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The Pontifical Academy for Life Explains the Reason for the Recent and Questioned Appointments

Valentina di Giorgio

appointment of new members of the Pontifical Academy for Life  caused perplexity given, for example, that some of them — as has happened in previous appointments to this Academy — favour abortion clearly and openly.

The Academy’s President and Chancellor explained that “it’s important that the Pontifical Academy for Life include women and men of different origins with experience in various disciplines, for a constant and fruitful inter-disciplinary, inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue. Hence, among the academics there are also non-Catholics: two Rabbis, a Shinto scholar, Muslims and an Anglican theologian.

The Pontifical Academy for Life is an organism of study and research. Diversity is appropriate for debate and dialogue between individuals of different origins. When the Pontifical Academy for Life publishes documents (as in the case of the five Notes on COVID-19) the documents are sent to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith before being published. 

The Academy stressed that the appointments made on Saturday, October 15, were effected in keeping with the Statutes. The Board was renewed at the end of the five-year mandate. There is one person missing, who will be appointed by the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, with which the Pontifical Academy for Life is closely related. 

All the scholars are chosen among distinguished scientists and experts, as Pope Francis reiterated in his 2019 Letter “Humana Communitas” to the Pontifical Academy for Life.

Explained finally is that the Pope appoints the Ordinary Academics. However, before they are appointed, the proposed or recommended names undergo a procedure that implies the consultation of the Apostolic Nuncio and the Episcopal Conference of the countries where the Scholars live and work. This also happened in this case and there were no problems.