Under Sequeri, the institution was upgraded to a pontifical theological institute but was the focus of controversy after the curriculum was changed and theologians regarded as more faithful to the teachings of St. John Paul II dismissed.
The institute was founded in 1981 as a center for the study of Christian anthropology and theology, in light of the philosophical ideas expressed in the Polish pope’s work “Love and Responsibility,” and his teaching cycle known as the “Theology of the Body.”
Pope Francis reestablished the institute in 2017, broadening its focus from theology to include “family sciences.”
In his article, Collin argued that Bordeyne’s appointment confirmed a “paradigm shift,” with Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical Humanae vitae no longer serving as the institute’s “touchstone.”
Collin cited a 2015 essay by Bordeyne, which argued that “it would be reasonable to leave the discernment on birth control methods to the wisdom of couples.”
“In this perspective, the Church could admit a plurality of paths for responding to the general call to maintain the openness of sexuality to transcendence and to the gift of life,” Bordeyne wrote.
He continued: “The way of natural methods that involves continence and chastity could be recommended as an evangelical counsel, practiced by Christian couples or not, that requires self-control in periodic abstinence. The other way whose moral legitimacy could be admitted, with the choice entrusted to the wisdom of the spouses, would consist in using non-abortive methods of contraception.”
As president, Bordeyne faces the immediate challenge of completing the institute’s overhaul, as expressed in Pope Francis’s apostolic letter dated Sept. 8, 2017. He must also seek to reverse a downward trend in student enrollment.
The institute has reportedly been forced to cut some courses because they did not attract a minimum number of students. Others are said to have lost 90% of students.
Bordeyne has specialized in moral theology, ecumenism, and the interpretation of the Second Vatican Council. He is the co-publisher and editor of the Bulletin of Moral Theology of Research in Religious Sciences and founder of the collection “Theology at the University.”
He participated as an expert at the 2015 Family Synod in Rome. In 2017, he published the book “Divorcés remariés: ce qui change avec François” (“Divorced and remarried, what changes with Pope Francis”).
In 2018, he published “Portare la legge a compimento. Amoris Laetitia nelle situazioni matrimoniali fragili” (“Bring the law to fruition. Amoris Laetitia in fragile matrimonial situations”) with the Vatican publishing house.
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He is a member of the academic board of the International Academy for Marital Spirituality (INTAMS). The organization dedicated a 2019 issue of its magazine “Marriage, Families & Spirituality” to “The rights of homosexual couples.”
The issue backed same-sex adoption and questioned whether the Church’s condemnation of homosexual relations could be applied to “long-term love relations between people of the same sex.”