Pontifical Academy for Life

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The Pontifical Academy for Life or Pontificia Accademia Pro Vita is a Pontifical Academy of the Roman Catholic Church dedicated to promoting the Church's consistent life ethic. It also does related research on bioethics and Catholic moral theology.


Founded in 1994, the Academy is dedicated to "study, information and formation on the principal problems of biomedicine and of law, relative to the promotion and defense of life, above all in the direct relation that they have with Christian morality and the directives of the Church's Magisterium".[1]

Though the Academy is considered an autonomous entity, it is linked to the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance and various other dicasteries of the Roman Curia.

The Academy has seventy members named by the Pope, who represent different branches of biomedical sciences and sciences which are closely linked with problems concerning the promotion and defense of life. There are also three "ad honorem" members and members by correspondence who work in the Academy's various institutes and centers of study.


The Academy is responsible for the development and promotion of many of the Catholic teachings on questions of medical ethics including procreation, IVF, gene therapy, euthanasia and abortion.[2]

It was also responsible for forming, in part, the Church's response to sexual abuse allegations.

On 14 February 2010, the Pope BENEDICTUSBenedict XVI addressed members of the Academy to encourage them in their mission. He reiterated Catholic opposition to legislation relating to biomedical or ethical issues which is decided without moral consideration.[3]


The Academy had been, from 2008, led by Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, former rector of the Pontifical Lateran University. On 30 June 2010, Archbishop Fisichella was named the first President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation by Pope Benedict XVI in a series of important appointments. Monsignor Ignacio Carrasco de Paula (previously Chancellor of the Academy) was appointed the new President. Soon after his nomination, he was named a Bishop by Pope Benedict.

Presidents of the Academy[edit]

See also[edit]


Pontifical Academy for Life Publications

External links[edit]