VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) — Recently released transcripts from a 2019 Vatican conference have highlighted the Vatican’s and Pope Francis’ personal commitment to use religions as a “solid foundation” for the U.N.’s pro-contraception Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The transcripts come as the Vatican is also issuing a fresh push to make the good of the family part of the same pro-abortion SDGs.
“The 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, approved by more than 190 nations in September 2015, were a great step forward for global dialogue, marking a vitally ‘new and universal solidarity’ (Laudato Si’, 14).” With these words Pope Francis opened his speech to a 2019 conference held at the Vatican, entitled the “International Conference on Religions and the Sustainable Development Goals” — the full transcripts of which have just been released by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
Held March 7-9, 2019, the conference was attended by numerous Vatican officials, along with representatives of various religions, including (among others) Judaism, Islam, Taoism, and Jainism. Several political and globalist officials additionally took part, with high-ranking representatives from the United Nations also present.
Religions ‘have embraced’ the pro-abortion goals
Addressing the participants, Pope Francis praised the SDGs while also highlighting how religious can, and — he argued — should be at the service of promoting the SDGs.
Different religious traditions, including the Catholic tradition, have embraced the objectives of sustainable development because they are the result of global participatory processes that, on the one hand, reflect the values of people and, on the other, are sustained by an integral vision of development.
As repeatedly noted by pro-life advocates and Catholics, the U.N. SDGs – comprising of 17 goals and 169 targets – are linked with the 2030 Agenda and are fundamentally pro-abortion. Goal #5.6 is the goal to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls,” includes the following aim: “Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights,” which is phraseology commonly used to refer to abortion and contraception.
Yet calling for the implementation of “development goals that are supported by our deepest religious and ethical values,” Pope Francis expressed the wish that the conference would also provide “concrete responses to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”
The tone of Francis’ speech very firmly placed the work of the assembled religions at the service of the United Nations’ SDGs, stating that “if we want to provide a solid foundation for the work of the 2030 Agenda, we must reject the temptation to look for a merely technocratic response to the challenges – this is not good – and be prepared to address the root causes and the long-term consequences.”
The pontiff spoke about a need for a global “change of heart,” not, however, related to religion, but in order to effect an “ecological conversion.”
Economic and political objectives must be sustained by ethical objectives, which presuppose a change of attitude: what the Bible would call a change of heart. Already Saint John Paul II spoke about the need to “encourage and support the ‘ecological conversion’” (Catechesis, January 17, 2001). This word is powerful: ecological conversion. Religions have a key role to play in this. For a correct shift towards a sustainable future, we must recognize “our errors, sins, faults and failures” which leads to a “heartfelt repentance and desire to change”; in this way, we will be reconciled with others, with creation and with the Creator (cf. Laudato Si’, 218).
The Pope continued such themes by promoting religions as a way, ultimately, to attain “peace,” without mentioning any greater purpose: “If we are truly concerned about developing an ecology capable of repairing the damage we have done, no branch of science or form of wisdom should be overlooked, and this includes religions and the languages particular to them. Religions can help us along the path of authentic integral development, which is the new name of peace.”
SDGs and human fraternity
Further promoting the style of interreligious parlance initiated by Pope Francis at the conference, the Vatican’s Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin highlighted the importance of the 2019 Abu Dhabi document on Human Fraternity for the participants.
“In this context, [of the document] I would like to highlight an important point in the relationship between religion and ‘religious actors’ and the United Nations, as well as with other international institutions,” said Parolin.
He cited the “importance of the role of religion in promoting the objectives of the family of nations” and the “role of religion in the implementation of the SDGs.”
While the “road is long and arduous as we strive to achieve the ambitious SDGs,” Parolin praised the work of the 2019 conference to “be a ‘spark’ to help encourage not only religious leaders, but also the international community at large, to recommit themselves and their efforts in this regard.”
Such thoughts were echoed by Michael Moller, then Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, who revealed he had asked Pope Francis to instruct “every single priest in every corner of the world mention the SDGs in his sermon every Sunday.”
For her part, Dr. Marta Pedrajas, from the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, stated that from the basis of the “values” of ecological conversion “everything makes sense, everything ‘gains’ strength and puts us on the path of these SDGs, of this Agenda 2030 in such a way that it is one more step towards dignity and reconciliation.”
This is the way forward. Now there are 17 SDGs, but it goes far beyond them and beyond 2030, because it is a path shared, also by the Church, because it is the path of dignity, it is a path inspired also by the values of the Gospel. Leaving no one behind, combating the culture of indifference, taking care of our neighbors, the poor, the immigrant, the elderly; in short, it is about generating capacities that allow us to live a life of freedom and to generate processes of integral, human and sustainable development, that allow us to give new hope to humanity in common projects, shared and generating hope.”
Current Vatican alignment with SDGs
Shortly before the conference transcripts were released, a press conference was held highlighting the Vatican’s current push to align its goals with the U.N.’s. The culmination of a years-long joint initiative by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (PASS) and the Dicastery for Laity, Family, Life was announced on May 30, revealing the Family Global Compact.
This initiative focuses on the issues affecting modern family life, and is based off the PASS’ 2022 decision to “propose a family global compact, understood as a global alliance for the family, in order to include the protection and promotion of the family based on marriage in the new Sustainable Development Goals.”
That is now being enacted, with the Family Global Compact born in response to this, and containing this call. However, the SDGs are already pro-abortion at their core.
With this in mind, LifeSite asked the PASS’s president Sr. Helen Alford how the good of the family could be promoted among pro-abortion objectives. She replied that the PASS was seeking to promote the family amongst “all kinds of people,” which included “trying to see how we could have inserted into their agendas more discussion about the family.”
“It doesn’t mean we don’t do other things,” she stated, “it doesn’t mean we don’t disagree with them also,” but added that it was a “question of including this discussion…in order to be able to work more completely for the good of the family.”