Vatican spokesman: Pope has not received letter from Academy for Life members
Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi
Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi

.- A statement written and released this week by members of the Pontifical Academy for Life against the actions of their president has not reached the Holy Father or the secretary of state, Vatican spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi said on Friday. He also expressed his misgivings that such a document would be in circulation at all.

According to Vatican Radio, Fr. Lombardi responded to journalists' questions on Friday about the nature of a statement from members of the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV) outlining their criticism of the body's president, Archbishop Rino Fisichella.

The statement, bearing the signatures of five academy members, describes a lack of confidence in the archbishop as president of the Academy for Life and expresses their hope that "the Holy Father will recognize the need to provide him with an occupation better suited to his abilities. "

The statement refers particularly to the damaging effects of Archbishop Fisichella's response to the abortion of the twins of a nine-year old girl in Recife, Brazil last spring. They pointed to the ineffectiveness of his clarification in "dispelling the false understanding of the Church’s teaching about direct abortion conveyed by the 15 March 2009 article."

This article, written by the archbishop, seemed to condone "therapeutic abortions" in certain cases.

In response to requests for clarification from members of the PAV, first directly to Archbishop Fisichella and then, after he rejected the request for a formal explanation, to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a "Clarification" was released. The Clarification said that Archbishop Fisichella's words were subjected to "exploitation and manipulation" to make it seem like he had accepted the doctors' decision to abort the twins.

At that point, the issue seemed to have been resolved.

One of the five signatories of the statement, Christine de Marcellus de Vollmer, told CNA on Thursday that Archbishop Fisichella caused a flare up in tensions with his opening remarks at the recently concluded plenary assembly of the Academy.

On the first day of the plenary, Feb. 11, Archbishop Fisichella blasted members of the Academy who had asked for a clarification and described the action as "malice," "spite," and as rooted in "a desire to cause a situation of conflict."

According to the statement from the five PAV members, the archbishop's remarks "had the effect of confirming in the minds of many Academicians the impression that we are being led by an ecclesiastic who does not understand what absolute respect for innocent human lives entails."

The signatories called this "an absurd state of affairs in a Pontifical Academy for Life but one which can be rectified only by those who are responsible for his appointment as President."

Vatican Radio reported Fr. Lombardi as declaring that this issue has not reached the Pope or his secretary of state Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who are responsible for deciding the archbishop's fate.

The director of Vatican Radio and the Holy See's Press Office called into question the reasons for circulating such a document at all and pointed out that the Belgian priest and academic, Msgr. Michel Schooyans, whose name appears as one of the five signatories, was not even present at the PAV's plenary meeting from Feb. 11-13, which would have been the place to bring up a problem of this nature.

CNA spoke by telephone with Fr. Graham Bell from the Pontifical Academy for Life on Friday morning about the assembly. He informed CNA that the addresses from the plenary would not be released because they were "closed meetings."

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 18, 2014

Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Good Friday)

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Is 52:13-53:12
Second Reading:: Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Gospel:: Jn 18:1-19:42

Homily of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: