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Contact: Leslie Palma: 347-286-7277
VATICAN CITY -- Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, commented today on the recently concluded General Assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life (Feb. 19-22), which he attended at the Vatican as a member. The theme of the meeting was “Aging and Disability” and demonstrated how society’s mistreatment of the unborn and the elderly are mirror images of each other.
“Pope Francis has now spoken of a ‘throw away culture’ in describing both the treatment of the unborn and the elderly and disabled,” Father Pavone noted. “This culture evolved from the misguided notion that our human rights are determined by how useful and productive we are, rather than by our inherent dignity."
In a written message to members of the Academy, which includes about 130 medical, legal, ethical and theological experts, the Pope referred to the family as "the mistress, one might say, of acceptance and warm welcome as well as of solidarity." The reference to the family was particularly significant since, during the same days as the Academy's Assembly, the Cardinals of the world were gathered in a consistory which, among other things, discussed the important topic of the family, which is also the theme of the worldwide Synod of Bishops coming in October of this year.
The Pope also congratulated the Pontifical Academy for Life for its twenty years of service to the Church. The Academy was formed in 1994 by Pope John Paul II to gather the research and expertise of scholars all over the world in an effort to promote the dignity of life.
Janet Morana, Executive Director of Priests for Life, also attended the annual meeting. She has been a collaborator of the Academy and has given valuable input on the topic of post-abortion healing. While there, Mrs. Morana taped interviews with members of the Academy for the Priests for Life EWTN programs Defending Life and Defendiendo la Vida. Among those interviewed was Birthe Lejeune, the wife of Dr. Jerome Lejeune, who died in 1994 and was the first President of the Pontifical Academy for Life.
During the General Assembly, the Academy celebrated Mass at the tomb of Blessed John Paul II, who will be canonized in April.
“The meeting of the Academy showed once again how vibrant the pro-life movement is around the world," Janet Morana said. "The participants were encouraged by one another and renewed in their readiness to bear witness to Christ, the Author of Life."
Priests for Life is the nation's largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.