Pro-Choicer Appointed to Key Vatican Pro-Life Think Tank

By John Zmirak Published on June 14, 2017

Imagine how we would feel if Planned Parenthood appointed to its board of directors someone who:

  • Opposed late term abortion.
  • Affirmed that unborn children are full human persons at some point during pregnancy.
  • Used her credibility as a pro-choice feminist to discredit the central pro-abortion arguments.

How would we feel about that? I think we’d be excited. We’d see that as progress. We’d think that public pressure was moving the needle a bit in our direction. Even more encouraging if Planned Parenthood had fired the rest of its board. Purged it of purists. If empty spots on that board looked like they might go to other “moderates.”

Unexplained Purge at the Vatican’s Pro-Life Thinktank

Now flip that situation around, to see what is really happening. Pope Francis has purged the entire faculty of the Pontifical Council for Life. It was founded by Pope John Paul II as a thinktank and action center to combat what he called the “Culture of Death.” One of its first appointees (and its leader) was the great Dr. Jerome Lejeune. That pioneering researcher had discovered the genetic basis of Downs Syndrome.  But Lejeune had been purged from mainstream academia and starved of research funds. Why? Because he opposed what he called the “genocide” aimed at unborn handicapped children. The Council for Life offered him a haven, a place full of allies, a nerve center where the fight for human life could be mapped out throughout the world.

Pro-Choice Philosopher Appointed

All wiped out. Gone. For reasons that are not public, the pope made a clean sweep of the Council for Life. Now he’s filling its positions again from scratch. So far he has reappointed a few of the solid people who were (for unknown reasons) dismissed. But he has made one pick so far that deeply troubles prolifers. As LifeSiteMews reported:

Among the 45 new members Pope Francis has appointed to the Pontifical Academy for Life is an Anglican minister who has argued that abortion should be legal until “18 weeks after conception.”

He said that “it is not true that all abortion is equivalent to murder.”

University of Oxford Professor Nigel Biggar, who was appointed to the Academy for a five-year term, stated in a 2011 dialogue with pro-infanticide ethicist Peter Singer that a preborn baby is “not … the same kind of thing as an adult or a mature human being” and therefore does not deserve “quite the same treatment.”

“I would be inclined to draw the line for abortion at 18 weeks after conception, which is roughly about the earliest time when there is some evidence of brain activity, and therefore of consciousness,” he said as reported by Standpoint magazine.

Then, one year later, when he was the keynote speaker for an event at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, he said that “it is not true that all abortion is equivalent to murder.”

Pope Francis began his overhaul of the Academy last year by creating new statutes, that among other things, no longer required that members sign a declaration to uphold the Church’s pro-life teachings. The Pope’s next move was to then remove all of the academy members while promising to make new appointments himself. 

Former academy member Judie Brown wrote in an article earlier this year that she was shocked by what she called Francis’ move to “deconstruct” the Academy that was once considered a bastion of orthodoxy. 

“The Pontifical Academy for Life is undergoing an overhaul by Pope Francis and his political operatives within the Vatican’s hierarchy, and it is one of the most heartbreaking events I have seen in my lifetime. But given the politics of the Vatican, it is not surprising,” she wrote at that time. 

A Moderate on Abortion

Now, Biggar is not an extremist. (Unlike Paul Ehrlich, the population crank invited to a recent Vatican conference on biodiversity.) Biggar doesn’t favor abortion for all nine months, or forced sterilization. Biggar is well-known for opposing assisted suicide. That’s good to hear.

On abortion, he dates the beginning of life by the presence of brainwaves. That’s the same criterion we use for the end of life. If we protected all babies with brainwaves, many thousands would be saved. Many women do not even realize that they are pregnant by 18 weeks. For a secular intellectual unconvinced that man is made in the image of God, there is a certain internal logic here: Make brainwaves the “bookends” that mark off what’s fully human and alive from what is not yet or not any longer. Yes, it’s wrong. But it’s a long way from the Democratic Party’s support for abortion for all nine months for any reason.

So if Biggar got appointed to the Planned Parenthood board, that would  be progress. It would mean that those leaders in the fight for untrammeled “reproductive rights” were losing confidence. They were responding to public pressure. Maybe they were ready to offer some compromise. Prolifers would rightly see it as blood in the water.

Under previous popes the Vatican stood prophetically (and almost alone) against the destruction of unborn children for our sexual convenience. Catholic laymen led the fight against abortion.

