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Archbishop Vicenzo Paglia greets Pope Francis, February 12, 2024PAV

(LifeSiteNews) — Members of the Australian Catholic Medical Association criticized a book published by Pope Francis’ heterodox Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV) for “misleading and confusing” medical and theological information and lacking understanding of “current science.”

The experts published a research article that detailed the errors of the book Etica Teologica Della Vita (ETV), which purports to address “Theological Ethics of Life: Scripture, Tradition, and Practical Challenges.” The book was published in 2021 as a synthesis of a seminar held by the PAV.

The authors of the research article consist of medical experts, bioethicists, and theologians.

READ: Pontifical Academy for Life’s new book deviates from Church teaching on contraception, artificial insemination

The experts state that parts of the book “contain statements which deviate from and contradict accepted Catholic teaching on contraception and ART [assisted reproductive technologies].”

The authors furthermore assert that a “thorough up-to-date knowledge and understanding of suitable current alternatives to contraception and ART (e.g. in-vitro fertilisation, IVF) which are safe, effective, readily accessible and consistent with Catholic ethics appears to be lacking” in the PAV’s book.

The article adds that “a better understanding of currently available methods to assist with fertility care, aided by input from Catholic medical experts working in the areas of Fertility Awareness Methods (FAMs) and Restorative Reproductive Medicine (RRM)” is needed. The faithful should be encouraged “to pursue these alternatives which are both effective and consistent with Church teaching on human sexuality and morals.”

The authors also warn that ETV’s language exudes “obscurity and confusion” that could mislead the faithful regarding the Church’s moral teaching on sexuality.

Pope Francis’ Pontifical Academy for Life contradicts Church teaching

Even though contraception has been definitively condemned in all its forms by the Church, such as with Pope Paul VI’s magisterial condemnation of contraception in Humane Vitae, the PAV spoke of the issue in its book as if it were an open question.

“Responsibility in generation requires a practical discernment that cannot coincide with the automatic application and material observance of a norm,” the book states in chapter seven, according to Askanews, in explicit contradiction to Catholic teaching.

Proposing that all possible techniques for avoiding conception, except abortifacients, are on the table for consideration by a couple, the academy claimed that those forms of contraception that are not abortifacient simply do “not provide for” life. It falsely claimed that such acts would not contradict a more universal openness to life and that this would constitute “wise discernment in the concrete case.”

As Humanae Vitae teaches, however, “each and every marital act must of necessity retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life.” The Catholic Church condemns as gravely immoral “any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation – whether as an end or as a means,” Pope Paul VI declared.

Many forms of contraception, such as hormonal contraception or the birth control pill, also have abortifacient properties that users may be unaware of.

The authors from the Australian Catholic Medical Association recommend that the PAV consult with Catholic medical experts represented by FIAMC (an international Catholic physicians association) for future texts regarding moral and medical questions of human sexuality.

Since its publication, the PAV’s dissident book has been widely criticized. In 2022, a group of nine international experts exposed the errors in the publication in an open letter.

Ever since Pope Francis transformed the PAV by appointing the heterodox Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia as the president of the PAV in 2016 and removing members appointed by his predecessors, the academy has increasingly contradicted the Catholic faith. Pope Francis has also appointed many pro-abortion, pro-contraception, and pro-LGBT members to the PAV.


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