Media frenzy follows Pope Francis’s ‘Gaudete et Exsultate’

Abortion made national news again yesterday as Pope Francis released an Apostolic Exhortation called “Gaudete et Exsultate.”

Here’s one paragraph from the document:

“Our defence of the innocent unborn, for example, needs to be clear, firm and passionate, for at stake is the dignity of a human life, which is always sacred and demands love for each person, regardless of his or her stage of development.”

If reporters stopped reading there, there wouldn’t have been a story because the media rarely reports the pope’s statements in defense of life.

But this paragraph followed, and with it came some gleeful media misinterpretation:

“Equally sacred, however, are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned and the underprivileged, the vulnerable infirm and the elderly exposed to covert euthanasia, the victims of human trafficking, new forms of slavery, and every form of rejection.”

The headlines that followed were so remarkably similar, it got me wondering if Planned Parenthood had written them:

NPR:Caring For Migrants Is As Important As Opposing Abortion, Pope Says

NY Times:Pope Francis Puts Caring for Migrants and Opposing Abortion on Equal Footing

CNN:Pope Francis says helping the poor and migrants is as important as opposing abortion

Wall Street Journal:Pope Says Fighting Poverty Is as Essential as Opposing Abortion

Reuters:Fighting social injustice as important as fighting abortion: pope

Catholic and pro-life news outlets took a more comprehensive look at the entire document, not just those two paragraphs, and I’m grateful that the National Catholic Register let me chime in with my two cents. You can read my commentary here. 

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