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Another Peculiar Friend of Francis

by Christopher A. Ferrara
May 27, 2015

In my column of May 19 I discussed the strange case of the Pope’s trusted ghostwriter and friend, Archbishop Víctor Manuel Fernández, who wrote a book on “the art of kissing” as well as all or most of an apparently withdrawn draft of the upcoming papal encyclical on “climate change” — a matter on which the Pope has absolutely no competence or authority to pronounce in the first place.

But it seems Francis has surrounded himself with strange Latin American friends and associates. And it is they who are helping to make “climate change” the successor to Teilhard de Chardin’s “theistic evolution” in the quasi-heresy department. Another such figure is Francis’ friend and close advisor Archbishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academies of Science and Social Sciences. Sorondo hosted the recent Vatican “climate change” conference featuring Jeffrey Sachs, the militantly pro-abortion director of “The Earth Institute,” and Ban Ki-moon, the equally pro-abortion Secretary General of the United Nations.

The scandal caused by the Vatican giving such a bully pulpit to world leaders of the culture of death prompted Stefano Gennarini of the Center for Family and Human Rights (C-Fam) to pose some written questions to Sorondo, whose catty replies by email revealed him to be every bit as much of an oddball as Fernández.

Asked to address the widespread concern among Catholics about Vatican collaboration with pro-abortion, population control advocates like Ban Ki-moon and Sachs, Sorondo ducked the question with the bizarre reply that opposition comes only from “the Tea Party and all those whose income derives from oil…”

When asked point blank:“Were you aware before your collaboration with Sachs at the Vatican of his public position on abortion… [that] abortion is a ‘low-cost’ and ‘low-risk’ intervention to reduce fertility,” Sorondo bobbed and weaved, prattling on about “new forms of slavery, like human trafficking, forced labor, prostitution, and organ trafficking,” referring in passing to “the drama of abortion, but there are also all these other dramas,” and never addressing the question whether he knew that he was lending the Vatican’s prestige to a prominent advocate of mass murder in the womb.

Pressed on whether he had in fact discussed “Ban Ki-moon’s and Jeffrey Sachs’ position on abortion and population control in the lead up to the conference,” and thus knew just who he and the Vatican were promoting as “authorities” on “climate change,” Sorondo ducked yet again: “Instead of attacking us, why not enter into dialogue with these ‘demons’ to maybe make the formulation better…”

Notice, first of all, the contemptuous quotation marks around the word demons. Sorondo clearly finds it amusing that anyone could be outraged that the Vatican has made common cause with leaders of the culture of death. As for making the “formulation better,” he was referring to drafts of the so-called Sustainable Development Goals that resulted from “dialogue” with Sachs and the other pro-abortion “experts” invited to the Vatican. Sorondo was pleased to inform Gennarini that this “dialogue” had produced drafts that “don’t even mention abortion or population control. They speak of access to family planning and sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.

Sorondo knows quite well that “reproductive health and reproductive rights” are precisely how pro-abortion politicians and activists describe abortion and contraception. His claim that “the interpretation and application” of the phrase “depends on governments” is nothing short of dishonest, as virtually no government in the United Nations interprets the phrase “reproductive rights” to mean anything other than the “right” to prevent the conception of children, or the “right” to abort them when contraception fails.

Thus, with the full support of Francis’ friend from Argentina, the Vatican has countenanced statements supporting worldwide access to contraception and abortion in order to promote “sustainable development.” One can only laugh at Sorondo’s emailed disclaimer — not stated publicly — that “the two academies of which I am chancellor are against abortion and against population control, simply because we follow the Magisterium of the Popes, on which we directly depend.”

First of all, one must oppose abortion not because one “depends” on the “Magisterium of the Popes,” as if the papal teaching were some company policy binding only company employees, but rather because abortion is the murder of an innocent, plain and simple. “Thou shalt not kill” binds not only every Catholic, but every human being on the face of the earth, including Sachs and Ban Ki-moon. The “Magisterium of the Popes” merely defends the universally applicable natural law, it does not create a prohibition only Catholics must observe.

Secondly, to lend the Vatican’s name to a statement calling for “reproductive rights” — understood throughout the world today as “abortion” — is to undermine the very teaching Sorondo purports to uphold. Just how stupid does he think the Catholic faithful are?

Positively ludicrous is Sorondo’s attempt to blame “climate change” for not only poverty but all manner of gravely sinful conduct on the part of individuals: “The climate crisis leads to poverty and poverty leads to new forms of slavery and forced migration, and drugs, and all this can also lead to abortion.” So, according to Sorondo, “climate change” causes poverty and is therefore ultimately to blame for abortion, slavery and drug abuse. It is astonishing that a prominent Vatican prelate could utter such moral nonsense and expect to be taken seriously.

These friends of Francis are no friends of the Church. And with friends like these, the Church has no need of enemies. At the moment she is apparently suffering from an unprecedented supply of enemies within, confirming what the Third Secret foretells as revealed by Pope Benedict on his way to Fatima in 2010: “This has always been known, but today we see it in a really terrifying way: that the greatest persecution of the Church does not come from enemies outside, but arises from sin in the Church.”