Archbishop Paglia' statement about Cardinal Sgreccia
"The death of Cardinal Elio Sgreccia certainly leaves a great void. I remember him - I was still a young priest at the time - as one of the pioneers in the world of medicine and health care ministry, especially in the area of research on bioethical problems. The integration of Christian doctrine and scientific subjects was very important in his approach, teaching that the Church can legitimately speak of science and can do so with knowledge of the facts, with rigor, with intelligence and faith in the human. From this comes the dialogue that we have developed over the years on how to give life to that new 'civilization of love', on which John Paul II insisted so much. This passes through all phases of human life, especially the first formative years within the family, which is the true womb able to welcome, guard, protect, and develop a new mature and conscious life.
As President of the Pontifical Academy for Life since 2016, dialogue with the Cardinal President Emeritus has been a constant in our relationship. We often spoke about John Paul II's determination to address these issues, which have pastoral implications. It was because of this factor that John Paul II appointed him, as a bishop and scholar, President. Several times, we spoke of the need to broaden the horizon of bioethics to include issues related to the environment and new technological discoveries. Today we are called to continue this work and - as Pope Francis tells us in the Letter of the Humana Communitas - approach the processes that characterize contemporaneity with wisdom and audacity, to foster an understanding of the heritage of faith at the level a reason that is worthy of mankind. This is why reason it is crucial to participate in the discussion with all concerned so that the development and use of the resources that science and technology make available to us, are oriented to the promotion of the dignity of the person and universal good".
Vatican City 7 June 2019
Testimonianze - Testimonials from our Academics
Madame Jérôme Lejeune et Monsieur Jean-Marie Le Méné, président de la Fondation Jérôme Lejeune, expriment leur vive émotion à l'annonce du rappel à Dieu de Son Eminence le cardinal Sgreccia.
Ils remercient Dieu d'avoir donné Mgr Sgreccia à l'Académie pontificale pour la vie à laquelle il a consacré toute son énergie et sa compétence pendant de longues années. Sa présidence de l'Académie a durablement marqué la plupart des membres de notre compagnie. Ses travaux, et notamment son célèbre Manuel de bioéthique, resteront toujours des outils de référence dans le monde entier. Les sentiments d'estime et d'amitié que le cardinal Sgreccia entretenait avec la famille et la Fondation Jérôme Lejeune sont gravés dans nos cœurs et constituent un encouragement à poursuivre avec fidélité nos engagements respectifs au service de la vie et de la famille.
India mourns the passing away of Cardinal Elio Sgreccia, a bioethicist and President Emeritus of the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV).
As a member of the PAV, I had the honour and privilege of meeting and speaking with Cardinal Sgreccia during the Plenary Assemblies held at the Vatican. His Eminence was gentle and soft spoken, but behind his humble demeanour was a brilliant bioethicist who helped shape the Vatican’s position on many important issues such as embryonic stem-cell research, euthanasia, the definition of brain death, abortion, in-vitro fertilization and surrogacy.
In my brief interactions with Cardinal Sgreccia, I found His Eminence very well versed with Life issues and Health care in India. He always had a word of encouragement and underscored the necessity of promoting and defending the culture of Life in in the context of rapid scientific and technological advancements and the accompanying social, cultural, religious, economic, legal and political changes.
Cardinal Sgreccia was a towering figure, who was critical of abortion, euthanasia, in-vitro fertilization and cloning experiments. His Eminence's books on pastoral care in health care and medical ethics are guidelines for all involved in the service of Life. His Eminence's genius and presence will be greatly missed. Requiescat in Pace.
Dr. Pascoal Carvalho - Mumbai, INDIA - Corresponding member, PAV.
Rev. Msgr. Vincenzo Paglia: We want to express our condolences for the passing of Cardinal Elio Sgreccia, prominent scholar and the President of the Pontifical Academy for Life. We thank God for His life and works, especially for His service to the Academy and efforts in defense of value of human life and in the field of bio-ethics. Requiescat in pace!
Alicja Grześkowiak - Krzysztof Wiak - Catholic University of Lublin of John Paul II - Poland
Telegramma del Santo Padre
GENTILE SIG.A PROFESSORESSA PALMA SGRECCIA PALAZZO DEL SANT’UFFIZIO CITTA’ DEL VATICANO
HO APPRESO LA NOTIZIA DELLA DIPARTITA DI SUO ZIO, IL CARO CARDINALE ELIO SGRECCIA, E DESIDERO ESPRIMERE SENTIMENTI DI CORDOGLIO A LEI, AGLI ALTRI FAMILIARI, COME PURE AGLI ESTIMATORI DEL COMPIANTO PORPORATO. RICORDO CON ANIMO GRATO IL SUO GENEROSO SERVIZIO ALLA CHIESA, SPECIALMENTE LA PREZIOSA E SOLERTE OPERA IN DIFESA DEL FONDAMENTALE VALORE DELLA VITA UMANA, MEDIANTE UNA CAPILLARE AZIONE DI STUDIO, DI FORMAZIONE E DI EVANGELIZZAZIONE. INNALZO FERVIDE PREGHIERE DI SUFFRAGIO PERCHE’ IL SIGNORE, AUSPICE LA VERGINE MARIA, ACCOLGA COSI’ ZELANTE SERVITORE DEL VANGELO NEL GAUDIO E NELLA PACE ETERNA, ED INVIO LA BENEDIZIONE APOSTOLICA A QUANTI CONDIVIDONO IL DOLORE PER LA SUA SCOMPARSA.
Pope Francis has praised late Cardinal Elio Greccia’s “precious work” to defend life…
Upon learning of death of Cardinal Elio Sgreccia, June 5, 2019, President Emeritus of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Francis sent his condolences to the cardinal’s niece, Professor Palma Sgreccia and his relatives, in a telegram. “I remember with a grateful spirit his great service to the Church, especially his precious and diligent work in defense of the fundamental values of human life, by an action of capillary study, and by formation and evangelization".
PRESS RELEASE - June 5, 2019
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