VATICAN CITY, July 22, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Pope Francis reaffirmed the Vatican’s support for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at a June pontifical conference on human trafficking that featured an address by abortion and population control advocate Jeffrey Sachs.
“We can also count an important and decisive collaboration with the United Nations,” the Holy Father told the Judges Summit Against Human Trafficking and Organized Crime, organized by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.
Added the pope: “I am grateful for the fact that the representatives of the 193 UN member states unanimously approved the new Sustainable Development Goals.”
In his turn, Sachs, a Harvard-educated economist, bestselling author, previous director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute and high-level UN consultant who is currently Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on SDGs, praised Laudato si’.
The pope’s encyclical on the environment “in very important ways,” said Sachs, “made possible” not only the acceptance of the SDGs in September 2015, but the December 2015 Paris climate agreement which “established a framework to implementing a path to climate safety.”
But the pro-family and pro-life groups which lobby the UN have long warned that the UN’s SDGs provide cover for a population control agenda that seeks to enshrine a global “right” to abortion and contraception under the guise of reducing poverty and protecting the environment.
Target 3.7 of the SDGs explicitly calls for “universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services.” The UN defined these terms at the 1994 Cairo conference to mean providing women with “modern contraception” for “family planning” and with “safe abortion” where it is legal.
Last September, Holy See representative Archbishop Bernardito Auza had made formal “reservations” clarifying that the Holy See interprets these terms only in a way that accords with the Church’s teachings. However, pro-family groups were surprised when the Vatican subsequently called for and welcomed the passage of the SDGs, without reservation.
Pro-family activists had also raised alarm when the Vatican invited Sachs — who indefatigably promotes population control with abortion as its cornerstone as essential to sustainable development — to co-host an April 2015 conference on climate change in the lead-up to the release of Laudato si’.
Among those objecting to the conference were UK-based Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), Voice of the Family, and New York- and Washington-based Centre for Family and Human Rights (C-Fam).
But despite these protests, Sachs was conspicuously present at the June event, as The Remnant’s Elizabeth Yore noted. In an analysis of Sach’s influence at the Holy See, she asserts that the economist’s address to the summit was the latest of “over nine appearances and speeches at the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy in the last three years.”
Sánchez Sorondo is considered Sachs' link to Vatican
Seated between Sachs and the Holy Father was Monsignor Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, the Argentine bishop who is chancellor of both the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.
Sánchez Sorondo is regarded as Sach’s connection to the Vatican, according to C-Fam’s Stefano Gennarini, who in a May 2015 report noted that the prelate sits on Leadership Council of Sach’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
Indeed, Sánchez Sorondo’s Pontifical Academy of Science and Sach’s UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network co-hosted the Vatican’s July 2015 international symposium of mayors, miscellaneous “development practitioners,” scholars and others, on sustainable development in cities.
Vatican Radio reported that the mayors et al. concluded by planning to “coalesce in an Urban SDG Alliance” and pledging “to work toward the success of the SDGs in our own cities…and to help all cities to achieve the new SDGs with success.”
In an interview with CNN that month, Sánchez Sorondo gave a nod to the pledge, stating that “as we move towards setting new (United Nations’) sustainable development goals, we also understand that one of our key priorities is improving social inclusion.”
The Vatican’s media consultant for the mayors’ symposium was Michael Shank, who is communication director for Jeffrey Sachs, and for the Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
Shank had previously directed communications for the April 2015 Vatican-Sachs-Ki-Moon climate conference, according to a report by Eastern Mennonite University, and so happy was the Vatican with his work that he was invited back in July.
And Shank was also working out of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (PASS) office in April 2016 when Sánchez Sorondo announced he had invited pro-abortion Bernie Sanders, the septuagenarian hard-left Democratic presidential nomination contender, to speak at a Vatican conference on Pope John Paul II’s encyclical on economics and the social order, Centesimus annus.
Sachs, an advisor for Sanders, also spoke at the conference.
It’s not surprising then, that during Pope Francis’ visit to the United States in September, a United Nations Foundation’s dinner hosted by Ted Turner honoured Sánchez Sorondo for “convening several important dialogues” to “prepare the way for Laudato Si’.”
Pope praises Sánchez Sorondo, who shrugs off warnings on UN’s SDGs
Sánchez Sorondo dismissed concerns about the UN’s population agenda last July, telling reporters that the “Holy See does not see the United Nations as the devil as certain right-wing thinkers do.”
And in a notable response to Gennarini, Sánchez Sorondo stated that the SDGs “do not even mention abortion or population control” while at the same time conceding they “speak of access to family planning and sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.” But, he added, “the interpretation and application of these depends on governments.”
In defending his contentious climate conference, Sánchez Sorondo stated that far from criticizing him, his “superiors” had “authorized me, and several of them participated.”
At this June’s summit, Pope Francis praised the chancellor’s efforts and noted that a “number of prestigious external collaborators – to whom I offer my heartfelt thanks – have engaged in important activities in defence of human dignity and freedom in our day.”
Sachs took the opportunity to laud Laudato si’ as “a remarkable eye-opening to the world” that “called for an integral human and sustainable development. It called for what Pope Francis called a ‘common plan for our common home’.”
He stated that “if we can remember the least among us, we not only dignify each individual but we protect all of humanity.”
However, Sachs’ published works, and arguably, his entire career trajectory and ambitions, demonstrate that for him, the “least among us” does not include the child in the womb, and that his preferred method to eliminate poverty is to eliminate people who are poor through abortion and contraception.
Sachs on the record
Indeed, Gennarini describes Sachs as “the heir-apparent of the discredited population alarmists of the twentieth century who warned against the ‘population bomb’ and developed the concept of the Earth’s limited ‘caring capacity’.”
In his 2008 book Commonwealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet, Sachs argues for legalized abortion as a cost-effective means to “eliminate unwanted children” when contraception fails. He also “praises the widespread adoption of family planning programs in the 60s and 70s, even though they are widely recognized as having been coercive and dehumanizing,” writes Gennarini.
Sachs regards abortion as a “lower-risk and lower-cost option” than having a child, and asserts that “high fertility rates are deleterious to economic development,” and that “legalization of abortion reduces a country’s total fertility rate significantly, by as much as half a child on average.”
As main architect of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, Sachs was part of the successful push to re-insert the phrases “sexual and reproductive health” and “reproductive rights” in the MDG’s implementation strategy, despite these having been initially omitted and despite protests by the United States and the Holy See at the time, noted Gennarini.
Sachs: “Amazing things happen” at the Holy See
SPUC’s Patrick Buckley echoed the fears of pro-life advocates when, on behalf of Voice of the Family, he protested the Vatican-Sachs-Ki Moon collaboration for the April 2015 climate conference.
“Unfortunately, pro-life and pro-family advocates who lobby at the UN have witnessed the environmental issues become an umbrella to cover a wide spectrum of attacks on human life and the family,” stated Buckley.
The UN SDGs “include strong attacks on life and family” and “will determine the direction and financial aid for the third world countries for the next 15 years,” he warned.
Added Buckley: “Understandably the population control, pro-abortion lobby must be feeling very much empowered by the influence being exercised in the Vatican by two of the culture of death’s leading figures, Ban Ki Moon and Professor Jeffrey Sachs.”
Perhaps that’s why, when addressing the June summit at the Holy See, Sachs seemed almost giddy with enthusiasm.
“For me, this is one of the most remarkable rooms in the whole world,” he effused. “I can only share my sense that when we get together amazing things happen … It’s always a thrill to be here.”
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