Of course, those pro-abortion groups are making no such appointments. Planned Parenthood, instead, is shoveling money to politicians like Kamala Harris. Before she was a U.S. senator, Harris prosecuted journalists. Why? For documenting Planned Parenthood’s crass trade in unborn baby parts.

A Loss of Nerve or Change of Direction?

No, it is the Vatican that is purging its ranks and appointing “moderates.” This institution under previous popes stood prophetically (and almost alone) against the destruction of unborn children for our sexual convenience. Catholic laymen led the fight against abortion. We were thrilled when millions of evangelicals discovered the issue and joined the fight. Even now, public opinion seems to be swinging in our direction.

But the Vatican under Francis wants to strike a different note of prophecy. Instead of resisting the culture of death, with his actions with the Pontifical Academy of Life the pope has struck a note of compromise. But not on all issues. He also boldly stepped forward … and condemned the very same things that secular progressives like to condemn:

  • An “unrestricted capitalism” that doesn’t even exist.
  • A future apocalypse caused by Westerners using our air conditioners.
  • A wave of “xenophobia” among nations already overwhelmed by immigrants and led by multiculturalists.

Without invoking (or imperiling) the infallible authority that Catholics believe a pope has, he can still make policy decisions that are very damaging indeed.

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  • ” … affirmed that unborn children are full human persons at some point during pregnancy.”

    What point?

    • Zmirak

      From his comments, it would appear that he thinks it’s 18 weeks, when brain waves start, and when he’d outlaw abortion.

    • GPS Daddy

      At what point does God consider a “fetus” a person? That is the question. We are not our own maker. We are designed. The question then becomes what does the designer think. Our opinion is irrelevant.

      Now the question becomes how do we know what the designer thinks? That question is beyond the scope of this comment…

      • ImaginaryDomain

        Good point. Abortion destroys the designer’s design, and it is done so for purely selfish reasons.

      • Maggie Sullivan

        This is a very easy question……”When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb,”…..the Holy Spirit calls a baby in the womb a baby – case closed.

        • GPS Daddy


  • ImaginaryDomain

    Geee…what a shocker. More confusion from the CC about fundamental Christian principles. I am so done with the CC. Every time I think I’ll give it another shot, they come out with more nonsense.

    • Stephanie Reese

      Please don’t give up on the Church. Remember, she is full of saints AND sinners. Pray for her leadership but please don’t abandon her. Jesus said the powers of death shall not prevail against it. Remember that Christ gave us the priesthood which gives us the sacraments. Nothing can change the fact that (even through a bad priest) we receive the body, blood, soul, and divinity of our Lord at every mass. Pray for our Church and the whole world. God bless.

      • ImaginaryDomain

        Thank you for that…I play guitar in my church band, so I’m hangin’ on here!

  • Howard Rosenbaum

    Yeah, it’s a tough time to be a Catholic w/biblical convictions on these matters. It’s an even tougher time to be an unborn child developing inside the womb of a contemporary “pro choice” Catholic. Especially before “roughly” 18 weeks after conception. Being a believer of
    Jewish heritage of the secular variety & not formally associated w/any denominational, evangelical or fundamentalist “party line’, I’m distanced from the sense of betrayal that must be felt by the faithful in an organization straying from it’s biblical roots. Perhaps this is one way God will be separating the sheep from the goats. The Master did say He was returning for a church that would be united. Believers may never be of one mind on every matter, but they must be of one “heart’ where the foundational concepts of the faith are concerned .
    Ones beliefs about the sanctity of life may not prevent one from coming to faith in Christ.
    But those beliefs will determine the tenor of that ones faith & consequently both the direction & strength of that faith …

  • davidrev17

    It is written:

    “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and HANDS THAT SHED INNOCENT BLOOD, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.” (Proverbs 6:16-19 – emphasis added.)

    “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: FOR THE LIFE OF THE FLESH IS IN THE BLOOD, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul….FOR THE LIFE OF EVERY CREATURE IS ITS BLOOD: ITS BLOOD IS ITS LIFE. Therefore I have said to the people of Israel, You shall not eat the blood of any creature, for the life of every creature is its blood…” (Leviticus 17:1, 11,14 – my emphasis again.)

    ☆ ☆ ☆

    Hmmm…I sure hope that adequately addresses the issue of when Homo sapiens’ life begins – since it’s scientifically irrebuttable that this “life” of ours begins at conception. Maybe this “God’s-eye” view, is actually the crux of the abortion debate, huh? After all, this ain’t rocket-science; and we ain’t nearly as smart & wise as we fancy ourselves to be either.

