The Pontifical Academy for Life, together with President Mons. Vincenzo Paglia, Chancellor Mons. Renzo Pegoraro, and the entire office staff announces with sadness the passing of his Eminence Cardinal Elio Sgreccia to the Home of his Heavenly Father earlier today.
Since the establishment of the Pontificial Academy on February 11 1994, Cardinal Sgreccia has been the protagonist and courageous, wise heart of our institution, supporting and promoting the study, promotion and protection of human life amidst many challenges posed by recent progress in technology and medicine.
The Pontifical Academy for Life is grateful for the positive and valuable work carried out by Cardinal Sgreccia and for his important contribution to scientific discussions and academia on behalf of the Church's Magisterium. Cardinal Sgreccia has always continued to follow the activities of the Pontificial Academy, remaining constantly informed about its current activities and initiatives. With discretion and sensitivity, he has accompanied the work of the Pontifical Academy, participating in its important assemblies and in its meetings with the Holy Father.
The Pontifical Academy for Life continues with great fervor along the path begun by Cardinal Sgreccia, and with his same zeal in grasping the signs of the times and providing answers to the meaningful questions of contemporary humanity.
Cardinal Sgreccia was born on June 6, 1928 and was ordained a priest in 1952. In 1974, he began serving as the Chaplain of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart. In 1984, he became the first teacher of Bioethics at this same University, and he became a tenured professor in 1990. He was the founder and director of the Bioethics magazine “Medicina e Morale”. From 1992-2000 he was also the director of the Institute of Bioethics. Pope John Paul II appointed him bishop on November 5, 1992. He served as the President of the Pontifical Academy for Life from Jannuary 3, 2005 to June 17, 2008, and has remained President Emeritus to this day. Pope Benedict XVI appointed him a cardinal in 2010.
In his last days, after receiving care at Policlinico Gemelli Hospital, Cardinal Sgreccia expressed a desire to return to his home, where he died peacefully on Wednesday June 5, 2019 at 12:15pm.
His niece, Prof. Palma Sgreccia, who remained close to him throughout his life and death, remembered Cardinal Sgreccia as “a man of faith, characterized by a great temperance in lifestyle, who always tried to promote the good of all. He was guided by the light of faith and the strength of reason in his every choice and decision.”
Vatican City, June 5, 2019