Pope Francis delivered a somber, serious catechesis about children and the family with roughly 50,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.
With a heavy tone, he described many of the traumas children face. The pain of children, he said, is a cry that directly hits God's heart.
"We think about the children who are unwanted or abandoned, children in the street, without education or health care, ill children who have their childhood and youth stolen ... It's a disgrace to society and a cry of pain that directly hits the heart of God our Father.”
He went on to denounce hunger, poverty and child exploitation. He then expressed disappointment in systems that claim to defend fundamental rights but in reality attack them.
When it comes to responsibility, he called on adults to face up to their actions and their consequences. He said it's up to grown ups to ensure that no child grows up feeling like a mistake.
"When children come into this world, no sacrifice endured by adults will be deemed too expensive or too heavy to bear. Especially if it prevents children from thinking that they are a mistake or worthless, or if it protects them from being abandoned from the wounds of life and arrogance of mankind. Children are not a game.”
The Pope also talked about the problems children face in first world countries. He said that kids are the first to suffer from immature marriages and irresponsible separations. He added that children also are hurt when their parents are underpaid and overworked by their employers.
Even though he didn't use the word 'abortion' outright, he did say it's shameful to consider a child as a mistake.
"From the first moments of their lives, some are rejected, abandoned, and robbed of their infancy and future. Some even dare to say, as a way of justifying their actions, that it was a mistake to bring them into this world. This is shameful. Let's not impose our own faults on children, please. Children are never a mistake.”
Pope Francis also discussed how parents often make sacrifices for their children. He then called on Christians to reflect on how they too, could lend a helping hand.