27 October 2021

Pope Francis Appoints Population Control Advocate to Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences

Mark Lambert takes a look at Francis's appointment of a prominent 'population control' (read 'abortion') advocate to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

From De Omnibus Dubitandum Est.

By Mark Lambert

Jeffrey Sachs is an advocate of population control who has been increasingly involved in Vatican policy under Pope Francis. Sachs has dismissed the human rights atrocities against the Uyghurs as “propaganda” against the Chinese government but backtracked in 2018, tweeting he was “trying to understand” the situation.

According to Yuichiro Kakutani, writing in The Washington Free Beacon last November, Sachs has maintained “a long relationship with the Chinese government and business elite, which can be traced back to at least the early 2000s.”

Sachs's economic philosophies have been the subject of both praise and criticism. Nina Munk, author of the 2013 book The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty, says that, although well intended, poverty eradication projects endorsed by Sachs have years later "left people even worse off than before".

This morning the Vatican announced that Sachs had been appointed an ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences as reported here by Edward Pentin on Twitter:
For those of us monitoring the degradation of the Pontifical Academy for Life during this pontificate, this seems perfectly consistent.

In February, CNA asked Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences -- you remember him? The guy who said “Those who best realize the social doctrine of the Church at this time are the Chinese.” see here -- why the academy had featured Sachs with such frequency at Vatican conferences.

"Because he integrates the magisterium of the Church and of Pope Francis into economics by putting the human person and the common good at the center," the bishop said.

Sachs has written that one "key to sustainable development" is the "stabilization of the global population" through "the reduction of fertility rates."

"The reduction of fertility rates should be encouraged in the poorer countries as well. Rapid and wholly voluntary reductions of fertility have been and can be achieved in poor countries. Success at reducing high fertility rates depends on keeping girls in school, ensuring that children survive, and providing access to modern family planning and contraceptives," he wrote in a CNN op-ed in 2011.

When asked about this statement by Sachs and the concerns raised by some Catholics, Sorondo responded that Sachs said this in 2011.

"Now he has changed," the Argentine bishop commented.

To be honest, it would be more of a shock if the Pope appointed someone who is actually an advocate of Catholic teaching to a position these days. This is typical of his approach. 

For example, with population control, he demonstrates a pathological determination to avoid addressing Sach's big strategy in Laudato sii, as I explained in more detail in this post, but then promotes Sachs with his other hand.

It seems very similar to his strategy with abortion. He makes public statements that condemn abortion; these are unambiguous and even convince those quite prepared to criticise the Pope when necessary, like me and Damian Thompson:

He then meets the President of Ireland, a man who recently signed the abortion bill into law in Ireland, and says: “Today I did not just meet a man, a President, I met a wise man of today. I thank God that Ireland has such a wise man as its head [of State].”

Or he meets Nancy Pelosi very cordially and publicly, while her Archbishop is engaged in a very difficult and public discourse of her support of extreme pro-abortion legislation.

This leaves those who want to be loyal to the Papacy in a really awkward position, as is very clearly demonstrated by this interview with Archbishop Cordileone who has been put in an almost impossible position by Pope Francis.

Pope Francis maintains the façade of faith while perverting the contents. He’s been “incremental” and a lot of folks are frogs wondering why the water is getting so warm.

At what point does this become untenable? The word in Rome is that Pope Francis has become irrelevant and is no longer listened to. But is this good enough when he is actively damaging the faith in such a serious way?

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