By Dave Andrusko
”Pope Francis begins Polish Trip with Strong Defense of Unborn” is how the official Vatican News Service described the Pontiff’s first day. Part of his busy itinerary is leading World Youth Day festivities in Krakow.
According to Kathleen Naab, Pope Francis’s first address, which came just an hour after he arrived Monday for his five day trip, “emphasized the duty of the state to assist mothers in welcoming life.”
Speaking to government authorities and other civil leaders, Pope Francis said
“All of us are called to respect life and care for it. On the other hand, it is the responsibility of the State, the Church and society to accompany and concretely help all those who find themselves in serious difficulty, so that a child will never be seen as a burden but as a gift, and those who are most vulnerable and poor will not be abandoned.”
Meanwhile, the Catholic News Service reported that today Pope Francis visited the patients of Prokocim University Pediatric Hospital, a children’s hospital in Krakow. He expressed his solidarity with the sick and lauded the hospital in its caring for “the smallest and most needy,” showing his gratitude to those present for “this sign of love.”
“To serve with love and tenderness persons who need our help makes all of us grow in humanity. It opens before us the way to eternal life,” the Pope said July 29 to the patients, their families, and their caretakers.
“Those who engage in works of mercy have no fear of death,” he added.
Poland is a pro-life nation with very protective laws which pro-lifers wish to strength further. Naab explained, “For the last several years, pro-life groups have sought a constitutional amendment to protect the unborn, and this summer, a new civil initiative to ban abortion was again successful and stands to be debated by government.”