After French MPs voted by an overwhelming majority in favour of inserting a right to abortion in the French constitution, the Vatican broke its silence to condemn the prospect in a firm and unequivocal statement designed to remind us that abortion is murder and that its promotion has no place in a constitutional text.
The Vatican News website, which is the official news outlet of the Holy See, published an editorial on Wednesday, February 7th unreservedly condemning the proposal to enshrine a right—or rather a ‘freedom’—to have an abortion in the constitution of the Fifth Republic.
France is preparing to give itself a “Constitution contrary to life,” said the editorial’s author, Massimiliano Menichetti, a journalist who heads Radio Vaticana and the Vatican News website.
The Vatican News editorial unequivocally recalls the words of Pope Francis during his visit to Slovakia in autumn 2021: “Abortion is murder.” In September 2023, during his trip to Marseilles, the pope also denounced abortion as a “false right to progress.”
The text points out the contradiction that will become entrenched in the French constitution, which will simultaneously declare respect for the human person while also allowing the possibility of causing death. “How is it possible to enshrine a norm that allows the death of a person in the fundamental Charter of a State while at the same time protecting the human person?” The phrase contains a reference to a famous term that has come to define Macron’s presidency: “at the same time” (en même temps), which refers to his many inconsistencies.
In his article, Menichetti expresses concern about the growing divorce between technological and scientific progress, and growing contempt for the dignity of the human person. While human knowledge of the embryo has never been greater, the unborn child is still denied the status of a fully-fledged human person.
Menichetti also denounces all forms of eugenics and manipulation of the embryo, which has been reduced to the status of an object.
Finally, he deplores the inability of the political world to put in place genuine policies aimed at welcoming life and supporting the most vulnerable:
“The challenge is to enact laws and amend constitutions with proposals for life, not for death. Investments and measures to strengthen structures and realities capable of taking care of suffering, fear, and extreme and dramatic situations.”
Although the statement does not come directly from Pope Francis, it is from the Vatican’s official news outlet and it explicitly echoes the pope’s words. It also condemns the proposed constitutional change more vigorously than the French bishops have done. The French bishops’ conference has merely reiterated that all life is a “gift,” to be respected from its origins until natural death—without ever describing abortion as the organised killing of the most fragile of all human beings.