Vincenzo Paglia

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His Excellency

Vincenzo Paglia
  • President of the Pontifical Academy for Life
  • Grand Chancellor of the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences
Vincenzo Paglia in 2015.
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
PredecessorIgnacio Carrasco de Paula; Agostino Vallini
Ordination15 March 1970
by Angelo Dell'Acqua
Consecration2 April 2000
by Camillo Ruini
Personal details
Born (1945-04-20) 20 April 1945 (age 79)
Boville Ernica, Frosinone, Italy
Previous post(s)
MottoGaudium et spes (Joy and hope)
Coat of armsVincenzo Paglia's coat of arms

Vincenzo Paglia (born 20 April 1945) is an Italian prelate of the Catholic Church. He is the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life and grand chancellor of the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences.

Paglia was president of the Pontifical Council for the Family from 2012 to 2016 and Bishop of Terni-Narni-Amelia from 2000 to 2012. He was also a co-founder of the Community of Sant'Egidio in 1968. Paglia was the postulator for the cause of canonization of Óscar Romero and of Felix Varela.[1]

Early years[edit]

Paglia was born in Boville Ernica, Frosinone, Italy. He was educated at the Pontifical Roman Minor and Major Seminary. He earned a Licentiate in Philosophy and a degree in Theology from the Pontifical Lateran University, Rome. He also earned a master's degree in Pedagogy from the University of Urbino, Italy. As a student in 1968, he was one of the co-founders of the Community of Sant'Egidio, an association of lay Catholics.

He was ordained a priest for the diocese of Rome on 15 March 1970 and served as a curate in Casal Palocco from 1970 to 1973. Later, he was rector of the Church of Sant'Egidio in Trastevere. From 1981 to 2000, he was the pastor of the Basilica parish of Santa Maria in Trastevere. There in 1982, he initiated the annual Christmas lunch (Pranzo di Natale) for the homeless and the poor, a project of the Community of Sant'Egidio held inside the church.[2]

He was the first priest to enter Albania after the elections in March and April 1991. He successfully negotiated the re-opening of the seminary and the return of the cathedral, and he paved the way for relations between Albania and the Holy See.[citation needed]

On 4 March 2000, Pope John Paul II appointed him bishop of Terni-Narni-Amelia. He received episcopal consecration from Cardinal Camillo Ruini on 2 April and took possession of the diocese on 16 April.

In September 2002, John Paul named him President of the Catholic Biblical Federation.[3]

From 2004 to 2009, he was chairman of the Commission for Ecumenism and Dialogue of the Italian Episcopal Conference, and from 2009 until 2012 he was president of the Episcopal Conference of Umbria. As President of the Conference of Bishops of Umbria, he promoted the Solidarity Fund, an initiative that provides economic support for families particularly affected by the recent economic crisis.

He was ecclesiastical advisor of the Community of Sant'Egidio.[4]

In December 2010, the town of Narnia sold a castle to an Italian investment group whose head was also a financial officer of Paglia's diocese. A government investigation into the transaction found Paglia had not been involved.[5]

On 6 January 2011, he was named one of the first members, for a five-year renewable term, of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization.[6]

He has been responsible for inter-religious dialogue and has opposed a cooling of relations with Jewish leaders.[7] He was also the postulator of the cause of beatification of Archbishop Oscar Romero[8][9] and wore a pectoral cross of Romero's that had been donated to him by Mgr. Ricardo Urioste, Romero's vicar general.[10]

Pontifical Council for the Family[edit]

On 26 June 2012, Pope Benedict XVI named him President of the Pontifical Council for the Family and raised him to the rank of archbishop.[11]

In February 2013, he noted in an interview that homosexual couples should be safe from unjust discrimination in countries where homosexual acts are illegal.[12] He later said that he was not suggesting a change in church doctrine and that he was restating the official teaching of the Church.[13]

As the President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, he was responsible for the Church's triennial World Meeting of Families.[14]

His tenure as head of the Pontifical Council on the Family ended when that department's functions were taken over by the new Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life on 1 September 2016.

