Pope Francis called for a universal ban on surrogacy, likening the practice as an unborn child “turned into an object of trafficking.”
“I consider despicable the practice of so-called surrogate motherhood, which represents a grave violation of the dignity of the woman and the child, based on the exploitation of situations of the mother’s material needs,” Francis said in a speech to the Holy See on Monday.
The “uterus for rent” process, as Francis has called it, was estimated to bring in $14 billion in the U.S. in 2022, and is projected to grow to a $129 billion market by 2032. National Review reports Individual surrogacies can cost anywhere from $60,000 to $200,000 plus in the U.S. Rising infertility rates, an increase in the number of fertility clinics, and “sedentary lifestyles” contribute to surrogacy’s recent popularity, according to Global Market Insights.
“A child is always a gift and never the basis of a commercial contract,” Francis continued. “Consequently, I express my hope for an effort by the international community to prohibit this practice universally.”
Surrogacy is already banned in many European countries. In the United States, commercial surrogacy, or for-profit surrogacy, is legal in some states, and the practice has been used by celebrities who are very public with their decision to use surrogacy.
Altruistic surrogacy, the method by which a woman carries another person’s child for no official compensation, is legal in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, South Africa, Greece, and Iceland, according to the National Institutes of Health.
The speech was about threats to peace and human dignity. “A child is always a gift and never the basis of a commercial contract,” Francis continued. “Consequently, I express my hope for an effort by the international community to prohibit this practice universally.”
Francis also listed Russia’s war on Ukraine, the Israel-Hamas war, climate change, and increased weapons production as great threats to peace on Monday.
BREAKING: Pope Francis issued guidance that allows priests to bless same-sex couples
Breaking Monday, Pope Francis issued a guidance to allow priests to bless same-sex couples, in an overhaul of “the classical understanding” of pastoral blessings. As long as a couples don’t conflate a blessing with the ritual of marriage, “an exhaustive moral analysis should not be placed as a precondition for conferring” a blessing, the guidance document says.
The Vatican’s letter clarifies one Francis sent in October, which opened the door for same-sex blessings. Until Monday, the Church barred blessings on same-sex couples, as God “cannot bless sin.”
The Vatican also reiterated in its guidance the long-held Catholic belief that marriage is a sacrament shared only between a man and a woman.
Ultimately, a blessing offers people a means to increase their trust in God,” the document said. “The request for a blessing, thus, expresses and nurtures openness to the transcendence, mercy, and closeness to God in a thousand concrete circumstances of life, which is no small thing in the world in which we live.”
“Homosexuals have a right to be part of the family,” he said in a 2020 documentary. “They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it.”
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