Abortionist addresses Catholics on Population - is there a problem here?

Bonino speaks in front of an audience in the church of San Defendente in San Rocco di Cossato, Italy, July 26, 2017. (La Stampa)
There's dismay being expressed from a range of Christian commentators this week after a notorious Italian abortionist was allowed to speak at a Catholic parish on Wednesday, while pro-life critics were locked out, silenced or kicked out.

Lifesite reports:

Despite her abortion advocacy, Emma Bonino was praised by Pope Francis in 2016 as a “forgotten great” because of her work with refugees.

Bonino meets Pope Francis (Lifesite)
Between her abortion activism and being an abortionist herself, Bonino is directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of roughly six million Italian babies between 1968 and today.

On Wednesday, she gave a presentation on immigration at the Church of San Defendente in San Rocco di Cossato, part of in the Diocese of Biella in northern Italy.

The parish priest, Father Mario Marchiori, gave the green light on the presentation that was sponsored by the local division of Caritas Italiana, part of the Church’s international aid and humanitarian organisation. The diocesan bishop, Gabriele Mana, was silent about the event.

National Catholic Register’s Ed Pentin reports he was unable to get comment from the bishop’s office. Although Catholics had communicated concerns to the bishop, it was said he did not agree with the decision to allow Bonino to speak, but he did not want to take sides. Neither did the bishop act to deter Caritas from putting on the event. Pentin reports: "local Caritas office sponsors Emma Bonino to speak on immigration with the approval of the parish priest while the local bishop chooses to remain silent."

Bearing in mind that Italy has entered a demographic winter, one has to wonder how anyone could think this was in any way a reasonable idea, or indeed how this woman can be considered qualified to comment on the issue? How is given such an individual a platform helping Catholics understand the important stance the Church takes on life issues?

Pentin reports that Bonino:

...claimed the world is overpopulated because of “poverty in Africa, where they are having children because they are poor” while Italy is facing “demographic decline” (Bonino and others like her believe sterilizing women and providing contraception is the answer).

Her comment prompted entrepreneur and pro-life activist Alberto Cerutti to interrupt her talk. “I merely said out loud that, with her abortion choices, she is among those responsible for the population decline,” he told Intelligonews, “at which point I was forcibly escorted out of the church.”   

Cerutti said afterwards he was incensed that, despite the earlier protests, the meeting went ahead and was used to promote such “propaganda” from the Italian Radical party. He said what happened was “not a war between Catholics, but a clash between believers and secularists” which should “make us think.”

Two other Catholics, Leandro Aletti, a gynaecologist, and Giorgio Celsi of “Ora et labora,” a pro-life group, also spoke out during the event, but their protestations were drowned out by boos and whistles. Present in the audience were several other well known radicals such as Silvio Viale who led the legalization of the abortion pill RU486.

Police meanwhile questioned the group of protesters who had been praying the Rosary outside the church, and asked to see their identification and documents. Aletti said some of the police sided with the protestors. 

The organizers reportedly kept the church doors tightly closed throughout the talk so that the sound of prayer would not enter the place of worship.
According to the Italian newspaper La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, Aletti told Bonino that it was “absurd” to hear her arguments on immigration “from someone who does not accept our children.”

Bonino's words that she was brought up a Catholic, speaks to the crisis we face due to a lack of even basic catechesis and understanding of what it means to be Catholic, no doubt many consider that, if Pope Francis praised her, she can't be all bad. Therefore there can be little doubt that his praise adds true potency to this scandal, as a friend recently remarked to me.

Non-Catholic Christians are appalled and taking to social media to vent their frustration. Gianna Jessen, who has thousands of followers, posted several tweets as well as speaking on Facebook of her shock and distress that this was allowed to happen.
If you follow Gianna's work, she is often supported by Catholic Pro-Life advocates in various countries around the world, Italy being a country she visits regularly. It is clear that she sees this as a grave scandal.

This seems to me particularly relevant in the light of Dr Pink's comments in his interview at Lake Garda (you can watch it here) where he talks about the Church of accompaniment and the development of a theology where the Church sees peaceful coexistence with the unconverted world as desirable and seeks harmony with the unconverted world. Thus this nouveau theologie sees the unconverted world not as ambiguously a world of error and darkness, but as somehow already removed from the sphere of evil by the power of the Gospel. Have a listen to what he says and let me know what you think in the comments.

Bonino, receiving the 2015 Pursuit of Peace award from one of the world's leading enemies of life, family and faith - George Soros. (Lifesite).

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