In a stunning break with Pope John Paul II’s insistence that abortion should always be discussed as the murder of an innocent child, Pope Francis instead adopted the linguistic rhetoric of the abortion and population control lobby. Addressing participants of Italy’s fifth annual March for Life this past Sunday, Pope Francis encouraged the crowd to “pray for the babies who are at risk of the interruption of pregnancy.” In order to ensure that there was no translation error, we found an Italian news source for the comments, and a video of Pope Francis giving the address.
Beginning at the 0:45 mark of the video of Pope Francis’ address, he very clearly says, “stiamo vicini e insieme preghiamo per i bambini che sono in pericolo d’interruzione della gravidanza.” Translated, the bolded and underlined portion literally means “the interruption of pregnancy.” There is, however, an Italian word for abortion, and if Pope Francis had wished to be more specific, he would have said, “di aborto.”
Pope John Paul II, in Evangelium Vitae paragraph 58, makes very clear the importance of not using the dehumanizing language of the abortion lobby. In fact, he warned against using the very phrase Pope Francis used in his address; “interruption of pregnancy.” He said:
Especially in the case of abortion there is a widespread use of ambiguous terminology, such as “interruption of pregnancy”, which tends to hide abortion’s true nature and to attenuate its seriousness in public opinion. Perhaps this linguistic phenomenon is itself a symptom of an uneasiness of conscience. But no word has the power to change the reality of things: procured abortion is the deliberate and direct killing, by whatever means it is carried out, of a human being in the initial phase of his or her existence, extending from conception to birth.
Even more distressing is the pope’s use of ambiguous language regarding abortion as the Vatican prepares to host a number of population control experts at a conference specifically crying about overpopulation.
From Feb. 27 – March 1 of this year, the Pontifical Academy of Science and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences will be holding a “Workshop on Biological Extinction.” The introduction to the workshop, under the heading “How to Save the Natural World on Which We Depend,” specifically complains about the increase of the world’s population. It says:
It is estimated that at the time of Christ, there may have been 300 million people globally; now there are 7.3 billion. Some 11% of the world world’s ice free land surface have been converted to crop agriculture, another 20% to grazing, most of it unsustainable, on natural grasslands. It is obvious that many of the kinds of organisms that occurred 10,000 years ago have already gone extinct, and that we are dealing with a reduced set of the organisms that existed when agriculture was first adopted by our ancestors. What percentage would have been lost in this period is unknown, but on islands it seems to have been a majority, and on continents a large percentage also. Our civilization and our numbers grew in a relatively stable period of climate following the last expansion of continental ice sheets about 26,500 years ago, and we are now profoundly damaging the conditions under which our numbers have increased from about 1 million to about 7.3 billion people, with a net of 250,000 extra people every day.
The stated purpose of the workshop is to find a way to “reorder” humanity’s priorities through a “moral revolution.” Considering that several of the presenters at the workshop are population control advocates, it shouldn’t be too difficult to conclude what sorts of solutions the participants will find.
Below is a list of participants in this workshop, followed by their views on contraception, abortion, and population control.
Prof. Werner Arber – He’s the president of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and will be giving the opening remarks at the workshop. In a 2013 interview Arber told CNN that he is “uncomfortable with the Vatican’s insistence that condoms aren’t the right way to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS,” calling it “unrealistic.” In the same interview, Arber suggested that he hopes that Pope Francis will “move things forward” in this regard.
In 2014, the Pontifical Academy of Science, of which Arber is the president, held a meeting on “Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature, Our Responsibility.” According to the publication, Religion Dispatches, “Werner Arber, the head of the Academy of Sciences and a Nobel laureate in medicine was asked by a Hong Kong attendee Hsin-chi Kuan if he believed in birth control. Arber replied that he did.”
John Bongaarts – He is a vice-president at the stridently pro-abortion, pro-contraception Population Council. His presentation at the Vatican workshop is titled, “Population: Current State and Future Prospects” In February, 2016, Bongaarts argued that within 10 years, “women everywhere should have access to quality contraceptive services” in order to “slow down population growth.” In an August 2016 letter to the Guardian, Bongaarts called for Family Planning programs to be reclassified as a development intervention for “sustainable development.” In a 2011 article on Planned Parenthood, Bongaarts heavily advocated for increased use of birth control in order to reduce “unwanted pregnancies.” Writing for the Planned Parenthood affiliated Guttmacher Institute, Bongaarts provided strategic measures for increasing contraceptive use in Africa.
