Joseph Hippolito, Suffer the Little Children. For centuries, the Catholic Church represented unmitigated opposition to abortion. But as recent events seem to indicate, Pope Francis is preparing to sacrifice that historic position — and those it protects — on the altar of his globalist agenda.
On May 7, Cardinal Luis Ladaria issued a letter from the Vatican discouraging American bishops from preventing elected officials who support abortion to receive Communion. Only the pope himself ranks higher as a theological authority than Ladaria, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Ladaria released the letter after several bishops publicly said Joe Biden, the virtual president who supports abortion, should not receive Communion. San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone even wrote a forceful pastoral letter on the subject, without mentioning Biden. But other bishops, such as Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington, D.C., said they would welcome Biden at Communion.
A church-going Catholic, Biden was denied Communion by a priest in Charleston, S.C. while campaigning in that state in 2019. Since replacing President Donald Trump, Biden has used legislation and executive action to give abortion providers nearly $500 billion from taxpayers.
At that pace, Biden will have provided more federal funding for abortion than any President in American history.
The Catholic catechism describes abortion a “moral evil,” quotes a pastoral letter in calling it and infanticide “abominable crimes,” and demands excommunication for anyone involved in “formal cooperation.” Catholic canon law also states that Catholics “persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion,” and that Catholics who “are conscious of grave sin” must not receive Communion “without previous sacramental confession.”
If giving $500 billion to abortion providers fails to constitute “formal cooperation” with a “moral evil,” then what does?
But Ladaria’s letter not only appears to contradict canon law. It de-emphasizes abortion as a moral criterion.
Ladaria wrote that any policy the American bishops develop “would best be framed within the broad context of worthiness for the reception of Holy Communion on the part of all the faithful … reflecting their obligation to conform their lives to the entire Gospel of Jesus Christ as they prepare to receive the sacrament.”
“It would be misleading,” Ladaria added, “if such a (policy) were to give the impression that abortion and euthanasia alone constitute the only grave matters of Catholic moral and social teaching that demand the fullest level of accountability on the part of Catholics.”
Ladaria even described Catholics who support abortion as “pro-choice.” Observers believe his letter was the first official Vatican document to use the term.
Ladaria’s letter demonstrates how Francis need not make a formal announcement to nullify teaching on abortion. The pope merely can let it wither through neglect. Even if the catechism and canon law state moral theology and penalties, those are worthless if nobody enforces them.
Francis’ relaxed attitude also revealed itself one day before Ladaria issued his letter, when the Vatican began a three-day conference on health care. Some of the main speakers held positions that opposed Catholic moral teaching.
For example, Chelsea Clinton, vice-chair of the Clinton Foundation, supports Roe v. Wade passionately. Yet that support provided no impediment for her to participate in a panel on “Building a More Equitable Health Care System for All.”
Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes for Health, spoke on “Bridging Science and Faith” despite his support for research using fetal tissue. Moderna’s presence provided an even more significant clue to the church’s direction.
Moderna not only supplied major funding for the conference. CEO Stephane Bancel addressed the potential for experimental mRNA vaccine therapy, the basis for the firm’s Covid-19 vaccine, beyond the pandemic. But Moderna used aborted fetal cells to produce the spike protein for its vaccine.
Five months earlier, Francis gave permission for Catholics to use Covid-19 vaccines made from aborted fetal cells. A letter Ladaria issued Dec. 20 allowed their use “when ethically irreproachable Covid-19 vaccines are not available.”
“The moral duty to avoid such passive material cooperation is not obligatory if there is a grave danger, such as the otherwise uncontainable spread of a serious pathological agent,” the letter continued. “Those who, however, for reasons of conscience, refuse vaccines produced with cell lines from aborted fetuses, must do their utmost to avoid, by other prophylactic means and appropriate behavior, becoming vehicles for the transmission of the infectious agent.”
In other words, protection from Covid-19 matters more than using ethically reproachable vaccines.
Opposing abortion proves inconvenient beyond Francis’ pandemic policies. It threatens his desire to make environmental sustainability and economic redistribution the hallmarks of his papacy. Two encyclicals, Laudato Si on the environment and Fratelli Tutti on economic equity, express Francis’ fundamental worldview.
Consider the words of Cardinal Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, the chancellor of the Pontifical Councils of Science and Social Science.
“Right now, those who are implementing the Church’s social doctrine the best are the Chinese. They search for the common good and subordinate everything to the general welfare,” Sorondo said in 2018 during diplomatic negotiations between China and the Vatican.
Sorondo even praised China’s implementation of Laudato Si for “defending the dignity of the person” and “assuming a moral leadership that others have left,” meaning the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on carbon-dioxide emissions.
Never mind that China ranks among the world’s worst air polluters, performs between 10 million and 23 million abortions a year — many of them forced by the government — and persecutes Christians who worship outside of state-approved churches.
Perhaps the most alarming indication of Francis’ long-term intentions is Jeffrey Sachs’ status as a papal advisor on sustainability. Sachs, an economist from Columbia University, wrote the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. He also supports abortion as a means to limit world population.
In his book “Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet,” Sachs called abortion “a lower-risk and lower-cost option” to prevent the birth of “unwanted children.” Legalizing abortion, Sachs wrote, “reduces a country’s total fertility rate significantly, by as much as half a child on average.”
Why would any pope, let alone Francis, have someone with Sachs’ views as an advisor? Because Francis represents the logical consequence of the Vatican’s embrace of materialist humanism, as FrontPage Magazine detailed last year in “The Roman Globalist Church” and “The Vatican vs. Trump.” That embrace includes endorsing global governance.
In 2009, Benedict XVI crystallized nearly five decades of Vatican thought in his encyclical, Caritas et Veritate. Francis’ predecessor advocated that the United Nations govern international and domestic economics.
“There is a strongly felt need … for a reform of the United Nations … and, likewise, of economic institutions and international finance, so that the concept of the family of nations can have real teeth,” Benedict wrote. “To manage the global economy … to bring about integral and timely disarmament, food security and peace; to guarantee the protection of the environment and to regulate migration: for all this, there is urgent need of a true world political authority.”
Such an authority, Benedict wrote, must “have the authority to ensure compliance with its decisions from all parties” as it seeks to “establish the common good.”
So what is that common good? A “directed” global economy that will “open up the unprecedented possibility of large-scale redistribution of wealth on a world-wide scale,” Benedict wrote, including “a worldwide redistribution of energy resources, so that countries lacking those resources can have access to them.”
Benedict’s objectives match the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Francis is accelerating the pace to reach those objectives. On May 14, one week after Ladaria’s letter to the American bishops, the Vatican held another conference, “Dreaming of a Better Restart,” that featured two sessions. Sachs participated in the first, “Financial and Tax Solidarity.” John Kerry, Biden’s climate envoy, gave the keynote address for the second, “Integral Ecological Sustainability.”
Then on May 25, Francis announced creation of the Laudato Si Platform, a seven-year campaign dedicated to environmental rescue. The campaign includes fighting climate change and implementing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Francis described the campaign as part of a larger effort to emphasize what he called “green economics,” “green education” and “green spirituality.” Kerry — another Catholic who supports legalized abortion — praised Francis as “one of the great voices of reason and compelling moral authority on the subject of the climate crisis.”
A voice that roars to support obtuse environmentalist ideology becomes muted when confronted with unborn human beings.