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 Diane Montagna / LifeSiteNews

ROME, November 22, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — A recent Vatican-run conference on the environment featured a list of influential abortion, contraception, and population-control advocates who made presentations on the theme of saving the planet from so-called man-made “climate change.” 

A LifeSiteNews investigation has found that almost 30 percent of conference speakers hold views on contraception, abortion, and population control contrary to Catholic teaching. Not all conference speakers were investigated for this report. 

During the conference, Taiwanese professor Dr. Yuan-Tseh Lee argued that cutting the earth’s population in half by 2050 should have priority over “renewable energy” as the “smarter” way to conserve earth’s resources. 

If “we allow a population to go down,” he stated, then consumption would be reduced. 

Nobody present at the conference contradicted Lee’s assertion. 

Lee’s remarks and the fact that they went unchallenged confirmed for those critical of the Vatican’s adoption of the climate change narrative that liberal elites who hold beliefs contrary to God's laws and Catholic teaching are now influencing the Church on coercive population control. 

The November 2-4 conference, hosted at Casina Pio IV in the Vatican Gardens, was titled Health of People, Health of Planet, and our responsibility: Climate change, air pollution and health. It was hosted by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. 


The invitations to these population control advocates have occurred under the watch of Msgr. Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences.

At the February 2017 Vatican-run conference on “Biological Extinction,” Sorondo himself suggested that the Church's teaching on procreation is unclear, and argued that promoting the education of women would help reduce family sizes.

Below are 10 of 35 conference participants who are known to hold views on contraception, abortion, and population control contrary to Catholic teaching. 

Honorable Jerry Brown – Governor of California 


One of the most pro-abortion Governors in the United States, Brown in a 2010 campaign speech said he has been “an uncompromising champion of a woman's right to choose” and would “continue to do so if I am elected Governor.”

Brown stated during his November 4, 2017 speech at the Vatican “Climate Change” conference that “brainwashing” is needed to get ordinary people to accept man-made climate change as a fact. 


Prof. Scott Peters – U.S. House of Representatives


In 2013, Peters co-sponsored of one of the most pro-abortion bills in U.S. history. The women's health protection act would have eliminated all limitation on abortions.

He also supports funding of and promotion of abortion worldwide. Peters voted against the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would have prohibited abortions after 20 weeks gestational age. 


Prof. Peter Raven – Pontifical Academy of Sciences


Raven is a known population control advocate. Raven was thanked by author of the Population Bomb Paul Ehrlich for having endorsed his seminal work on population control. Ehrlich said he worked with Raven “on the ‘population explosion’ for many years.”

At a March 3, 2017 Vatican conference Raven stated, “We need at some point to have a limited number of people, which is why Pope Francis and his three most recent predecessors have always argued that you should not have more children than you can bring up properly.”


Prof. Lize Van Susteren – Psychiatrist, Advisor Harvard Center for Health and Global Environment


In her 2005 run for U.S. Senate, Van Susteren voiced staunch support for abortion and homosexual “marriage.” She called efforts to restrict abortion a “creepy trend” and said she holds “a special contempt” for politicians who have blocked the expansion of embryonic stem-cell research.”

She said the government “has no business telling adults who they can and cannot marry.” 


Senator Kevin de León – President pro Tempore of the California State Senate


His own campaign website states: “Senator de León’s strong and unwavering advocacy for access and choice has been recognized by Planned Parenthood with a consistent 100 percent voting record and numerous awards, with special recognition in 2014 for legislative leadership.”



Prof. Jeffrey Sachs – Director of the Earth Institute, Columbia University


Sachs, who operates at the highest levels of the United Nations, is a noted abortion advocate. He argues in his 2009 book Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet that “to accelerate the decline in fertility…abortion should be legalized.”

Sachs was the head of the 2006 Millennium Project, which produced a document under his leadership titled “Access to Safe Abortion: An Essential Strategy for Achieving the Millennium Development Goals to Improve Maternal Health, Promote Gender Equality, and Reduce Poverty.”  


Prof. Partha Dasgupta, member, Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences


Dasgupta has endorsed Population Matters, formerly known as the Optimum Population Trust, a group that lobbies for a “sustainable population size,” including the “reversing of population growth” in many countries. He has long-championed reducing population growth through anti-family policies and by an increased access to contraception.

In a 1995 article titled The Population Problem: Theory and Evidence, Dasgupta argued in favor of policies in poor countries that would lower “parental demand for children.” He argued in a 2013 article in Science Magazine that decreasing the world’s population would be “highly influenced by rebuilding the focus on family planning.”


Prof. Jeremy Farrar, CEO, Wellcome Trust


The Wellcome Trust’s publication called “Mosaic Science” ran a piece in September, 2017 outlining the “challenges women face in accessing abortion and contraception” in India and the USA.

Farrar stated his support in February, 2015 for legislation in Britain that allowed for the creation of 3-parent babies via in vitro fertilization to address mitochondrial disease in babies. 


Prof. Werner Arber, President, Pontifical Academy of Sciences


The Swiss microbiologist was the first non-Catholic (he’s Protestant) to head the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. In a 2013 CNN interview, Arber said he was “uncomfortable with the Vatican’s insistence that condoms aren’t the right way to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS,” calling it “unrealistic.” 

In the same interview, Arber said that he hoped Pope Francis will “move things forward” in this regard. At a 2014 Vatican-run conference on “Sustainable Humanity” Arber, when asked by Chinese Professor Hsin-Chi Kuan if he approved of birth control, replied that he did.


Prof. Yuan-Tseh Lee, member, Pontifical Academy of Sciences


Taiwanese professor Dr. Yuan-Tseh Lee argued during the November, 2017 Vatican-run conference on “Climate change” that cutting the earth’s population in half by 2050 should have priority over “renewable energy” as the “smarter” way to conserve earth’s resources. If “we allow a population to go down,” he stated, then consumption would be reduced.  



Pontifical Academies need reform 

A 12-page statement was issued this week by prominent scientists and Catholics calling on the Vatican to reform its administration of the Pontifical Academies of Science and Social Science due to the influence of population control advocates at academy events. 

“At the very heart of the matter is that the academies are being misused by major proponents of population control seeking to gain the Church’s moral authority for their programs,” said Michael Hichborn, president of the Lepanto Institute, in a statement. 

The signers state that it is “highly problematic” for the Pontifical Academies to give a platform to individuals who hold views that contradict Church teaching on life. 

“There is a clear and present danger to the salvation of souls throughout the world by implying that there can be a common interest between the Church’s social teaching and secular goals which include morally illicit reduction of human fertility rates and population.“

Among the 14 signers are Dr. Glenn Patrick Juday, Jay H. Lehr, William M. Briggs, Steven W. Mosher, and John Smeaton. 

The signers recommend several changes to the Pontifical Academies, including that they reform the “standards for selection of scholars to participate in PAS and PASS events so that notorious advocates for matters or positions in direct conflict with the Church’s moral teachings are not provided a platform to advance such goals.”

The signers also recommend that the Academies “discontinue the consideration of integral development/environmental policies that are intrinsically disordered in their view of human dignity and worth.”

“It is the sincere hope of the signers of this document that the ecclesial authorities responsible for the integrity of the PAS and PASS and the consistent teaching of the Catholic faith will carefully and prayerfully consider the problems we have identified and the recommendations we have made,” the signers state.

“Because of the gravely serious nature of the problems identified herein, the reality is that leaving these issues unaddressed could be disastrous; human lives, and more importantly, immortal souls, are at great risk,” they add.