In his address to the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations in Rome, the Pope spoke strongly against the "throwaway culture" that is widespread today.
He cited the 1974 document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration on Procured Abortion, 11: “The first right of the human person is his life. He has other goods and some are more precious, but this one is fundamental – the condition of all the others."
And the Holy Father continued: "Care for human life in its totality has become in recent times a true and fitting priority for the Church’s Magisterium, especially for the most defenseless: the disabled, the sick, those about to be born, young children, the elderly, those who are most vulnerable.
"In the vulnerable human being, each of us is called to recognize the face of the Lord, who in his human flesh experienced indifference, and the solitude to which we often condemn the poorest, both in developing countries and in countries that are well-off.
"Every unborn child, unjustly condemned to be aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ, the face of the Lord, who, even before he was born, and then as soon as he was born, experienced the rejection of the world. And every elderly person (I just spoke about the child, but let’s also consider the elderly) every elderly person, even if sick or at the end of their life, bears the face of Christ."