Featured Image
Pope FrancisYouTube screenshot

You’re invited! Join LifeSite in celebrating 25 years of pro-life and pro-family reporting at our anniversary Gala August 17th in Naples, Florida. Tickets and sponsorships can be purchased by clicking here. 

VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) — A Vatican approved publication has published an article asking if Pope Francis might write “a new encyclical or apostolic exhortation on bioethics” in line with a recent document from the Pontifical Academy for Life which undermines certain aspects of Catholic morality.

On July 2, Father Jorge José Ferrer, S.J. published an article in Jesuit-run publication La Civilta Cattolica entitled “Re-reading the theological ethics of life.” La Civilta Cattolica is notable for having its content reviewed by the Vatican’s Secretariat of State before publishing.  

The article summarized and promoted the Pontifical Academy for Life’s (PAV) new book which proposes both contraception and artificial insemination as morally acceptable, and which was published by the Vatican’s publishing house Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

Ferrer wrote that the book comprises “an interesting attempt to imagine a path that favors the renewal of bioethics based on the role of discernment and the formed conscience of the moral agent.” This is “[i]n coherence with the teaching of Pope Francis,” wrote Ferrer. 

But U.K. catechist and author Deacon Nick Donnelly described the work as a “paradigm shift” from Catholic teaching on IVF and contraception.

‘A new encyclical’

Ferrer’s article, which summarizes the book and its significance, closes by stating: “It is legitimate to ask if Pope Francis will give us a new encyclical or apostolic exhortation on bioethics that might be called ‘Gaudium Vitae’.”

Fr. Ferrer’s suggestion of a new encyclical is of no small significance, given that not only is he a professor of moral theology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico, but also a member of the International Theological Commission, which advises the Congregration (now Dicastery) for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). 

Indeed, in promoting the book – which is a product of a three day symposium organized by the PAV in 2021– PAV Prefect Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia told Vatican News that the book’s aim was “opening up a space for dialogue that makes research possible and encourages it.”

Both Ferrer and Archbishop Paglia highlighted Pope Francis’ controversial writings as a backdrop for the shift in theology which the PAV’s book proposes. 

“If we consider Evangelii gaudiumLaudato si’Amoris laetitia, and Veritatis Gaudium in this perspective, we realize that the proposals contained therein open up a new horizon for theology and for the task of theologians, with a strong emphasis on dialogue and the mutual enrichment between different types of knowledge,” said Paglia. 

This process is necessary, wrote Ferrer, “if you want to seriously practice synodality.”

LifeSiteNews contacted officials at the Holy See Press Office seeking further information on the possibility of a new encyclical but did not receive a response.

New encyclical to be contrary to Catholic morality?

Reporting on Ferrer’s suggestion of a new encyclical, dissident Jesuit-run America Magazine theorized that such a document would “spark a wide-ranging reflection on the ethics of human life that could lead to a new and definitive papal teaching document on issues as polarizing as contraception, assisted procreation and palliative care.

Indeed, the PAV’s book (on which such a potential encyclical could be based) opens up debate on topics which have already been settled by the Church and condemned by Pope Paul VI in Humane Vitae. These include artificial contraception, artificial insemination.

READ: Pontifical Academy for Life echoes Pope’s attack on ‘fake news’ to defend book promoting contraception

Writing that “responsibility in generation requires a practical discernment that cannot coincide with the automatic application and material observance of a norm, as is evident in the very practice of natural methods,” the book argued that couples could practice artificial contraception as long as the methods used were not “abortifacient ones.”

“It is essential that innovative and still debated themes be proposed, if we want to advance theology, and in particular theological bioethics, which must always be in dialogue with the changing realities of human life,” wrote Ferrer in his summary of the book.

“The quaestio disputata does not claim to supplant the authentic magisterium, but to open new horizons, which always remain subject to the final judgment of the pastors, in particular to the magisterium of the Roman Pontiff.”

However, such disputed questions would indeed fly in the face of numerous pronouncements on the topics discussed by the book and by any future encyclical based on the book.

Indeed, defending the book against criticism from concerned Catholics online, the PAV wrote that theology requires “progress” as part of a natural process. 

“Be careful: what is dissent today, can change,” wrote the PAV. 

— Article continues below Petition —
CANCELED: Stand with Fr. JesusMary after he was BARRED from Priestly Ministry for Criticizing Pope Francis!
  Show Petition Text
9899 have signed the petition.
Let's get to 10000!
Thank you for signing this petition!
Add your signature:
  Show Petition Text
Keep me updated via email on this petition and related issues.
Keep me updated via email on this petition and related issues.

LifeSiteNews first alerted you that Opus Dei expelled African priest, Fr. JesusMary, for faithfully speaking the truth against Pope Francis’ harmful errors about same-sex civil unions. 

Then on July 4th, Pope Francis RETALIATED and BANNED Fr. JesusMary from celebrating HOLY MASS – even privately – for as long as he dares criticize Pope Francis!  

LifeSiteNews exposed Pope Francis’ suspension of Fr. JesusMary: 

"The African priest is now barred from any active ministry, including celebrating the Sacrifice of the Mass in public. He is permitted to say Mass privately on the condition that he refrains from writing criticism of the Roman pontiff."

