May 14, 2021
JERUSALEM WEATHER

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A Vatican conference on health takes on specific overtones as it brings together vaccine producers with practitioners of idolatrous Hinduism and abortion advocates.

Vatican’s Fifth International Conference on Health

The Vatican will be hosting its  Fifth International Conference on the theme: Exploring the Mind, Body & Soul. How Innovation and Novel Delivery Systems Improve Human Health. The Conference will take place virtually May 6-8 and bring together physicians, scientists, ethicists, religious leaders, patient rights advocates, policymakers, philanthropists, and commentators to discuss the latest breakthroughs in medicine, healthcare delivery, and prevention, as well as the human implications and cultural impact of technological advances. The organizers will also promote a roundtable on “Bridging Science and Faith”, aimed at exploring the relationship of religion and spirituality to health and wellbeing, including the relationship between mind, body, and soul. 

The media release describes the conference:

Organized in partnership between the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture, the Cura Foundation, and the Science and Faith (STOQ) Foundation, the Conference will bring together the world’s leading physicians, scientists, leaders of faith, ethicists, patient advocates, policymakers, philanthropists and influencers to engage in powerful conversations on the latest breakthroughs in medicine, health care delivery, and prevention, as well as the anthropological outcomes and the cultural impact of technological advances.”

The Vatican conference’s website lists more than 100 speakers featuring Anthony Fauci, Chelsea Clinton, and Deepak Chopra, along with celebrities active in medical philanthropy, global health advocates, policymakers, physicians, and religious leaders. Other speakers include  Kerry Kennedy, Cindy Crawford, John Sculley, Brandon Marshall, and Joe Perry of Aerosmith.

Hinduism, vaccines, and abortion advocacy

Some of the speakers are controversial. Deepak Chopra, who the conference describes as a “world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation”, has been described as a “New Age Guru” and has also been criticized as a promoter of pseudoscience. A licensed physician and formerly the chief of staff at the New England Memorial Hospital, Chopra left medicine to engage in the transcendental meditation movement. In 1996, he co-founded the Chopra Center for Wellbeing based on the principle of attaining “perfect health”, a condition “that is free from disease, that never feels pain”, and “that cannot age or die”. Seeing the human body as undergirded by a “quantum mechanical body” composed not of matter but of energy and information, he believes that “human aging is fluid and changeable; it can speed up, slow down, stop for a time, and even reverse itself,” as determined by one’s state of mind.

The Vatican’s decision to incorporate this approach is not universally accepted among Catholic clergy. In a letter to bishops issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1989, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger warned against Transcendental Meditation, saying “it can degenerate into a cult of the body and can lead surreptitiously to considering all bodily sensations as spiritual experiences.”

In 2003, the Pontifical Council for Culture issued a Christian reflection on the “New Age,” which similarly warned: “Many people are convinced that there is no harm in ‘borrowing’ from the wisdom of the East, but the example of Transcendental Meditation (TM) should make Christians cautious about the prospect of committing themselves unknowingly to another religion (in this case, Hinduism), despite what TM’s promoters claim about its religious neutrality.”

Another featured speaker will be Dame Jane Goodall, the world-famous conservationist and primatologist and anthropologist. Among her many praiseworthy endeavors and beliefs, Dr. Goodall has expressed concern that overpopulation is the chief cause of many of the problems facing the world today. As a patron of the NGO  Population Matters, she advocates for a global population cap set at 500 million, roughly what it was 500 years ago and 6.7 billion fewer people than today. 

The guests will also include  Stéphane Bancel, the CEO of Moderna, and Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, both of which produced vaccines for COVID-19 which were tested using stem cell lines from aborted fetuses. The Vatican, which preaches that abortion is evil, released a statement in December saying that when options that do not benefit from abortions are unavailable, it is “morally acceptable to receive COVID-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process,” when “there is a grave danger, such as the otherwise uncontainable spread of a serious pathological agent — in this case, the pandemic spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.”

Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary, is an outspoken advocate for abortion. As 2020 came to a close, she exchanged warm New Year’s greetings with the Church of Satan and, when criticized, compared the COS to her husband’s Jewish faith.

The conference has been criticized in past years for its choice of speakers. In 2018, singer Katy Perry was invited to speak about transcendental meditation. Perry is an advocate for Planned Parenthood and her song, “I kissed a girl”, has become a lesbian anthem. In another of her music videos, she promotes cannibalism.

Media medical experts will also be on hand this year with guest including Max Gomez, the senior medical correspondent for CBS2 New York, Sanjay Gupta, the chief medical correspondent for CNN, Richard Lui, anchor and journalist for MSNBC, Mehmet Oz,  the host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” Amy Robach, co-host of “Good Morning America” and ABC News, Robin Roberts, co-anchor of “Good Morning America,” and Ron Winslow, a former Wall Street Journal medical correspondent.

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