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Pro-life vow eliminated from statutes for Pontifical Academy for Life

November 11, 2016

The newly revised statutes for the Pontifical Academy for Life no longer require members to sign a declaration that they will follow Church teachings on the sanctity of human life, the LifeSite News service reports.

Pope Francis issued new statutes for the Pontifical Academy for Life in October. The Pontiff has sought to shift the focus of the office, and the new statutes—while retaining a commitment to “the defense of the dignity of each single human being”—also adds a mandate for the Pontifical Academy to environmental concerns. The statutes call for promotion of “an authentic ‘human ecology, which may help to recover the original balance of Creation between the human person and the entire universe.”

The old statutes, issued in 2004, required members of the Pontifical Academy who work in medical and scientific fields to sign a “Declaration of the Servants of Life.” That requirement has been eliminated in the new statutes. The Declaration included a commitment to reject “destructive research on the embryo or fetus, elective abortion, or euthanasia.”


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  • Posted by: grateful1 - Nov. 13, 2016 10:10 AM ET USA

    So why not be honest and change the name to the Pontifical Academy for "an Authentic Human Ecology," whatever that means? There is a profound "inauthenticity" (dare I say "dishonesty"?) in Pope Francis's efforts to refashion Church teachings in accord with his own leftist leanings.

  • Posted by: [email protected] - Nov. 12, 2016 3:19 PM ET USA

    If the translation is accurate then this Pope strikes again to confuse and misleading. It is sad indeed when you have an institution dedicated to life and change to ecology and climate change. This Pope is like the Democrats so focused on one thing they fail to see the revolution coming.

  • Posted by: unum - Nov. 12, 2016 8:30 AM ET USA

    ??? More confusing changes by the Vatican, unaccompanied by teaching and clear explanation for the faithful! The "dumbing down" of Church teaching continues with the intelligentsia ignoring the faithful.

  • Posted by: jalsardl5053 - Nov. 12, 2016 2:52 AM ET USA

    So then also change the name: The Pontifical Academy for Ecology. Dear boy, you cannot have it both ways: change the focus and retain a commitment? Your focus will bury the commitment.

  • Posted by: Cincinnatus - Nov. 11, 2016 8:15 PM ET USA

    The elimination of the "vow" actually make the members' commitment to life in the statutes even stronger. The English translation issued by the Vatican Press Office in addition to being stilted an not free of errors, is not official. The official Italian uses "generi" which can mean "kinds" "genders" or "sexes. ". The Academy's own translation, which appears on its website, is error-free, and translates "generi" as "sexes." LifeSite please take note.