The Holy Father called for a decisive defense of life on Wednesday during a press conference with journalists flying with him on Alitalia Flight 777 to Brazil.
At Wednesday morning's conclusion of the 45th General Assembly of the National Brazilian Bishops Conference in Itaici, the prelates expressed their shared concern to educate consciences and fight abortion.
"The devaluation of human dignity and the lack of criteria based on Gospel teachings are at the base of the belittling of human life, which is fermenting the growth of violence in our country,” the bishops said during a discussion on the political situation in Brazil.
They added: "We renew our condemnation of all the attempts to legalize abortion and the manipulation of human embryos for therapeutic reasons. We must defend life from conception to its natural end."