.- The Pontifical Academy for Life will celebrate the 10th Anniversary of its foundation by Pope John Paul II by honoring the late French geneticist and pro-life leader Jerome Lejeune.
The Academy, founded by Pope John Paul II in 1994, will hold its 10th General Assembly from February 19 to 22 in the Vatican’s New Synod Hall.
February 19 will be entirely dedicated to the celebration of the anniversary.
Three themes will be developed on that day: the activities of the Pontifical Academy for Life during its first ten years; a commemoration of the late Professor Lejeune, first President of the Academy; and the teachings of Pope John Paul II on human life.
The day will conclude with a concert in the Paul VI Hall for choir and orchestra, directed by Maestro Marco Frisina.
February 20 through 22 will be dedicated to the work of the General Assembly, whose theme this year is “The Dignity of human procreation and reproductive technologies: anthropological and ethical aspects”.
The Assembly will conclude with the release of a final communiqué, which will serve as a summary of the debate and of the conclusions of the meeting. The Proceedings of the meeting will be published in Italian and in English, over the following months.
Prof. Lejeune, a personal friend of Pope John Paul, discovered the trisomy of chromosome 21, which causes Down’s Syndrome. As a staunch pro-lifer, he was horrified to see how his discovery was used for selective abortions.
Professor Lejeune passed away on Easter Saturday, 1994. Pope John Paul, during his visit to Paris in 1997, made a personal visit to the cemetery to pray at the Professor’s tomb.