    Also, while I’m on the subject of our blood, and the scientific fact of its seemingly miraculous properties: what of that very curious reality of the “universal donor” & “universal recipient” in rational/moral Homo sapiens’ blood supply; of which just happened-upon-the-scene here (in textbook fortuitous evolutionary-speak) on this “finely-tuned living organism” called earth – where ALL “life” has been scientifically described in the 21st-century as precariously, yet exquisitely, “balanced upon a razors-edge? Anyone remember the “work” of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah?? (i.e., Hebrews 9:22)

    I think we should be far-more concerned, or ultra-sensitive, to what the Creator of this entire “contingently existing” universe (thus everything within it) thinks – regarding our existence & purpose here while we temporarily inhabit His “Privileged Planet,” as a “Privileged Species” – as opposed to what the Pope, or any other human has to say about this issue, of which is clearly “above OUR pay-grade” to begin with?

    Besides, if we just “run-the-historical-tape” of this universe’s formation, backward in time to “the beginning” – of which cosmologists, astrophysicists et al. have been doing in their research for decades now – we find that an infinite regress of events is an utter “physical” impossibility. At least by conceptualizing this, it should be somewhat elementary to recognize that we Homo sapiens aren’t “causally” responsible – either sufficiently or necessarily – for our miraculous existence here on earth!

    • faithful

      Here Here – right on Brother

      • Knowledge Transfer

        Fire begins at the instant of combustion not at some arbitrary and capricious time like when someone smells something burning; when someone sees smoke; when someone sees flames; when someone calls the fire department; when the fire department arrives; or when the fire department shoots water on to the flames. Life begins at the instant of conception. From then on everything that happens is part of the life cycle up to natural death. Viability is built-in at all such stages. Moreover, it would be easy to argue that those who viciously pick on those who can’t fight back or escape are themselves not viable and thus can be picked on by those who want to pick on them. If it is permissible for big people to pick on little people who can’t fight back or escape, then surely it must be permissible for big people to pick on other big people who can fight back and escape. Otherwise, don’t we have DISCRIMINATION????

  • Dean Bruckner

    Sorry to say this, but communists and antichrists do things like this. So do the unregenerate and foolish, like Jimmy Carter. Please God, let this pope be none of these!

  • Patmos

    Asking, “What would you like me to do to please you?” has been a great contributor to the demise of Protestant churches here in America. It’s a shame to see it infect the Catholic Church as well. Apostasy does not have to be met with indignity. If anything it should be met with a certain level of excitement, as these things were said to be coming.

    • Patmos

      Be ye not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

  • Jack Bonenberger

    According to the Bible, life is in the blood. So, where there is blood, there is life. However, if the purpose of this group is to assemble a Think Tank designed to approach the subject from every angle, it might be beneficial to have alternate thinking people involved in the process. In every business I was associated with, it was understood that if two people agree on everything, then one of them isn’t necessary.

  • FreemenRtrue

    Poopus Goofus the First  is a hairy tick.

  • Maggie Sullivan

    A “moderate on abortion”… is he for murdering tens of millions of children rather than hundreds of millions?

  • Knowledge Transfer

    Jorge Bergoglio [aka Pope Pandemonium] is a premeditated perversion within Roman Catholicism. I would trust this Marxist myrmidon to lead a group in silent prayer. Destroying the RCC from the outside-in has frequently failed; but from the inside-out
    destruction can bear rotten fruit. Infiltration and infestation by Free Masonry and Communism [both of which helped engineer the superfluous Vatican II] welcomed into the RCC the “Smoke of Satan” – confusion; convolution; ambiguity; and vagary. The once morally mighty RCC [save for remnants] defined as One; Holy; Catholic; and Apostolic no longer exists. It has been transformed into little more than a social uplift union devoid of moral militancy; yet another Protestant denomination; or a political party campaigning for votes by telling people what they want to hear. The church militant has been morphed into the church marshmallow. Bergoglio isn’t a Pope or a Prince of the Church or a prelate within the RCC. He is a liberation theology Communist Manifesto inspired pervert and he is a Jesuit [the once stellar Society of Jesus] which much like the core RCC has been engineered into the Society of Judas. Bergolio is in concert with those who rule this world and want to force upon this world a one size fits all government and a one size fits all religion thus enslaving the world into a land of ever decreasing lemmings.

    It is vital to remember that the RCC is not the Vatican which is basically a bureaucratic government. The authentic RCC is
    the Triune God – the Blessed Trinity.

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