January 6, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Dr. Miguel Nicolelis, a Brazilian neuroscientist who was appointed yesterday to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, is an open defender of the pro-abortion and homosexualist ideology of Brazil’s new president, Dilma Rousseff, LifeSiteNews has learned.
Nicolelis, who teaches in the Department of Neurobiology at Duke University, is known for his pathbreaking experiments with neurologically controlled robotics, but in recent months he has also become known for a public statement made during Brazil’s presidential election indicating that his views on life and family are in deep conflict with the teachings of the Catholic Church.
In an article published on October 26, Nicolelis expresses his outrage at the “hysterical right,” which at the time was campaigning against the candidacy of Rousseff because of her pro-abortion and homosexualist views.
Nicolelis complained that religious conservatives in Brazil were following the American example of campaigning and attacking “the evident lack of Christian values of the opponent, manifested by her explicit acquiescence to abortion” as well as “her sexual libertinism and lack of moral values,” which Nicolelis says is represented by what he labels her “legitimate approval” of homosexual civil unions.
In addition to his endorsement of homosexual civil unions, Nicolelis goes on to offer a defense of Rousseff’s position in favor of the decriminalization of abortion.
Comparing Rousseff’s opponent to George Bush, Nicolelis writes that “because what is important is victory, cost what it might cost, it matters little to the Brazilian George Bush that thousands of humble and abandoned women die every year, in the hospitals and emergency rooms throughout Brazil, victims of horrendous infections caused by clandestine abortions.”
“George Bush, both the original as well as the generic version of the tropics, probably knows many women of his means that, because of the contingencies and vicissitudes of life, were forced to abort in well-equipped clinics, conducted by highly specialized professionals, royally paid for such work. Neither of the two George Bushes, however, ever worked a shift in the emergency room of the Hospital of the Clinics of São Paulo and witnessed, with their own eyes and tears, the death of an adolescent victim of generalized septicemia, caused by an illegal abortion, committed by some butcher who passed for a doctor and savior,” he added.
Individuals selected for the Pontifical Academy of Sciences are appointed by the pope himself after being nominated by the eighty members of the Academy. Members serve life terms. The Academy publishes several scientific journals and acts in an advisory capacity to the Holy See.
Pope Benedict XVI is a staunch defender of the right to life and of family values, and it is improbable that he was aware of Nicolelis’ record when he made the appointment.
Human Life International’s acting president Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro expressed “shock” at the appointment of Nicolelis.
“I was shocked to read that Dr. Miguel A.L. Nicolelis, a Brazilian professor, was appointed to this prestigious post with the Vatican. He is on the record criticizing those who want to see abortion outlawed, and explicitly supporting homosexual unions,” Barreiro told LifeSiteNews.
“Let us hope that the Holy See will do some research into Professor Nicolelis’ background,” Barreiro continued. “We cannot allow the Pontifical Academy to be corrupted by ‘Catholics’ who claim to be personally against abortion, but who oppose the Church publicly on this and other crucial issues. This falsity of faith has no place so close to the heart of the Church as she dialogs with the sciences - this is where clarity and truth matter most.”
Requests for an interview with Nicolelis, made both by phone and email, were not answered by press time.
Pontifical Academy of Sciences
Casina Pio IV, V-00120 Vatican City
Tel. +39 06 69883195 - Fax +39 06 69885218
Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
William Cardinal Levada, Prefect
Piazza del S. Uffizio, 11, 00193 Roma, Italy
Pope Benedict XVI