06 June 2019
Card. Elio Sgreccia

“We have lost a pillar of international bioethics and a great master”

The words of Gabriella Gambino, Undersecretary of the Dicastery, in memory of the Cardinal who died yesterday aged 91

“He left us on the eve of his 91st birthday, Cardinal Elio Sgreccia, President Emeritus of the Pontifical Academy for Life, an eminent Catholic bioethicist who made a fundamental contribution to the culture and pastoral care of human life in the Church and throughout the world.”

This was how Professor Gabriella Gambino, Undersecretary of our Dicastery, who had studied and worked with him a great deal for many years, remembered him.

“He left us quietly in his little apartment near the dome of St. Peter’s.  A pillar of international bioethics, a spiritual father for hundreds of young students like me, ever since I started studying bioethics, as soon as I graduated, under his guidance. ‘Don Elio’, as we called him and how he will always be for all of us and for the hundreds of families whom, first as a priest and later as Bishop and Cardinal, he replenished with blessings, sacraments and spiritual and intellectual teachings. A true pastor of souls, with his gaze always fixed on Mary, Mother of the Church and life. A man of strong faith and character, solid, determined in what he considered his life mission: the defence of human life from the first moment of conception until its natural end. Don Elio knew how to conjugate in an extraordinarily efficient manner faith and reason, teaching us how to think and to discuss in an objective manner, in the light of that ontologically grounded personalism that, thanks to his manual on bioethics, translated into many languages, is known throughout the world.  The last time I met him, a couple of months ago, he left me saying with a smile: ‘The best is always in front of us and is always possible’.  Thank you, Don Elio, generous witness of hope and the triumph of life!”