Pope Francis Urges Global Ban on Surrogate Motherhood
In a recent address to ambassadors accredited to the Holy See, Pope Francis called for a worldwide ban on surrogate motherhood, denouncing it as “despicable” and a violation of human dignity. The pontiff outlined a range of threats to global peace and human dignity, including surrogacy, Russia’s war in Ukraine, the Israel-Hamas conflict, migration, climate crises, and the production of nuclear and conventional weapons.
While the Vatican has previously expressed opposition to surrogacy, referring to it as “uterus for rent,” it does allow for the baptism of children born to same-sex parents who use surrogacy. The Vatican’s stance on in vitro fertilization is also one of opposition.
Surrogacy contracts are prohibited in certain parts of Europe, but remain common in the United States. Critics argue that it primarily targets poor and vulnerable women, exploiting their bodies for the benefit of others. However, supporters contend that it provides childless couples with the opportunity to have children and that commercial contracts safeguard both surrogates and intended parents.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has cited Pope Francis’ opposition to surrogacy, declaring it “morally impermissible” according to Catholic teachings. The pope’s stance on surrogacy aligns with his broader position on upholding human dignity and the sanctity of life.
In his address, Pope Francis advocated for diplomatic dialogue in addressing global conflicts, including Russia’s war in Ukraine, Israel’s war in Gaza, and humanitarian and refugee crises in Africa. He condemned military coups and elections marred by corruption and violence in African countries, emphasizing the immorality of these actions. Furthermore, the pontiff stressed the importance of recognizing civilian victims of war, particularly those affected by the production and possession of nuclear weapons.
Overall, Pope Francis called for a global society that values and upholds the dignity of every individual at every stage of life. His remarks on surrogacy demonstrate a continued commitment to Catholic teachings and the promotion of human dignity on a global scale.
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