Gretchen Daily – She is a professor in Environmental Science at Stanford University. Her presentation at the Vatican workshop is titled, “How do We Stem Biodiversity Loss? – Natural Capital Project.” She co-authored a book with population control enthusiast Paul Ehrlich called the Stork and the Plow. A few excerpts of the book show that Daily is a strident proponent of the use of contraception for the purpose of population control, including the use of abortion as a “backup.” Here are a few excerpts from the book:
“Few would claim that it should be a major means of fertility control, but until safe, convenient, and reliable contraception is available and universally practiced, abortion clearly will continue to be utilized by women with unwanted pregnancies.”
“We might be more sympathetic with the Church’s stand on abortion but for its retrograde policies on the use of contraceptives (even shamefully opposing the life-protecting use of condoms for prevention of AIDS) and its antique views of sexuality. Few humane people believe that abortion is a desirable method of birth control. Most people, including us, would like to see safe, effective methods of contraception made available to all sexually active people, along with competent instruction on their use and medical follow-up when appropriate. If that were the situation, “backup” abortion would rarely be needed and often could be accomplished with RU-486 or similar methods, and the abortion controversy might simply fade away. The Vatican must bear a heavy moral responsibility for the terrorizing of hundreds of thousands of women seeking abortions in the United States and the staffs of clinics trying to help them. The propaganda, organizational skills, and financial resources of the Church, backing the idea that killing a fertilized human cell is equivalent to murder, sadly also helped create a social atmosphere conducive to the murders in 1994 of two doctors, two receptionists, and a volunteer at a US family planning clinics that provided abortions, not to mention innumerable bombings and arsons that have endangered lives.”
“We recognize that cultural patterns of which we approve, such as using contraception (and abortion as a much less desirable backup) to limit reproduction, are judged immoral by others. While we disagree with that judgment, we believe it is a legitimate one – in the sense that there is no reason simply to accept all cultural practices as morally valid and equivalent.”
Partha Dasgupta – He is a member of the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences and a professor of economics at Cambridge University. He will be outlining the goals and objectives of the workshop with Peter Raven, giving a presentation with population control guru Paul Ehrlich titled, “Causes and Pathways of Biodiversity Losses: Consumption Preferences, Population Numbers, Technology, Ecosystem Productivity,” and he will also be going over the summary and conclusions of the workshop again with Peter Raven. Dasgupta is a major proponent of contraception and population control. The Lepanto Institute previously profiled Dasgupta in an earlier report on the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. A key quote of Dasgupta’s encapsulating this idea can be found in an article he wrote for Science Magazine titled, “Pervasive Externalities at the Population, Consumption, and Environment Nexus.” In the article, Dasgupta argues that population growth is placing an undue burden on available resources, decrying the lack of availability and use of contraception. He says:
“Family planning is not subject to the play of “free markets”; it is biased by restrictive laws, widespread misinformation, and rules not based on evidence (13–16). The unmet need for family planning is substantial. For example, the proportion of women in Malawi who either want to delay their next baby or stop having children altogether, but who are not using contraception, is ~25%. Women who have greater autonomy are better equipped to surmount the many barriers that often prevent easy access to family planning. When the barriers are few, as in Indonesia, the use of contraception and the TFRs (Total Fertility Rates) among the highest- and lowest-income quintiles are similar (15). When the barriers [to acquiring contraception] are numerous, as in the Philippines, the poor both have more children and a greater unmet need for family planning. Access to family planning can be increased relatively quickly compared with other approaches to lowering TFRs, such as improving women’s education (although the alternatives may be synergistic). Forty percent of the world’s population (including countries with TFRs as high as 6 as recently as 50 years ago) now have TFRs that are at or below replacement level. The aggregate demand for environmental resources is, in part, a function of humanity’s population size. Whether world population reaches 8 billion or 10 billion in 2050 and whether it reaches 15 billion or 17 billion in 2100 will depend on small differences in average family size, which could be highly influenced by rebuilding the focus on family planning.”
