Pope Francis condemns surrogacy and calls for universal veto on the practice

Rome – Pope Francis on Monday called for a universal ban on the “reprehensible” practice of surrogacy, and the “commercialization” of pregnancy, in an annual address that listed threats to global peace and human dignity.

In a speech on foreign policy to ambassadors accredited to the Holy See, Francis lamented that 2024 begins at a historical moment in which peace is “more endangered, weakened and partly lost.”

The Pope cited Russia’s war in Ukraine, the war between Israel and Hamas, the climate and migration crises and the “immoral” production of nuclear and conventional weapons among a long list of evils affecting humanity and growing violations of international humanitarian law. . That makes them possible.

But Francis also mentioned smaller-scale issues that he said threaten peace and human dignity, including surrogacy. Francis said the life of the unborn must be protected and not “suppressed or turned into a commercial product.”

He said, “I condemn the practice of so-called surrogate motherhood, which seriously offends the dignity of women and children and is based on the exploitation of the material needs of the mother.”

The Pontiff urged the international community “Bann this practice universally”,

Francis has previously expressed the Catholic Church’s opposition to what he described as “womb-for-hire” and some countries ban the practice, such as Spain and Italy. However, at the same time, official Vatican doctrine has made clear that gay parents who resort to surrogacy can baptize their children.

In his summary of the geopolitical situation, Francis specifically mentioned Russia, noting that “the large-scale war waged by the Russian Federation against Ukraine” has stopped. It was a rare break from Francis’ habit of avoiding directly blaming Moscow for the invasion while expressing solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

Francis was more neutral in lamenting Israel’s war in Gaza, condemning the October 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel and “terrorism and extremism of any kind.” At the same time, he said the attack provoked “a strong Israeli military response”, leading to thousands of deaths and a humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

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