Catholic World News

Governing council named for Pontifical Academy for Life

August 08, 2017

Pope Francis has named a six-member governing council for the Pontifical Academy for Life, completing his thorough revamping of that institution.

The new members—who were appointed on May 16, although their names were not released until August 8—are:

  1. Etsuko Akiba, a professor of criminal law at the University of Toyama, Japam;
  2. Bishop Alberto German Bochatey, an auxiliary of the La Plata, Argentina diocese and head of the Institute for Marriage and Family at the Catholic University of Argentina;
  3. Monica Lopez Barahona, director of the Biosciences Study Centre in Madrid and director of Jerome Lejeune chair of Bioethics;
  4. Adriano Pessina, professor of moral philosophy and director of the Center for Bioethics at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan;
  5. Msgr. Pierangelo Sequeri, director of the John Paul II Institute for the Study of Marriage and Family in Rome; and
  6. Msgr. Carlos Simon Vazquez, an official of the dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life.

The August 8 announcement from the Pontifical Academy for Life also listed 89 new “corresponding members,” whose appointments were dated July 25. The list included several Americans:

  • Robert Buchanan, chief of the neurosurgery department at the University of Texas at Austin;
  • Maureen Condic, associate professor neurobiology and anatomy at the University of Utah medical school;
  • Roberto Delloro, director of the Bioethics Institute at Loyola Marymount University in California;
  • Richard Doerflinger, the former pro-life director for the US bishops’ conference;
  • Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, superior of the Sisters of Life;
  • Father Kevin Fitzgerald, SJ, professor of health-care ethics at Georgetown University;
  • Christopher Kaczor, professor of philosophy at Loyola Marymount;
  • Richard Lerner, director of the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University in Massachusetts;
  • Carter Snead, law professor at Notre Dame;
  • Henk Ten Have, director of the Center for healthcare ethics at Duquesne University in Pennsylvania;
  • Vicky Thorn, executive director of Project Rachel; and
  • David Tilman, ecology professor at the University of Minnesota.


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  • Posted by: cincinnatus - Aug. 09, 2017 12:00 PM ET USA

    To assist in the accuracy of your reporting: The Governing Council of the Academy for Life has eight members, not just six: The two that your article omitted are: Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Academy, and Msgr. Renzo Pegoraro, Chancellor of the Academy. They, and Monsignors Sequeri and Simon are ex officio. The Other four are Ordinary Members chosen for five-year terms by the Holy Father.

  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Aug. 08, 2017 9:35 PM ET USA

    I see two trustworthy US corresponding members, but what power do they have? Also what power does the Governing Council have? We need to research the backgrounds of all these people and their power to see if they can offset the motley crew that are members.