Pope appoints pro-abortion economist to pro-life Academy


Southern Europe


Mariana Mazzucato, Professor of Economics of Innovation and Public Value, University College London, attends a plenary session in the Congress Hall at the 49th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos. Photo EPA, Gian Ehrenzeller

Pope Francis appointed fourteen new members to the Pontifical Academy for Life, dedicated to promoting the Church's life ethic. However, one of the appointees is an outspoken abortion advocate.

The Italian-American economist Mariana Mazzucato, known for her work promoting the public sector’s role in encouraging innovation, was appointed on Saturday to serve a five-year term with the academy. Together with her colleagues, Mazzucato will work to promote the Church's so-called consistent life ethic. This ideology opposes abortion, capital punishment, assisted suicide, and euthanasia.

However, some questions were raised about the appointment. The website Catholic Culture published on Tuesday links to recent social media posts shared by Mazzucato in which she tweeted and retweeted pro-abortion statements concerning the US Supreme Court’s decision to return abortion law to the states. Recently, Mazzucato commented 'So good!' on a video in which commentator Ana Kasparian condemned Christians for pushing their own views on non-Christians. “These comments might be strong but it’s how I genuinely feel. I don’t care that you’re a Christian. I don’t care what the Bible says. Like, I feel like it’s a clown show, like sitting here trying to decipher what your little mythical book has to say about these very real political issues, right", Kasparian said. Mazzucato has not yet commented on her appointment.

Robert P. George, professor of jurisprudence at Princeton University, a Catholic and outspoken advocate for the right to life, told the Catholic News Agency that he is disturbed by the news of the appointment.

“The Pontifical Academy for Life exists to advance the Church’s mission to foster respect for the profound, inherent, and equal dignity of each and every member of the human family, beginning with the precious child in the womb. Either one believes in this mission or one does not. If one does not, then why would one wish to be part of the Pontifical Academy?” George asked.


The Academy was founded in 1994 Pope John Paul II dedicated to "study, information and formation on the principal problems of biomedicine and of law". The academy’s first president, Venerable Jérôme Lejeune, established bylaws requiring members of the academy to sign a declaration stating, “before God and men we bear witness that for us every human being is a person” and that “from the moment the embryo is formed until death it is the same human being which grows to maturity and dies.” This writes CNA.

In 2016, Pope Francis approved new statutes for the Academy. These dropped a statement that Academy members had been required to sign, promising to defend life in accordance with Church teaching. However, the current statutes require members to "promote and defend the principles regarding the value of life and the dignity of the human person interpreted in conformity with the Magisterium of the Church".



Subscribe for an update, and receive a documentary and e-book for free.

Choose your subscriptions*

You may subscribe to multiple lists.