Pope Francis said Wednesday that abortion is “murder" but noted that bishops should be pastors instead of taking sides politically, appearing to criticize some of them in the US for the way they dealt with President Joe Biden’s pro-choice stance.
Speaking to journalists on a return flight from Budapest and Slovakia, the Pope said: "Abortion is homicide. Whoever has an abortion kills. It is a human life, period. And this human life must be respected."
He also told journalists that bishops act in a way that is not pastoral but political.
"If we look at the history of the Church, we will see that every time the bishops have dealt with a problem not as pastors, they have taken a political stance on a political problem," he said.
Speaking on same-sex marriages, he said that "matrimony as a sacrament is between a man and a woman."
On COVID-19 vaccine hesitation in some countries, he said there are even some anti-vaxxers in the College of Cardinals, and one of them was hospitalized due to the virus.
"In the Vatican, everyone has been vaccinated except a small group under study to know how to help them," he added.