Action Alert!
Catholic World News

Pro-life Dobbs decision is an attack on women’s liberty, another new member of Pontifical Academy for Life says

October 24, 2022

On October 15, Pope Francis named Roberto Dell’Oro, Director of the Bioethics Institute and a Professor in the Department of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University (California), as one of 14 new ordinary members of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

Three days earlier, Dell’Oro strongly criticized Dobbs v. Bolton, the June Supreme Court decision that restored to states the ability to offer legal protection to unborn human beings.

“In the potential conflict between a woman’s claim to autonomy and a state’s right to determine the future of her pregnancy, the Dobbs decision sides with the latter over the former, rejecting any space of ‘personal liberty’ for women, even in cases of rape or incest,” said Dell’Oro, according to a report from the Catholic News Agency.

“To impose a choice on women over matters that belong to their most intimate sphere threatens to compromise their integrity, bodily and otherwise, as persons,” he added. “It also undermines basic requirements of tolerance toward the pluralism of moral perspectives within society. In matters of personal life, a democracy differs from a totalitarian regime because it maximizes, rather than restricts, a space of personal freedom for all citizens, including women.”

Loyola Marymount University, where Dell’Oro teaches, is an apostolate of the Jesuits’ USA West Province.

On October 15, Pope Francis also named Mariana Mazzucato, another supporter of abortion “rights,” to the Pontifical Academy for Life. The Pontifical Academy circulated a statement to journalists defending the appointment. Later, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life since 2016, personally defended the appointment. (See Phil Lawler’s commentary.)

According to the Pontifical Academy for Life’s statutes, promulgated by Pope Francis in 2016, ordinary members are appointed on the basis of their “promotion of the right to life of every human person,” among other qualifications. In this, the Pontifical Academy for Life differs some of the other pontifical academies, such as the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences, whose statutes call for academicians to be appointed simply “on the basis of their competencies in the social sciences and of their moral integrity.”


For all current news, visit our News home page.

Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a current donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

  • Posted by: jalsardl5053 - Oct. 26, 2022 9:44 PM ET USA

    If the pope wasn't so well informed about his archbishops to consciously pass over anyone "traditional" or "conservative" I'd go along with the advising theory.

  • Posted by: feedback - Oct. 24, 2022 9:53 AM ET USA

    Dobbs was about the lack of Constitutional grounds for Roe. Someone hired to be a "University Professor" should figure this much.