Paul Ehrlich – He is a professor of population studies at Stanford University and will be giving a presentation with Partha Dasgupta titled, “Causes and Pathways of Biodiversity Losses: Consumption Preferences, Population Numbers, Technology, Ecosystem Productivity.” As previously stated, Paul Ehrlich is a major proponent of population control who co-authored The Stork and the Plow, which heavily advocates the use of contraception for population control with abortion as a “backup” (see above). Ehrlich is also the author of the population-control advocacy book The Population Bomb, in which he advocates for forced abortion and sterilization. In the Population Bomb, Ehrlich wrote:
“Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society.”
In 2008, Ehrlich wrote a paper for the National Academy of Sciences titled, “Where does biodiversity go from here? A grim business-as-usual forecast and a hopeful portfolio of partial solutions.” In the article, Ehrlich said:
“Although population growth has slowed or is slowing in many developed countries, it remains high in many developing regions. Much is known about how to hasten the transition to a stable and then declining world population. Education and employment—for women especially—along with access to contraception and safe abortions are the most important components.”
Peter Raven – As indicated above, Raven will be giving the opening and closing remarks at the workshop. He will also be giving a presentation titled, “Life on Earth: Numbers of Species of Different Groups; Current Extinction Rates.” In the Acknowledgements section of the Population Bomb, Ehrlich thanked Raven for his ideas and endorsement of the book. He says:
“First and foremost I am indebted to my colleagues in the Population Biology Group, Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University. They have spent many hours discussing the population problem with me and have made many helpful suggestions. The following have taken the time to read and comment upon the entire manuscript: David M. Bell, Peter F. Brussard, Valerie C. Chase, Lawrence E. Gilbert, Jr., John A. Hendrickson, Jr., Richard W. Holm, Andrew R. Moldenke, Dennis R. Pamell, Peter H. Raven, Margaret A. Sharp, Michael C. Singer, and John H. Thomas. I have been associated with Professors Holm, Raven, and Thomas in work on the “population explosion” for many years. Much of their thinking is incorporated in this book—I have shamelessly pirated their ideas without crediting them individually. In spite of this they have been kind enough to endorse the ideas expressed.”
Martin Rees – He is a professor of astronomy at Cambridge University and will be giving a presentation titled, “Extinction: What it Means to Us.” In a 2009 statement to Reuters, Rees advocated for increased access to and use of contraception in order to stem the problem of overpopulation. The article from Reuters provides his statements:
Birth control and new technologies — not lifestyle change alone — may be needed to head off a combined climate, food and energy crunch later this century, said the head of Britain’s science academy Martin Rees.
“There should not be any stigma in providing women with ways of getting out of ignorance, poverty and getting access to contraceptives,” said Rees, president of the Royal Society, at the Reuters Global Climate and Alternative Energy Summit.
“I think population issues need to be higher up the agenda because population beyond 2050 is very uncertain. There should not be any stigma against stronger efforts to give women in Africa more empowerment.”
There will be more than 1 billion extra people in Africa than now by 2050 said Rees, who added the continent by then would have three times the population of Europe — which had triple Africa’s population in 1950.
Rees gave two priorities for policymakers now to maintain food, energy and low-carbon air supplies later this century: “Substituting as quickly as possible fossil fuels and doing all we can to ensure the global population doesn’t continue rising after 2050,” he told Reuters in London.
Ann Kinzig – She is a professor of life sciences at the University of Arizona and will be giving a presentation titled, “The Consequences of Biodiversity Loss for Human Well-being.” She co-authored a book titled, “Surviving Sudden Environmental Change.” In the book, the authors fear-monger about population growth and complain about religious discouragement on contraception and population control. On page 16, it says:
“Populations doubled in twenty years and then again in another twenty years, with no increase in basic resources to sustain more people. With population control (family planning, contraception) discouraged by religious and political authorities, the result of the benign interventions in a few generations has been greater unemployment, underemployment, and malnutrition than there was in the beginning.”
As the Church’s consistent and immutable teachings on marriage, human sexuality, contraception, and worthy reception of the Holy Eucharist remain under a steady barrage of attacks, the Church’s enemies are clearly meeting in Rome with Vatican oversight. These are indeed confusing and dangerous times, but Our Lady made clear in Her promises that recourse to the Rosary will save many souls. No human power or authority can stand against the onslaught of the enemy, but as St. Pio of Pietrelcina said, “The Rosary is THE weapon.” Pope Blessed Pius IX said, “Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world.” Each of us has a weapon, and the time to use it is now. The 100th anniversary of Fatima is fast approaching, and the enemy is at the gate.
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!