Vatican expert Dr. Sandro Magister revealed yesterday – a day before the announcement was officially made – the troubling news that Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia has been chosen by Pope Francis to be the new head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, as well as of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. Paglia is already the head of the Pontifical Council for the Family.
With this decision, Pope Francis makes another move in order to strengthen the progressive direction of his papal teaching concerning moral matters. Paglia is known to be a strong supporter of the “opening” of the Catholic Church’s moral teaching with regard to marriage and the family. Paglia himself had published between the two Family Synods a book promoting the idea to give out Holy Communion to the “remarried” divorcees. He is also on record for repeatedly promoting the homosexual cause, for example by praising the U.S. TV show “Modern Family.” Paglia was also responsible for inviting homosexual couples to last year’s World Meeting of Families. As OnePeterFive reported at the time:
Pontifical Family Council President, Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia, when asked about homosexual couples and families coming to the event, said, “We are following Instrumentum Laborison the Synod to the letter. Everyone can come, nobody is excluded. And if anyone feels excluded, I’ll leave the 99 little sheep and go and get him.” (One might also pause and question the integrity of such a document). The National Catholic Reporter, while writing something similar, is quick to add from the Archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles. J. Chaput, “We don’t want to provide a platform at the meeting for people to lobby for positions contrary to the life of our church, so we’re not providing that kind of lobbying opportunity.” While the article attempts to cover up this odd invitation by focusing more on the details of the event, we understand the gist: homosexual couples and families are publicly invited to the Catholic World Meeting of Families.
Magister has also pointed out, the former head of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Cardinal Ennio Antonelli – a strong defender of the traditional Catholic moral teaching – had been excluded by Pope Francis from the Synod on Marriage and the Family, even though he has a much higher competence than someone like Paglia. As was also observed by Vatican experts such as Edward Pentin during the 2014 Synod on the Family, Pope Francis had then excluded members of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family from the Synod discussion. This institute is known for its strong loyalty to the moral teaching of Pope John Paul II and therefore for its being against the idea of admitting “remarried” divorcees to Holy Communion.
Thus it becomes considerably more obvious that Pope Francis intends to make changes within the curial dicasteries that will promote his liberalizing idea of mercy in questions of marriage and the family. Magister says, with regard to these newly announced changes: They intend “to change – along with the persons – the orientation of the institute [Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family] and to adapt it to the new Bergoglio course.” And he continues: “As to the Papal Academy for Life – which the pope also now entrusts into the hands of Paglia – there are to be expected several earthquakes.” Magister expects, for example, that Pope Francis will remove the Austrian philosopher, Professor Josef Seifert, from the Papal Academy for Life. Seifert just recently has published a well-reasoned, charitable but forceful critique of the papal document Amoris Laetitia in which he explicitly requests Pope Francis to rescind several of its objectively heretical statements.
In related news, the Vatican’s Press Bulletin has reported that Bishop Kevin Joseph Farrel of Texas has now been appointed by Pope Francis to be the head of the newly establish Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life. In 2008, Farrel had been under criticism for appointing as pastor of the newly renovated St. Michael’s parish in McKinney, Texas, a priest who has been associated with a prominent website for actively homosexual priests and religious.