Pontifical Academy for Life[edit]

On 15 August 2016, Pope Francis named him President of the Pontifical Academy for Life and Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family,[15][16] later renamed the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences.[17] His appointment was part of Pope Francis' reform of the Roman Curia, timed to coincide with the erection of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life. Francis gave the Institute greater autonomy by setting aside the Institute's statute that made the grand chancellor of the Pontifical Lateran University its grand chancellor as well,[15] anticipating his revision of the Institute's statues released in September 2017.[17] He authored a mission statement urging Paglia to "aid families to live their vocation in today's world" by promoting "the perspective of mercy", knowing that "even in theological study, the pastoral perspective and attention to the wounds of humanity never fail".[18]

On 19 September 2016, he presided and delivered the homily at the funeral of former Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. A longtime friend of Ciampi, he described bringing Pope Francis' blessing to him on his deathbed.[19][20]

In 2023 speaking at the Perugia Journalism Festival on “The last journey (towards the end of life),” Archbishop Paglia said the Catholic Church “does not have a package of prêt-à-porter, a pre-packaged truth as if it were a distributor of truth pills.” He said how “Personally, I would not practice assisted suicide, but I understand that legal mediation can constitute the greatest common good concretely possible in the conditions in which we find ourselves,” [21]

On Humane Vitae he said how "the recognition of the unbreakable connection between married love and generation in Humanae Vitae does not mean that every marital act must necessarily bear fruit."[22] He added how "We are facing epochal challenges. In the Sixties, the 'pill' was considered a total evil. Today, we face even greater dangers. All human life is at risk if we don’t stop spiralling conflict, the arms race, if we don’t stop destroying the environment".


  1. ^ Salgado, Soli (12 March 2015). "Salvadoran president: Oscar Romero's beatification is a miracle for the country". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  2. ^ Pentin, Edward (10 January 2013). "Sant'Egidio's Christmas Lunch Marks 30th Year". Zenit. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  3. ^ "Filipino Cardinal Tagle named head of Catholic Biblical Federation". Catholic News Service. 13 March 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  4. ^ "John Paul II Receives Sant´Egidio Founder". Zenit. 29 August 2001. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  5. ^ Glatz, Carol (23 September 2015). "Key organizer of families' meeting is dropped from Italian investigation". National Catholic Register. Catholic News Service. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  6. ^ "New Head for Consecrated Life Congregation". Zenit. 6 January 2011. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  7. ^ "Italy rabbis: Pope canceling progress". The Jerusalem Post. Associated Press. 14 January 2009. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  8. ^ "Romero: 34 years ago, a shot broke the silence. And then there was death". 20 March 2014. Archived from the original on 27 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Romeronews" (PDF). Romero Trust. 1 January 2014. p. 3. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 January 2021.
  10. ^ Anfossi, Francesco (20 May 2016). "Monsignor Paglia: io, Pannella e quella croce" [Mg Paglia: I, Marco Pannella and that cross]. Famiglia Cristiana. Archived from the original on 5 June 2021.
  11. ^ "Pope Makes Curial Appointments". Zenit. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
  12. ^ Speciale, Alessandro (4 February 2013). "Vatican signals options for protecting gay couples". National Catholic Reporter. Religion News Service. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  13. ^ Speciale, Alessandro (7 February 2013). "Vatican backtracks on support for gay couples". National Catholic Reporter. Religion News Service. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  14. ^ "Preparations Underway for World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia". Zenit. 25 March 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  15. ^ a b "Rinunce e nomine, 17.08.2016" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 17 August 2016. Retrieved 2 July 2022.
  16. ^ "Archbishop Paglia Named President of Life Academy". Zenit. 17 August 2016. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  17. ^ a b Lamb, Christopher (19 September 2017). "Pope Re-Founds Major Church Institute on Marriage and Family with New Focus on Studying 'Lights and Shadows' of Contemporary Family". The Tablet. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  18. ^ "Chirografo del Santo Padre Francesco a S.E. Mons. Vincenzo Paglia..." (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 17 August 2016. Retrieved 3 July 2022. Letter dated 15 August 2016.
  19. ^ "L'addio a Ciampi: «L'Italia intera è in lutto»" [Farewell to Ciampi: 'All of Italy is mourning']. Avvenire (in Italian). 19 September 2016. Archived from the original on 5 June 2021. Retrieved 3 July 2022.
  20. ^ "Monsignor Paglia celebra i funerali di Ciampi: «È stato il presidente di tutti»" [Monsignor Paglia celebrates the funeral rites of Ciampi: 'He was everyone's president'] (in Italian). Umbria 24. Archived from the original on 21 August 2017. Retrieved 3 July 2022.
  21. ^ Head of papal academy sparks new row with euthanasia remarks
  22. ^ [1]

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Bishop of Terni-Narni-Amelia
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of the Pontifical Council for the Family
Office abolished
Preceded by President of the Pontifical Academy for Life
15 August 2016 – present