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The Pontifical Academy for Life Is No More

by Christopher A. Ferrara
November 11, 2016

Following Francis’ purge of the Vatican’s entire apparatus dealing with marriage, family and the defense of life, and the appointment of a raft of reliably progressive Bergoglians, the Pontifical Academy for Life has effectively been put out of commission.

As LifeSiteNews reports, the new statutes for the Academy delete “the requirement for members to sign a ‘Declaration of the Servants of Life,’ an avowal geared to members who are physicians and medical researchers, which makes explicit the members’ willingness to follow Church teaching on the sacredness of human life and an obligation to not perform ‘destructive research on the embryo or fetus, elective abortion, or euthanasia.’”

A look at the unambiguous pro-life provisions of that Declaration, which Francis has now junked, reveals the import of the purge of the Academy:

1. In the presence of God and men, we, the Servants of Life, declare that every member of the human species is a person.

2. The care due to each does not depend on the age of persons or the kind of illness they may suffer from. The same human being continues his or her life process from conception until death.

3. The fertilized egg, the embryo, and the fetus may not be given away or sold. They may not be denied the right to progressive development in their mother's womb and may not be subjected to any kind of exploitation.

4. No authority, not even the father or the mother, may take the life of the unborn. A Servant of Life may not perform actions such as destructive research on the embryo or fetus, elective abortion, or euthanasia.

5. We declare, furthermore, that the sources of life must be protected. The human genome, which is the patrimony of all humanity, may not be the object of ideological speculation, commerce, or patenting.

6. Wishing to perpetuate the Hippocratic tradition and conform our practice to the teaching of the Catholic Church, we reject all deliberate damage to the genome, all exploitation of gametes, and all induced deterioration of human reproductive functions.

7. The relief of suffering, the cure of illness, the safeguarding of health, and the correction of hereditary defects are the purpose of our work, with constant respect for the dignity and sacredness of the person.

As Life Site notes, even before the purge the Academy had already provoked controversy on account of such things as its hosting of a conference in 2012 that appeared to condone in vitro fertilization as a reproductive “technique,” even though it involves the deliberate destruction of human embryos.  Now, however, the Academy seems to have been positioned for a programmatic departure from Church teaching in keeping with the abandonment of the Declaration.

If that claim seems excessive, consider an appalling revelation about the Academy’s new statutes by its newly appointed President, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, a proponent of Holy Communion for public adulterers in “second marriages.”  Paglia, Life Site reports, “explained that the new statutes will help coordinate the work of the Academy in connection to other curial bodies, but extend beyond that. He added that the PAV will henceforth also collaborate with ‘ … other academic institutions, including those that reflect belief systems and cultures different from ours, that are active like us in this very sensitive and developing field of study.’”

Belief systems and cultures different from ours? In other words, instead of simply defending the Church’s infallible teaching on the inviolable sacredness of human life, it appears the Academy will now engage in the “moral ecumenism” introduced by Amoris Laetitia, which reduces moral absolutes to “general rules,” purports to see “positive elements” in objectively sinful behaviors, and situates what the Church has always condemned as intrinsically evil acts on a continuum of more or less good behavior, albeit falling short of “the ideal.”  

Just as other religions are now said to possess “elements of sanctification,” other “belief systems and cultures” whose ethics contradict Catholic teaching will be viewed as possessing “elements of morality.”  The radical difference between right and wrong will be blurred just as there has been a blurring of the radical difference between the one true religion founded by God Incarnate and assorted religious sects founded by men.

Finally, consider this gobbledygook, which replaces the Academy’s former statement of purpose:

“The Academy has a task of a prevalently scientific nature, directed towards the promotion and defense of human life (cf. Vitae Mysterium, 4). In particular, it studies the various aspects that relate to the care of the dignity of the human person at the different ages of existence, mutual respect between genders and generations, the defense of the dignity of each single human being, the promotion of a quality of human life that integrates material and spiritual value, with a view to an authentic ‘human ecology’, which may help to recover the original balance of Creation between the human person and the entire universe (cf. Chirograph, 15 August 2016).”

Notice that the concept of “defense of life” has been converted from the protection of the sanctity of life against attacks in the form of abortion, contraception and euthanasia — which is why the Academy was formed in the first place — to a free-floating, politically correct sociological project embracing everything from “gender equality” to “human ecology.”

In sum, the Pontifical Academy for Life is no longer the Pontifical Academy for Life.  Only the name remains unchanged. Here, as elsewhere, the advance of the Bergoglian juggernaut continues at a breakneck pace, leveling everything in its path. Only God knows how much more damage the Church will suffer as the prophecy of the Third Secret unfolds before our eyes. 

May the inevitable divine intervention come soon!  Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!