Vatican Archbishop Blames Pope Francis for Pro-Abortion Appointment

Mariana Mazzucato
Alessandra Benedetti - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images, David Levenson/Getty Images

ROME — The head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, has blamed Pope Francis for naming pro-abortion economist Mariana Mazzucato to the Academy.

Coming under pressure for the bewildering nomination that caused consternation for many Catholics, Archbishop Paglia insisted in a November 9 letter to the editor of the Italian daily Il Foglio that the decision “was a pontifical appointment” as Pope Francis has himself reiterated.

In his letter, the archbishop was referring to recent declarations by the pope defending his choice of Mariana Mazzucato for the Pontifical Academy for Life, despite her well-known support for abortion.

Women “know how to find the right way, they know how to move forward,” the pope told reporters aboard the papal plane returning from Bahrein to Rome last weekend. “And now I have put Marianna Mazzuccato in the Pontifical Academy for Life. She is a great economist from the United States, I put her there to give a little more humanity to it.”

Paglia asserted that in its critique of the pope’s decision, Il Foglio should have focused more on Mazzucato’s accomplishments in economics rather than her position on abortion.

Mariana Mazzucato, professor at University College London (UCL), during a Bloomberg panel on day three of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, May 25, 2022.  (Hollie Adams/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Economic science “has assumed great importance in determining and conducting the fate of politics and social life,” he wrote. “Mazzucato has positions that can be easily interpreted by expert eyes and minds in the field where she is competent.”

I would have expected “criticism, appreciation, and analysis on the economic theories for which the professor has devoted herself,” he added, and which made her a resource to this Academy “for identifying ways to alleviate inequalities in the world and, therefore, to favor life.”

“Since 2016, Francis has expressly clarified how it was appropriate for the Academy over which I preside to broaden the spectrum of the areas of its research to include fields hitherto little or not at all explored,” he declared.

“You will agree with me that, being the president of an Academy, I am called to evaluate academics according to the criteria of the academic world,” he stated.

In an official response to the archbishop, Matteo Matzuzzi of Il Foglio said he found no objection to the fact that an academy must open itself to fields that have little or no exploration, but hastened to add that “appointing an openly pro-abortion economist as a member of a pontifical academy, and moreover that ‘for life,’ is something quite different.”

Such an appointment makes it difficult “for a simple believer to remember the pope’s words according to which abortion ‘is murder and it is not permissible to become accomplices in it,’” he wrote.


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