CNN’s Don Lemon asked Whoopi Goldberg to weigh in on Pope Francis’ visit to the United States and the Catholic Church’s teaching on abortion.
Goldberg, a self-described “humanist,” said, “This is the first time since probably John XXIII that I have been reinterested and reinvigorated, because this guy, you know, he read the book. He gets it.”
“This guy,” to the co-host of The View, is Pope Francis, and “the book,” is The Bible.
“So if he says, listen, I don’t think you need to be obsessed with gay people,” she continues, “I don’t think that’s what we need to be thinking about. I think we need to be thinking about how do we make our church better? How do we make our church more inclusive?”
According to Goldberg, Pope Francis said, “You know, quit hurting women’s feelings about having gotten an abortion. I don’t want women to get abortions but I understand why they do.”
Lemon further tested Goldberg’s theological knowledge of the Church’s position on abortion.
“You said, there is nothing in The Bible about abortion,” he said. “Someone would challenge you and say, ‘What about thou shall not kill?’”
“Well, if that’s the tactic we are going to take, we have to be pissed at every war and all the things we do,” Goldberg responded.
“Now, no one goes into getting an abortion like it is a party,” she continued. “You know what I mean? This is a hard decision for 97% of the women in the world to make. So you shouldn’t be beating them up, because they have had to make this terrible decision. It’s not your business that they had to make the decision.”
Like many who are more often bashing the media image of the Catholic Church while overlooking its actual teachings, Goldberg fails to separate the Church’s condemnation of the act of abortion – the taking of a human life – from the Church’s compassion for the woman in distress.
“Sitting on her daytime throne at The View,” Duca adds, “she churns out illogical and offensive comments with the force and regularity of one of those ball machines for people who don’t have a friend to play tennis with.”
Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, perhaps more charitably, observes to Breitbart News the lack of logic in Goldberg’s thought process of proclaiming Pope Francis as the Church’s leader who finally “gets it.”
“By implication, Goldberg contrasts Pope Francis to Pope John Paul II -though she should not forget that Pope Francis canonized him,” he says. “It was Pope John Paul II who wrote to women who have had abortions.”
Pavone quotes Saint Pope John Paul II:
I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. To the same Father and to his mercy you can with sure hope entrust your child. With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone’s right to life. Through your commitment to life, whether by accepting the birth of other children or by welcoming and caring for those most in need of someone to be close to them, you will become promoters of a new way of looking at human life (The Gospel of Life, #99).
“These words not only convey the eagerness of the Church to forgive, but also the understanding of the difficult and painful circumstances that lead to an abortion,” Pavone continues. “That understanding is not something new that Pope Francis brings to the Church for the first time, and Pope Francis would be the first to say so.”
Pavone notes that women who have undergone an abortion experience pain not just from the circumstances leading up to the abortion, but also from the abortion itself.
“Those who advocate listening to and trying to understand these women need to listen to them when they tell of the pain and devastation abortion brings,” he urges.
The pastoral director of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, Pavone observes that through this international program, both women who have had abortions and other family members can say, “I Regret My Abortion.”
“They do not say that because the Church is hurting them, but because abortion is hurting them,” he continues. “Many of them, in fact, found the faith and the Church only after they got tired of the pain of the abortion.”
Pavone’s leadership in the Catholic Church’s longstanding ministry to women who have had abortions is also evident in Rachel’s Vineyard, the world’s largest ministry for healing after abortion.
“Since the mid 1990’s, this ministry has brought countless women, men, and families into a compassionate, confidential environment where they could process their experience of abortion and bring the wounds to a merciful Jesus, with the power of his Word and sacraments,” Pavone explains. “Rachel’s Vineyard is officially sponsored by Catholic Dioceses around the world, as are multiple other healing programs.”
“The Church doesn’t beat up on women who have had abortions,” Pavone concludes. “That’s just an impression some have when they watch Whoopi Goldberg on TV.”