unspeakable crime” of abortion (Gaudium et Spes, 51, http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19651207_gaudium-et-spes_en.html) To one among many lesser issues, such as immigration and prison reform. EWWW.

  17. I’m just going to point out that it was the author who wrote this article who stated and implied that Pope Francis said they are comparable tragedies. Truth is the Pope said that they were the same type of tragedy. Which is not the same thing. Read his actual quote again. Just because he said they are both attacks on life doesnt mean he believes that they are on the same level.

    If the qoute was “Apples are fruit. Oranges are fruit.” And the author of this article has taken that and run with it to mean the Pope believes apples are akin to oranges when its just not the case.

    Both abortion and the ignoring of refugees who ultimately died are wrong and crimes against humanity. Both deserve coverage and need to be talked about in a similar way because they both concern human life. Does that mean we should switch which topic to be the most important? No. It just means this is happening and we need to do something about it.

  18. “And the author of this article has taken that and run with it to mean the Pope believes apples are akin to oranges when its just not the case.”

    Rocksalt and oranges means the comparison is much farther off base than mere apples and oranges. Abortion is the great moral issue of our time, and people who attempt to argue that their issue du jour should be linked to abortion are wrong. Pope Francis should let other issues stand on their own merit, or fall due to their lack of merit, without trying to support them by equating them with the horror of abortion that takes 42 million lives each year.

  19. Let’s try another way. Let’s say that on the southern border of the US there are snipers deployed. Whenever an immigrant is seen crossing the border, they are free to shoot to kill. If the immigrants are not shot on crossing but caught further in the US, they are taken to special centers and killed. Some are killed by dismemberment. Others are killed by having a needle placed at the base of their skull and their brains sucked out. This is standing government policy and approved by the Supreme Court. Not only that, international organizations such as the UN support the policy and promote it in other countries. There are also private organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that fund policies such as this overseas. Finally, it is also a central plank of the Democratic Party. There were roughly 1.2 million immigrants killed in the US in 2014 by this policy.

    Now let’s say that abortion is illegal in the US. Police actively seek out clinics where abortion is performed and stop them. The abortionists are arrested and sent to jail and the women seeking abortion are taken to legitimate health clinics and taken care of until they deliver. Once they deliver, their babies are provided good homes. In spite of these efforts, 1800 abortions take place in the US in 2014. This due to the inability of the police to find all abortion clinics.

    Of course, the two cases are very different. In the first, there is the deliberate and actively promoted killing of others. In the second, there is the clear effort to stop deaths but the unfortunate reality of the limits of human capabilities in preventing all evil outcomes.

    Now, in the course of the above scenario the Pope says “Leaving our unborn brothers in abortion clinics to die is an attack against life similar to killing immigrants.” I think it would be reasonable in this situation to say the Pope has it wrong.

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