The Catholic Church has always taught that the definition of “life” is very clear, from conception until natural death. However, the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life made a strange statement in which he said that the academy must alter the definition of what “life” means according to a report:
The president of the Pontifical Academy for Life has declared that the academy must broaden its scope and welcome non-Christian “experts.”
Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, 74, presented the speech at Loyola Marymount, a private Jesuit university in Los Angeles, yesterday. After introducing the pontiff’s January 6 letter Humana Communitas, the prelate explained that Francis wishes both the Academy for Life and the John Paul II Institute, of which Paglia is grand chancellor, to work “more broadly.”
“The Academy in particular is to become more and more a place of competent and respectful meeting and dialogue among experts, including those from other religious traditions as well as proponents of world views the Academy needs to know better in order to widen its horizons,” he said.
Paglia promised that both foundations would “protect and promote” human life and assured “friends” and “enemies” that “our dialogue with others who do not share our understanding of God’s fruitful love and of the nature of the human family and its challenges, does not mean that we are abandoning Catholic orthodoxy.”
But Paglia also made it clear that the pope wants them to widen their horizons.
“We must also make it clear that the Pope wants the Academy, and the Institute, to (1) widen its scope of reflection, not limiting itself to addressing ‘specific situations of ethical, social or legal conflict,’ (2) articulate an anthropology that sets the practical and theoretical premises for ‘conduct consistent with the dignity of the human person,’ and (3) make sure it has the tools to critically examine ‘the theory and practice of science and technology as they interact with life, its meaning and its value,’” he said.
One widening Pope Francis and Paglia envision is a rejection of absolute norms regarding human life and a redefinition of what it means.
“[Francis] warns us that it is risky to look at human life in a way that detaches it from experience and reduces it to biology or to an abstract universal, separated from relationships and history,” Paglia said.
“Rather, the term ‘life’ must be redefined, moving from an abstract conception to a ‘personal’ dimension: life is people, men and women, both in the individuality of each person and in the unity of the human family.”
There is a reason that the word “pontificating” is used to indicate a speech that is given is a way that can be long, somewhat confusing, and difficult or troublesome to understand or for the listener. The above statement is an example of such as the meaning given may be difficult to ascertain.
This problem of doling out unclear statements is central to the issues facing the Church today, where unfortunately, many unclear statements with potentially major consequences are made but not pronounced to be true, instead being left to float out in the realm of ideas where they can be defined unofficially to a individual or group liking.
This is not a way to “lead” in anything, but to set the scene for the propagation of heresy, especially if it is not dealt with clearly.
The definition of life is very clear. It does not need to be amended in any way, especially when the meaning of the term is under scrutiny. One does not change the “rules” of a game if the game is in progress, so there is no answer that can be given other than a potentially nefarious purpose at work here being done in the name of a type of unclear progress, updating, or clarification.
Notably, Paglia referred only to the “family” of the Blessed Trinity and to the “human family” — i.e the human race — but not once to the kinship groups most commonly known as “families.” He also decried a “schism” between the individual and the human community and warned that technology is “becoming” a threat to human life.
The archbishop briefly mentioned the controversies around the changes that have swept the pro-life institutions originally founded by John Paul II. In October 2016, Pope Francis promulgated new statutes for the academy, which included the dismissal of its life members and the inclusion of new members of dubious orthodoxy. Then, in September 2017, Pope Francis refounded and renamed the Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family.
Most recently, the students and faculty of the “John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences” were dismayed to discover that the entire teaching staff had been temporarily suspended, two of its tenured professors dismissed, and advertised courses eliminated.
Paglia’s response was that the “theological basis” of Humana Communitas will inevitably “overcome” concerns.
“In his letter, the Holy Father attempted to give us such a solid and loving theological basis for the work of the Academy that we will be able to address and overcome the concerns and the hesitancies that have greeted the renewed structure of the Academy (and I might add of its sister entity, the John Paul II Institute as well),” the archbishop said.
This second part clarifies the concerns that one might have. If there is a kind of internal trouble taking place in the academy right now, and at a time when many Catholics have noted that the faith seems to be under a strange assault from without as well as from within her own ranks, why is this an ideal time to have a discussion such as this about an already settled matter? It does not make any logical sense at all unless, as noted above, it is being done for sinister purposes.
As I noted before, and as Walid has pointed out, the eventual goal will be to unofficially strip the Church of her ability to function while stripping nothing officially, only giving the appearance and enforcing a false idea that such has taken place when nothing of the sort in reality has at all. This will culminate in the destruction of the mass and the cessation of the grain offering of Daniel 9. This is but one part of working towards this.
When that cessation does happen, by whatever route, then one knows that very great and terrible things are happening, and that it is not time to fight a battle, but to seek the wise counsel of scripture and to run to the hills and seek the mercy of God for a world begging for divine wrath and fire from Heaven.