Now, as you can see below, Twitter is joining Pope Francis and Opus Dei by CENSORING Fr. JesusMary and BLOCKING his posts from reaching faithful Catholics with the truth about God’s plan for marriage and the family! 


Fr. JesusMary is being PRESSURED into SILENCE by Pope Francis, Opus Dei, and Big Tech for defending Catholic teaching on marriage!  


FREE Fr. JesusMary to celebrate the Holy Mass again by joining THOUSANDS of Catholics already telling Pope Francis that you DEFEND Fr. JesusMary and the sacred Catholic Teaching on Marriage! 

Marriage and 2,000 years of traditional Catholic teaching are all under attack – we cannot let the global elites silence another voice for truth, thinking that they can succeed without us noticing! 

Sign our petition today and declare that you want Fr. JesusMary’s priestly faculties restored! 

Never before has Big Tech and a Roman Pontiff worked so hard to silence Catholic teaching and faithful priests - banning them from Mass for teaching the TRUTH! WE NEED YOUR VOICE ADDED TO OUR PETITION TO MAKE THE GOSPEL MESSAGE HEARD!


Our Lord promises that “the Truth will set you free” (John 8:31), and we need to free Fr. JesusMary to continue speaking the truth in the face of error and globalist intimidation.  

Without your voice added to the chorus of countless others, brave priests like Fr. JesusMary will be singled-out and targeted one-by-one until we have no one left to teach genuine Catholic teaching. 

Raise your voice now by signing our brand-new petition defending Fr. JesusMary, the Holy Mass, and Free Speech! 

Fr. JesusMary has shown us the way into a new battle for the Holy Mass and Catholic orthodoxy against a modernist and worldly narrative infecting the Church today – the same narrative that promotes Pachamama, communist China, and issues a joyless statement after the overturning of Roe v. Wade.  

We cannot let the suspension of faithful priests from celebrating Mass be our new direction for the Church! 

Alert Pope Francis that Fr. JesusMary MUST be restored to priestly ministry and freed from encroaching free-speech oppressors!  

Now is our time to change the course of this important fight for Catholic teaching before Fr. JesusMary is completely silenced! 

Thank you for signing our petition in support of the TRUTH about marriage and in defense of faithful Catholic priests like Fr. JesusMary!  

Thank you for defending this brave Catholic priest and his duty to celebrate the Mass! 

P.S. - Censorship only works when too few people admit that they know it's happening. Now is our chance to tell Pope Francis that we know Fr. JesusMary is being silenced – and that we will not be silent on his behalf! 

  Hide Petition Text

“It is not relativism, it is the dynamics of the understanding of phenomena and science: the Sun does not rotate around the Earth,” continued the Academy. “Otherwise there would be no progress and everything would stand still. Even in theology. Think about it.”

At that time, senior editor for the National Catholic Register Jonathan Liedl slated the PAV, writing: “A Vatican organ lazily comparing Humane Vitae to geocentricism in order to undermine decades of post-conciliar teaching on sexual ethics.”

The Academy re-affirmed this message of openness in theological discussion a few days later, saying that it was following Francis’ manner of being “a Church of mercy and dialogue.”

In comments to LifeSite, Deacon Donnelly decried the potential undermining of Catholic teaching in a new encyclical, saying it “leaves me feeling desolate.” 

Like many other Catholic couples, obeying the Church’s prohibition of in vitro fertilization has entailed for my wife and I life-changing sacrifice. But it is a worthy sacrifice because nothing can stop IVF being ‘gravely immoral’ — it removes the conception of a baby from the sanctity and safety of a mother and father’s embodied love, leaving him or her totally vulnerable to the intrusive, dehumanising manipulation of medical technicians.  

“Nothing Pope Francis can say will overturn this truth,” Donnelly added. “But the possibility that a pope no longer respects or supports our extremely painful sacrifice leaves me feeling desolate.”

The PAV has been described as being permeated by “heretical gnosticism” after it was overhauled by Pope Francis beginning in 2016. The Pope released new statutes for the PAV in November 2016, in which members were no longer required to sign a declaration that they uphold the Church’s pro-life teachings, while also expanding the PAV’s mandate to include a focus on the environment.


‘The term ‘life’ must be redefined,’ new head of Vatican Life Academy declares

New Vatican pro-life academy appointees support abortion, euthanasia, fornication

Vatican pro-life academy head continues defending pro-abortion member in new interview

Pontifical Academy for Life responds to Roe ruling with ‘bizarre’ statement calling for ‘non-ideological debate’

Secure a home for canceled priests: LifeFunder


Commenting Guidelines
LifeSiteNews welcomes thoughtful, respectful comments that add useful information or insights. Demeaning, hostile or propagandistic comments, and streams not related to the storyline, will be removed.

LSN commenting is not for frequent personal blogging, on-going debates or theological or other disputes between commenters.

Multiple comments from one person under a story are discouraged (suggested maximum of three). Capitalized sentences or comments will be removed (Internet shouting).

LifeSiteNews gives priority to pro-life, pro-family commenters and reserves the right to edit or remove comments.

Comments under LifeSiteNews stories do not necessarily represent the views of LifeSiteNews.