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.
Church Roman Catholic Church
Predecessor Ignacio Carrasco de Paula; Agostino Vallini
Ordination 15 March 1970
by Angelo Dell'Acqua
Consecration 2 April 2000
by Camillo Ruini
Personal details
Born (1945-04-20) 20 April 1945 (age 72)
Boville Ernica, Frosinone, Italy
Previous post Pontifical Council for the Family
Motto Latin: Gaudium et spes (Joy and hope)
Coat of arms Vincenzo Paglia's coat of arms

Vincenzo Paglia (born 20 April 1945) is an Italian prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He is President of the Pontifical Academy for Life and Grand Chancellor of the St. John Paul II Pontifical Institute for Studies of Marriage and Family. He was bishop of the Terni-Narni-Amelia, Italy. He was a co-founder of the Community of Sant'Egidio in 1968.

He is also postulator for the cause of canonization of Blessed Óscar Romero (1917 – 1980), the assassinated Archbishop of San Salvador in El Salvador,[1] and of Venerable Father Felix Varela (1788 – 1853), a Cuban-American priest who worked in Havana, New York City, and St. Augustine, Florida, in the nineteenth century.

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 pastor of the Basilica parish of Santa Maria in Trastevere. There he 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]

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]

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]

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]

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.[8]

In February 2013 he noted in an interview that homosexual couples should be safe from unjust discrimination in countries where homosexual acts are illegal.[9] He later said that he was not suggesting a change in church doctrine and that he was restating the official teaching of the Church.[10]

As President of the Pontifical Council for the Family he was responsible for the Church's triennial World Meeting of Families.[11]

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]

In 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,[12] later renamed the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences.[13]


  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". Jerusalem Post. Associated Press. 14 January 2009. Retrieved 31 December 2016. 
  8. ^ "Pope Makes Curial Appointments". Zenit. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  9. ^ Speciale, Alessandro (4 February 2013). "Vatican signals options for protecting gay couples". National Catholic Reporter. Religion News Service. Retrieved 21 July 2017. 
  10. ^ Speciale, Alessandro (7 February 2013). "Vatican backtracks on support for gay couples". National Catholic Reporter. Religion News Service. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  11. ^ "Preparations Underway for World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia". Zenit. 25 March 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2017. 
  12. ^ "Archbishop Paglia Named President of Life Academy". Zenit. 17 August 2016. Retrieved 20 July 2017. 
  13. ^ 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. 

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Franco Gualdrini
Bishop of Terni-Narni-Amelia
Succeeded by
Giuseppe Piemontese
Preceded by
Ennio Antonelli
President of the Pontifical Council for the Family
Office abolished
Preceded by
Ignacio Carrasco de Paula
President of the Pontifical Academy for Life
15 August 2016-present