Washington D.C., Sep 4, 2019 / 17:00 pm
Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, grand chancellor of Rome’s Pontifical Institute John Paul II and president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, has responded to controversy over a plan to restructure the school’s faculty and curriculum.
“We will be able to address and overcome the concerns and the hesitancies that have greeted the renewed structure of the Academy, and I might add of its sister entity, the John Paul II Institute as well,” Paglia said Sept. 3 at Loyola Marymount University in California.
Paglia said that concern can be overcome through the “solid and loving theological basis” outlined for the Academy in a January letter from Pope Francis, written to commemorate the Academy’s anniversary.
In the letter, Paglia said, “the Pope recalls for us the great theological truth that must be our guiding principle—all of creation is brought into being by God’s love, a love that is so profound that itself it is a family, Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and that it is a family so fruitful that it has produced on Earth a family that mirrors it.”
Paglia emphasized that the school must “participate in dialogue with everyone” while working to fulfill its mission.
In his address, Paglia spoke about the importance of a Catholic perspective in the study of bioethics, saying linguistic and cultural differences, as well as different theological and philosophical approaches, can condition the way subjects are studied and taught, even when they are foundational to the Catholic faith.
Paglia acknowledged the recent conflict which has engulfed the pontifical institute, following the approval of new statutes for the school in July, and reiterated the pope’s stated aims for its reform.
The new statutes were issued in response to a 2017 announcement by the pope that he would legally refound the institute to broaden its curriculum, from a focus on the theology of marriage and the family to an approach that will also include the study of the family from the perspective of the social sciences.