New Statute for the Pontifical Academy for Life

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The text of a new Statute governing the Pontifical Academy for Life was approved by Pope Francis on October 18 and was promulgated on November 4 by publication in L’Osservatore Romano.

With this new constituent document, several years in preparation, the Academy has been renewed in a way that allows it to respond more effectively to the many challenges that the Ethics of Life presents to believers and to all men and women who ask themselves what it means to live a truly human life.

Commenting on the document, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Academy, said that, “we need to be grateful to the Holy Father for this new Statute. It is part of the broader reorganization of the Roman Curia and as such it enables the Academy to coordinate its work effectively with the work of other organizations that deal with questions of life. Clearly, the first such organizations are the new Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life and the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, but, as the Pope himself said during the Audience he granted to the Institute some days ago, they also include “...other academic institutions, including those that reflect belief systems and cultures different from ours, that are active like us in this very sensitive and developing field of study.”

Monsignor Renzo Pegoraro, Chancellor of the Academy, noted that “this new Statute reflects the Academy’s traditions and the good work it has done in recent years, and it continues the spirit and relevance of the Academy’s scientific endeavors. At the same time, however, this development in the Academy’s life is meant to answer the need for a broadened approach to the pressing and complex questions facing life itself today—an approach ensuring that life is always cared for, protected and respected.”

Among the provisions in the new Statute is one that creates a membership class for Young Academicians so that their work can be more effectively supported and recognized, and another development is the introduction of a more efficient way to renew membership so that it can be as responsive as possible to key issues and trends.