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Pope Francis names supporter of abortion ‘rights’ to Pontifical Academy for Life

October 18, 2022

Pope Francis has named 14 new ordinary members to the Pontifical Academy for Life and six new members of its governing council.

Mariana Mazzucato, one of the new ordinary members, is an economist at University College London. Around the time of the Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, Mazzucato’s tweets and retweets manifested a support for abortion “rights”:

  • On June 23, the eve of the decision, she retweeted a tweet by Robert Reich: “So states can decide you must carry a fetus but not whether you can carry a concealed gun?”
  • On June 24, the day of the decision, she retweeted a tweet by Nicola Sturgeon: “One of the darkest days for women’s rights in my lifetime. Obviously the immediate consequences will be suffered by women in the US—but this will embolden anti-abortion & anti-women forces in other countries too. Solidarity doesn’t feel enough right now—but it is necessary.”
  • On June 24, she retweeted a tweet by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: “Safe #abortion is health care. It saves lives. Restricting it drives women and girls towards unsafe abortions, resulting in complications, even death. The evidence is irrefutable.”
  • On June 25, she tweeted, “So good!” in commenting on an anti-Christian harangue about abortion.
  • On June 25, she tweeted, “Excellent @ewarren” in reaction to comments about abortion made by pro-abortion Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
  • On July 2, she retweeted a tweet by Bloomberg Quicktake: “‘Safe abortion is health care. It saves lives.’ Earlier this week, WHO’s @DrTedros blasted the Supreme Court’s decision to end the constitutional right to an abortion as a ‘setback’ for the decades-long trend toward safer access.”
  • On July 3, she retweeted a tweet by Robert Reich: “Call me a radical lefty, but I think it should be easier to get a life-saving abortion than an assault rifle.”

According to the Pontifical Academy for Life’s revised statutes, promulgated by Pope Francis in 2016, ordinary members “are appointed for a term of five years by the Holy Father, after hearing the opinion of the Governing Council and on the basis of their academic qualifications, proven professional integrity, professional expertise and faithful service in the defence and promotion of the right to life of every human person” [emphasis added].

The Pontifical Academy for Life is led by a president, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, 77, and a chancellor, Father Renzo Pegoraro.


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  • Posted by: grateful1 - Oct. 20, 2022 4:51 PM ET USA

    This situation is deceitful, delusional, demonic ... or all three. I've never presumed to think of myself as more Catholic than the Pope, but I'm beginning to wonder if I am. Heartbreaking.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Oct. 20, 2022 3:51 AM ET USA

    I appreciate John Hinshaw's sentiment, but we can't ignore Francis' appointments because we are knee deep in the fight: (1) we are orthodox Catholics working to save the Church in the U.S., (2) we have a duty to vote for the most Catholic political candidate in his actions, regardless of his actual political or religious affiliations (e.g., Trump vs. Biden). My opinions on Paglia's suitability to lead any Catholic organization have been published before in this forum and do not need repeating.

  • Posted by: johnhinshaw8419405 - Oct. 18, 2022 9:37 PM ET USA

    Since the Holy Father, who has long shown he is more ignorant of American politics than American Bishops (that's saying something), has appointed an Englishwoman who doesn't like or understand American politics either(as well as motherhood and babies)- it is clear we can completely ignore all of this.

  • Posted by: jalsardl5053 - Oct. 18, 2022 8:57 PM ET USA

    There are no surprises here. Pope Francis named Archbishop Paglia to his post. The abp's position on abortion is quite clear: The president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, on August 28, called Italy’s notorious Law 194 legalizing abortion “a pillar of society,” insisting that no one is looking to overturn it." And his recent adulation of Atheist Radical Party founder Marco Pannella only heaps more fire on the poor choices made.

  • Posted by: frjt - Oct. 18, 2022 11:53 AM ET USA

    Why are we not surprised... It's a fractured papacy & those pushing the agenda own francis' ear..let us pray that Satan has not entered his heart