06 October 2017
Pontifical Academy for Life

Accompanying Life

Workshop on Bioethics and Technology, Archbishop Paglia: “At the heart of the man-woman alliance”

Yesterday, in the New Synod Hall, the Pontifical Academy for Life held a conference on “Accompanying life. New responsibilities in the technological era.” The work was opened in the context of the General Assembly of its Members, the day after the meeting of the Board of Directors, whose members—including our Dicastery’s delegate, Msgr. Carlos Simon Vazquez—were named by the Pope.

In this regard, the PAV President, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, highlighted how “the structural connection of the Academy with the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life and the Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences encompasses the issue of life in the widest sense of the anthropological question. In the prospect of such an anthropological reflection, the man-woman alliance and the related reference to male and female corporeality are of decisive importance today. In this perspective—he added—the issues of bioethics are more articulated and get a new breath.”

The moral philosopher Adriano Pessina spoke about the difficulty of accepting limits: “In a world where what is possible becomes necessary, accepting the limit is considered cruelty, renouncing in the name of the good of others is an immoral resignation.” According to Pessina, these beliefs must be fought, “yes in dialogue with everyone, but also at the cost of being politically incorrect.”

Helen Watt of the Anscombe Bioethics Center in Oxford (United Kingdom) focused on assisted fertilization, pointing out that “children must know who they are and where they come from.” It is important, she stressed, to “distinguish between the great value and dignity of people’s lives and the dehumanized conception of mechanisms that are not up to par.”

Yesterday’s event was the first organized by the renewed Academy for Life. In the coming weeks, the President, Archbishop Paglia, will meet with the Board of Directors to evaluate the Assembly’s proceedings and the curricula of the new candidates as well as the conjoint activities of the PAV, our Dicastery, and the Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences.