Chilean Catholic Cardinal Celestino Aós Braco corrected the modern notion that abortion is somehow compassionate in a homily Sunday, saying “it’s not mercy for the child that is eliminated.”

Speaking on Divine Mercy Sunday in Santiago, Braco condemned abortion while urging Christians to support people who are struggling, according to the Catholic News Agency.

“It’s not mercy to kill the innocent by abortion,” the cardinal said. “It’s not mercy for the child that is eliminated, nor for the mother to whom they want to present that action as a solution.”

Braco continued: “It’s not mercy to mutilate human beings by not taking care of their development and moral and religious instruction. It’s not mercy, moving forward and abandoning the one who is left behind.”

He encouraged Christians to show God’s mercy to people who are facing difficult circumstances, such as an unplanned pregnancy, according to the report.

“It’s true, we often go through difficult trials but the certainty that the Lord loves us must never wane, his Mercy is also expressed in the closeness in affection and in the support that many brothers offer us when days of sadness and affliction come upon us,” he said.

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Braco reminded the congregation that everyone experiences suffering in life, and God is “never distant” from people in need.

He urged Christians to comfort those who are suffering through affection and prayer, saying: “A word that gives encouragement, a hug that makes you feel understood, a caress that makes you perceive love, a prayer that allows you to be stronger. These are all expressions of the closeness of God through the consolation offered by a brother.”

Chile, like most South American countries, protects unborn babies’ right to life by banning abortions. It allows exceptions in cases of rape, fatal fetal deformities and risks to the mother’s life. In 2021, the Chilean Parliament rejected a bill to legalize the killing of unborn babies in abortions for any reason up to 14 weeks.

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