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Archbishop Paglia defends leadership of Pontifical Academy for Life

June 07, 2017

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia has answered criticisms of his leadership of the Pontifical Academy for Life, in a lengthy interview with Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register.

In a separate piece, Pentin also reports on the concerns expressed by former members of the Pontifical Academy for Life, who feel that the institution has been neutralized under Archbishop Paglia’s leadership.

In the Register interview, Archbishop Paglia says that he appreciates the opportunity to explain his views, and welcomes the “hardball questions” that Pentin has posed. He says that the task of the Pontifical Academy is “to express clearly what it means to be human and must present an attractive vision of human love and solidarity that can guide individuals and communities to choose rightly as they deal with situations over which they often have little control.”

The archbishop says that all members of the Pontifical Academy were removed from their posts because the old statutes for the body did not have any provision for term limits. The decision was made to end all terms simultaneously at the end of 2016, leaving the Pope free to reappoint members at his discretion. Archbishop Paglia insisted that the new statutes for the body call for a strong commitment to the defense of human life.

Questioned about the controversial mural that he commissioned for his cathedral while serving as Bishop of Terni, Italy, Archbishop Paglia denied that the work had a homo-erotic theme. He said that the people of Terni had expressed no objections to the mural.

Former members of the Pontifical Academy, in separate interviews with Pentin, express their dismay that the body has been purged of pro-life activists. One founding member, Christine Vollmer, said that the current leadership was seeking to “neutralize” the body, which was created by St. John Paul II to combat the culture of death.

 
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