PopeWatch: Life

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Hattip to Amanda Servello.  Joe Gallagher at Crisis reports that the powers that be at the Vatican are attempting to transform what it means to be pro-life:


Fair is foul and foul is fair at the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV). Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the PAV, recently redefined the term “life” for the Catholic Church, stating that the PAV will now refocus its pro-life mission to include issues of migration, arms control, poverty and the environment. He suggested that to be authentically pro-life is to be pro-life in every way and everywhere. That is true, if we correctly understand the term pro-life. Correctly understood, it means defending innocent human life from targeted destruction from the moment of conception until natural death at all stages of development in every time, place and culture.

We should be extremely wary of accepting any new definition of “life.” The traditional definition only includes the issues of abortion, euthanasia, and bioethical concerns pertaining to embryonic stem cell research, cloning, IVF, etc. It excludes the death penalty, which involves those who are guilty of grotesque crimes such as murder and rape. The convicted may be put to death in rare cases as a matter of justice only after due process and especially if they remain a danger to society, which is in line with Catholic teaching despite Pope Francis’s recent statement that capital punishment always violates the Gospel. It excludes war, which may be waged after discernment for just cause, and killing in self-defense. But it also excludes the new areas of focus of the PAV. I am not suggesting that these issues are not constituent of the mission of the Church, or that they do not impinge on issues relating to human life, but they are not issues related to the Church’s traditional pro-life mission. There are other councils, institutes, academies, etc., wherein such issues should rightly be the focus, but to include them in the PAV is suspect.

This move to redefine “life” is highly disturbing for many in the Church suspicious of Pope Francis, his advisors and appointees, who believe that John Paul II’s original motive for the PAV outlined in his motu proprio Vitae Mysterium to spread the traditional “Gospel of Life” with “the specific task to study and provide information and training about the principal problems of law and biomedicine pertaining to the promotion and protection of life” is being undermined by those hell-bent on reforming Catholicism from within. It doesn’t help that Paglia is also Grand Chancellor of the recently and controversially renamed John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences (which is now to be guided by Amoris Laetitia) who has expressed support for admitting the divorced and remarried to Communion, approved a controversial sex-education program in Spain entitled “The Meeting Point: Project for Affective and Sexual Formation,” commissioned and appeared in a mural on the façade of the cathedral church of the Diocese of Terni-Narni-Ameli that many describe as homoerotic, and, according to some critics, has equivocated on defending the Church’s position on same-sex relationships.


Go here to read the rest.  This attempt to transform the meaning of life calls to mind this quotation from 1984:


By 2050—earlier, probably—all real knowledge of Oldspeak will have disappeared. The whole literature of the past will have been destroyed. Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Byron—they’ll exist only in Newspeak versions, not merely changed into something different, but actually contradictory of what they used to be. Even the literature of the Party will change. Even the slogans will change. How could you have a slogan like “freedom is slavery” when the concept of freedom has been abolished? The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.



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  1. This is the seamless garment that enables “America”, the Jesuit publication, to endorse Al Gore for President way back, in spite of his pro-abortion stance. It is Jesuitical in the extreme.

  2. I get it! Migration is a “life” issue. For example, a Federal judge recently granted the right to sneak into America and obtain a taxpayer-funded abortion.

    These liberal “sacraments” – migration, arms control, poverty and the environment – are four distractions facilitating/rationalizing their tacit support for abortion.

    Dr. Kurland said it much better.

  3. Expect pressure to applied to pro-life organizations to “get with the program” or face abandonment and isolation from many bishops. I’d be surprised if “social justice” advocates will face equivalent pressure to start showing greater concern with the lives of the innocent unborn rather than their current focus on other issues of political concern.

  4. That definition of pro-life is exactly what stupid Catholics used and continue using to justify their votes for Democratic pro-abort candidates the likes of Obama.
    The liberals refuse to connect the dots between abortion and genocide. Abortion is genocide in the black community.

  5. Life begins at procreation. Man’s soul is created in original innocence, moral and legal, in sanctifying grace.
    Man is procreated in original sin, concupiscence. Man comes into the physical world burdened with the battle against all evil.
    Man, body and soul is returned to sanctifying grace in the Sacraments of Baptism, Penance, Holy Eucharist and Holy Viaticum.
    Scraping man’s soul from the womb after procreation is murder.

  6. No Catholic combox is safe from the blogosphere’s resident Feeneyite, no matter how unrelated the topic might be to soteriology.

  7. Richard Malcom, I don’t understand your comment. I know who Father Feeney was. But I don’t see which one of the commentators might be a “Feeneyite”. and please tell me why, if the subject is about right to life issues, how salvation directly enters. (I can see the indirect connection.) My apologies for being dense.

  8. Dr. Kurland,

    Unless I am mistaken, Richard Malcolm may be referring to Lionel Andrades above. But the interested parties can surely speak for themselves.

    That said, nothing coming out of Jorge Bergoglio’s Vatican surprises me any longer. I just despise this Pontificate. I truly do, just as I did the Obama Presidency. Bergoglio may have Trump’s personality, but he’s got Obama’s policies down pat.

  9. The is all part of the merge and then purge strategy so beloved of Pope Francis.
    —First step is to redefine the mission broadly encompassing all elements that can be remotely be contained, e.g., environmental sustainability.
    —-Second, downplay those elements that many in society think inhibit progress, e.g. abortion and euthanasia.
    —-Third, eventually eliminate those inhibiting elements.
    —Fourth, seek a Nobel Peace Price for aiding mankind by eliminating those elements in Catholic morality that militate against sustainability, e.g., protecting life.

  10. To be “pro-life” doesn’t mean never so much as stepping on a bug or bruising a blade of grass. “Pro-life” is an abbreviation for “pro-innocent life in the womb”. Some people get confused by taking the abbreviation literalistically. Other people with pro-death or pro-socialist agendas take advantage of the confusion. Both groups propagate error, the former group unintentionally, the latter very much so intentionally. Beware.

    “Words mean things.”–Rush Limbaugh, American radio commentator

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