Michel Schooyans

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Michel Schooyans (born on 6 July 1930 in Braine-l'Alleud, Belgium), is a Jesuit and former university professor in theology and political philosophy in Catholic universities in Brazil (Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo) from 1959 to 1969 and Belgium (Université Catholique de Louvain) from 1965 to 1995.

Ordained as a priest in 1955, he completed a Ph.D. in Philosophy in 1958 and was sent to Brazil the same year by the COPAL, the Collège pour l'Amérique latine de Louvain, a Belgian institution created at the instigation of the Holy See to train Belgian missionary priests who would be sent to Latin America to counter Marxist and Protestant influences there.[1]

In a 1998 text marking and commenting the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, he wrote that "every time that, in the name of this new conception of human rights, "new individual rights" - right to homosexuality, to abortion, to euthanasia, etc. - are suggested, there is a step forward towards the civilian sacralisation of violence".[2]

During the 2010 controversy over Mgr. Fisichella's position towards the 2009 Brazilian girl abortion case, Mgr. Schooyans played an active role in the radical pro-life Vatican lobby which asked for Fisichella's resignation from the presidency of the Pontifical Academy for Life, saying that he had fallen into the trap of "bogus compassion," in criticizing the public excommunication by the Brazilian bishops of the doctors who had decided to perform an abortion on a nine-year-old girl who had been raped and whose life was at risk.[3]

He is a member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences of the Vatican, of the Royal Institute of International Relations in Brussels, the Institute for Demographic Policy in Paris, the Population Research Institute in Washington.


  1. ^ French: Caroline Sappia, Olivier Servais, Mission et engagement politique après 1945: Afrique, Amérique latine, Europe, Karthala Editions, 2010, ISBN 9782811104085 pp. 53 and 58
  2. ^ French: chaque fois qu'au nom de cette nouvelle conception des droits de l'homme on propose de "nouveaux droits" individuels - droit à l'homosexualité, à l'avortement, à l'euthanasie, etc. - on avance d'un cran dans la marche conduisant à la sacralisation civile de la violence, in: Droits de l'homme et démocratie. A propos du cinquantenaire de la Déclaration universelle des droits de l'homme
  3. ^ Nicole Winfield, "Vatican official dismisses calls for resignation", Associated Press, February 22, 2010

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