Vatican Board Asked to Resign Over Too Much Science
The complainers fear scientific neutrality.
Members of the Vatican’s bioethics advisory panel have called for its board to resign after scientists who don’t support core church teaching on issues like birth control and infertility were featured at its annual conference.
The members said the Pontifical Academy of Life’s Feb. 24 conference on diagnosing and treating infertility was a “Planned Parenthood-like meeting” that caused great scandal. They were upset because it was a Vatican meeting open to the public yet “consisted in promoting uncritically what the church teaches to be intrinsically bad.”
Church teaching opposes in vitro fertilization because it separates conception from intercourse between husband and wife, and often results in the destruction of embryos. The Vatican also opposes artificial contraception, holding that life begins at conception.
In the past, the academy has tended to invite only like-minded professionals to speak at its conferences, ensuring that its proceedings, papers and discussions reflect church teaching. Members say this is designed to give the faithful the best in scientific information that is in-line with Catholic doctrine.
Under the academy’s new head, Monsignor Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, there seems to be a new openness however to engage with non-likeminded scientists while holding true to church teaching on the need to defend life from conception until natural death.