06 December 2018

Promoting Life and People’s Health

Interview with our new officer, Leonardo Nepi, an expert in law and bioethics

The Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life has welcomed a new member to its team.  This is Leonardo Nepi, 38 years old, from Arezzo, married and the father of a three-year old daughter.

Can you tell us about your background?

My background is essentially legal as I graduated in law from the LUMSA University in Rome followed by a Ph.D in the Theory and History of Law from the Tor Vergata University of Rome. However, ever since my degree dissertation I had been cultivating my interest in bioethical issues, first by dealing with informed consent and living wills and then genetics advisory and then expanding my horizons to ethical and legal issues related to the problem of violence against women.  I have carried out more than ten years of research activities on these issues under the scientific direction of Professor Laura Palazzani and for the past three years have been teaching Bioethics at LUMSA in the Degree Course in Social Service Sciences.

What is your impression during the initial period of your service with the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life?

My first impression has been extremely positive and first and foremost that of a friendly and cooperative atmosphere among the staff which is of enormous help to those, like me, working for the first time in an office of the Roman Curia.   I find the impact with the questions posed to the Dicastery by bishops and nuncios from all over the world very stimulating. I have found in these many of the issues I have analysed in depth at academic level during my studies.  I hope now to succeed in putting my theoretical skills at the service of the pastoral needs of the Church: with the help of my colleagues and the guidance of my superiors, I will make my best efforts to contribute to the pursuit of the Dicastery’s objectives.

What are the bioethical issues to which you feel the Dicastery should pay greater attention?

I believe that the most important issues should be identified through dialogue with the local Churches as the needs relating to the promotion of life and people’s health in the five continents are very different.  Therefore, relations with the bishops is important. They are the ones who inform us from time to time about the most urgent matters for the local Churches in their countries of origin regarding the social and cultural context in which they operate.