A Light Has Shone - Christmas 2020 with the Pontifical Academy for Life

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From December 1st short videos of Christmas greetings made by the Academicians themselves with their smartphones are published on the social channels of the Pontifical Academy for Life. It is the “A Light Has Shone” initiative, promoted by the Pontifical Academy for Life to wish the world a Christmas of peace and hope.

As explained by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life: “It is a simple initiative in its conception and realization that is meant to bring a message of hope, peace, brotherhood, in this time of pandemic. It is a way that the Pontifical Academy for Life has chosen for Christmas to follow up our ongoing work. This pandemic questions us deeply, in the light of the Gospel, with regard to our lifestyles, the change underway, the kind of society we want to build to start down the road of universal human brotherhood".

The “A Light Has Shone - Christmas 2020 with the Pontifical Academy for Life” initiative is also an opportunity to draw up a brief assessment of the 2020 activities, which began with the Assembly dedicated to Artificial Intelligence on February 26-27 and with the signing of the "Rome Call for AI Ethics" by Microsoft President Brad Smith, IBM Vice President John Kelly III, FAO Director General Qu Dongyu, Italian Minister for Innovation Paola Pisano on February 28.

The Pontifical Academy devoted two documents to the pandemic: the 30 March document (“Pandemic and Universal Brotherhood”) and the 22 July document (“Humana Communitas in the Era of the Pandemic”). From the point of view of ordinary activities, social channels are confirmed as the best way to reach and inform a large audience. During 2020 (from January to November) the Press and External Communication Office published 1,116 tweets. These tweets had 127k views in November, with a peak of 336k views for 97 tweets in September.

“For 2021 - notes Archbishop Paglia - we intend to continue our reflection about the changes that this pandemic is imposing on our lifestyles. We are also preparing online appointments with our Academicians and we will hold the September 2021 Assembly in attendance. Other topics carefully observed concern palliative care and vaccines, which are now the litmus test of an ethical approach to global health".

(original text: Italian - translation by Leonardo Stefanucci, revised by Fabrizio Mastrofini)