Pope Francis has called the practice of having an abortion after pre-natal tests have discovered possible birth defects a version of Nazi attempts to create a pure race by eliminating the weakest.
The Pope made the comparison in a long, off-the-cuff address to a members of a confederation of Italian family associations.
“Children should be accepted as they come, as God sends them, as God allows, even if at times they are sick,” he said.
Francis spoke of pre-natal tests to determine if a fetus has any illnesses or malformations.
He said: “The first proposal, in that case, is: ‘Should we get rid of it?’ The killing of children. And to have a more tranquil life, an innocent is done away with.
“I say it with pain. In the last century the whole world was scandalised by what the Nazis did to pursue the pureness of the race. Today, we are doing the same thing, with white gloves.”
At the same meeting, Francis also said only heterosexual couples can form a family.
“It is painful to say this today: People speak of varied families, of various kinds of family... [but] the family [as] man and woman in the image of God is the only one,” said the Pope, according to ANSA, the Italian news agency.
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