Vatican double-talk on the unborn

SIR – In your leading article of February 10, you ask whether those unhappy with many of the words and deeds of Pope Francis are a recognisable group, and you cite vaticanista Marco Politi who believes they represent – as you gloss it – “a pious, clerical-led reaction to Francis’s far-reaching reforms”.

You then list a number of reasons for unhappiness with the Pope’s programme, yet fail to mention one of the largest groups whose members are almost unanimously apprehensive as to Francis’s approach to their concerns. I refer to dedicated pro-life activists in many countries: members of organisations certainly not normally “clerical-led” (though good bishops and priests will strongly support them), but who notice that while Pope Francis repeats that he is opposed to abortion and other anti-life procedures, he also suggests that the lives of millions of the unborn should be put on the backburner and condones the appearance of some of the world’s most energetic abortion supporters at Vatican events. Such are Jeffrey Sachs – right-hand man of George Soros, the billionaire notoriously spending his wealth on undermining Church teaching – and Dr Paul Ehrlich, who advocates abortion (not even excluding forced abortion and sex-selective abortion) on a massive scale to defuse a hypothesised “population bomb”.

An unwillingness to speak out unequivocally – that is, not from two sides of the mouth – on pro-life issues has long been apparent among many of our higher clergy. (Long ago I was asked by a journal to review a book on the subject, Catholics against the Church, dealing with the situation in Canada: the review remained unpublished).

It is extraordinary how little many Catholics, including bishops, are willing to do to protect the unborn.

There are strong grounds to fear that double-talk from the Vatican will make things even worse in this area, for both our clergy and laity know well how unpopular you can be with the secular elites if you are too bothered about the killing of millions. Nonetheless, I consider this aspect of current Vatican policy deserved treating in your editorial.

​How to continue reading…

This article appears in the Catholic Herald magazine - to read it in full subscribe to our digital edition from just 30p a week

The Catholic Herald is your essential weekly guide to the Catholic world; latest news, incisive opinion, expert analysis and spiritual reflection