“In a February 8 interview with one of Italy’s most prominent dailies, Corriere Della Serra, Pope Francis praised Italy’s leading proponent of abortion – Emma Bonino — as one of the nation’s ‘forgotten greats,’ comparing her to great historical figures such as Konrad Adenauer and Robert Schuman. Knowing that his praise of her may be controversial, the Pope said that she offered the best advice to Italy on learning about Africa, and admitted she thinks differently from us. ‘True, but never mind,’ he said. ‘We have to look at people, at what they do.’
At 27, Bonino had an illegal abortion and then worked with the Information Centre on Sterilization and Abortion which boasted over 10,000 abortions. There are famous photos of Bonino performing illegal abortions using a homemade device operated by a bicycle pump. Arrested for the then-illegal activity she spent a few days in jail and was acquitted and entered politics.
When she was appointed Italy’s foreign minister in 2013 there was a general outcry from life and family leaders at the appalling situation.
Responding to the Pope’s praise of Bonino, pro-life leaders in Italy expressed disbelief. ‘How can the pope praise a woman that is best known in Italy for practicing illegal abortion and promoting abortion?’ commented Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro, who was until last year the head of the Rome office of Human Life International.”