Re-shuffle at Pontifical Academy for Life, JPII Institute

By Claire Chretien, LifeSiteNews:

VATICAN CITY, August 18, 2016

pontifical-academy-for-lifeA Vatican prelate known for his support of loosening the Church’s approach toward Holy Communion for those living unrepentantly in objectively sinful situations has been appointed to head the Pontifical Academy for Life and the Pontifical Pope John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family.

Italian Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, 71, is the current president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, but will now become president of Pontifical Academy for Life. The Pontifical Council for the Family and the Pontifical Council for the Laity will shut down in September; the work previously under their auspices will fall under a new Dicastery for the Laity, Family, and Life, headed by Dallas Bishop Kevin Farrell.

Pope Francis also appointed Paglia grand chancellor of the Pontifical Pope John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. The institute is known for defending the Catholic Church’s teachings on marriage in line with its namesake’s prolific writings on the topic. However, many of its scholars were excluded from the two synods on marriage and family despite their theological expertise.

Milanese theologian Monsignor Pierangelo Sequeri, 71, will be the Institute’s new president, replacing current president Monsignor Livio Melina, 64.

In a letter to Paglia on Wednesday, Pope Francis laid out how he hopes Paglia will reshape the institutions he is now tasked with leading.

“In theological study, a pastoral perspective and attention to the wounds of humanity should never be missing,” Pope Francis wrote. He called for the Pontifical John Paul II Institute and the Pontifical Academy for Life to undergo “a renewal and further development” in order for them to focus “ever more clearly on the horizon of mercy.”

“As President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, I urge you to deal with the new challenges concerning the value of life,” the pope tells Paglia. “I refer to the various aspects concerning the care of the dignity of the human person in the various ages of existence, mutual respect between genders and generations, the defense of the dignity of every single human being, the promotion of quality of human life that integrates the material and spiritual values, in view of an authentic ‘human ecology’, which helps to restore the original balance of creation between the human person and the whole universe.”

Paglia has mixed history, will run historically orthodox institutions

Paglia has spoken out in defense of the Church’s teaching on marriage and human sexuality, calling the defense of family something that transcends the left-right political divide and lamenting that “for the first time in history” the union of marriage, family, and life “is being torn apart.”

“We are going towards a ‘de-familied’ society and therefore [a] weaker and less solid” one, he said in 2014.

However, as head of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Paglia oversaw the publication of a book embracing the “Kasper proposal” to admit to Holy Communion those living in what the Church considers an active state of adultery. In 2015, he seemingly praised the pro-homosexual television show Modern Family as sparking a dialogue about “the family” and invited same-sex couples to the World Meeting of Families.

Most recently, the Pontifical Council for the Family under his leadership has come under criticism for promulgating a sex-ed program for youth that includes explicit sexual imagery, leaves aside the Church’s teaching on sin, and envisions being taught outside the bosom of the family. Critics warn that the program violates norms previously promulgated by the very same pontifical council.

During his time as President of the Institute, Melina defended the Church’s perennial teaching that remarried divorcees who are not living as “brother and sister” are not to be admitted to Holy Communion. He also wrote that the controversial exhortation Amoris Laetitia, which Pope Francis published after the two synods on the family, “does not change the Church’s discipline,” which is “based on doctrinal grounds.”

“It must be said with clarity: also after Amoris Laetitia it continues to be the case that admitting to communion the divorced and ‘remarried,’ (apart from the situations foreseen by Familiaris Consortio 84 and Sacramentum Caritatis 29) goes against the Church’s discipline,” Melina wrote. “To teach that it is possible to admit the divorced and ‘remarried’ to communion (apart from these criteria), goes against the Church’s Magisterium.”

Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, who helped Pope St. John Paul II write his exhortation Familiaris Consortio, also helped found the Institute. Familiaris Consortio definitively answered the question of whether the divorced and “remarried” may be admitted to Holy Communion. Pope St. John Paul II wrote:

… the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.

Earlier this year, Caffarra told the Catholic faithful not to listen to priests, bishops, or cardinals if they espouse opinions about marriage that are out of line with the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Caffarra also said that if he had the opportunity to speak with Pope Francis about the ambiguity of Amoris Laetitia, he would ask for clarification on whether the Church’s traditional teaching that certain actions are always gravely sinful is “still believed to be true.”

Further reading:

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5 Responses to Re-shuffle at Pontifical Academy for Life, JPII Institute

  1. kathleen says:

    Am I the only one who smells a big fat ugly RAT here? These new appointments, however you look at them, appear to have one sole objective – to undermine and eventually destroy the Church’s unchanging doctrinal teachings on marriage, the family and the grave sinfulness homosexuality!!

    In the link below the article for “Further reading”, there is a piece entitled “Francis Places Entire Vatican Apparatus on Marriage and Family Under Two Prelates Subversive of Both”.
    What on earth is he thinking of by this move? Does he sympathise with the ideas of these “subversive” bishops, whom, if the information is correct should not even be exercising as bishops of the Holy Catholic Church in the first place?
    These manoeuvres can only be seen as part of a deliberate, meditated plan.

    From the article comes this alarming warning to faithful Catholics:

    With the creation of the new “super-dicastery” and these two appointments, Francis has effectively placed the entire Vatican apparatus concerning marriage and family under the control of two prelates who are manifestly subversive of both.

    With each passing day, Francis confirms all the more the dire warning of Sister Lucia at Fatima that “the final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family… [A]nyone who works for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be fought and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue.” But who would have thought that opposition would be aided and abetted by the very one who occupies the Seat of Peter?


    I got a right old hammering for criticising one of Pope Francis’ worldly video messages (void of any reference to the Holy Name of Jesus) a few days ago, so I expect I’m in for another one now. No matter; what has to be said in defence of Our Holy Faith must be said, whatever the outcry coming my way in consequence.


  2. JabbaPapa says:

    I got a right old hammering for criticising one of Pope Francis’ worldly video messages … a few days ago

    Just because your position was exaggerated on one particular question, doesn’t mean you’ll be “hammered” elsewhere …


  3. kathleen says:

    The “hammering” wasn’t so much from you, Jabba. We argued and disagreed at length on that previous issue, and it ended up with frayed nerves on both sides – that’s all. The virtual “beating” came from another commenter.*

    (* P.S. Oh, and two from a couple of liberals whose vile insults never got through the moderation system!)


  4. Roger says:

    I recommend
    Sermon Delivered by Pope Pius XI on the Occasion of the Papal Mass in St. Peter’s for the Canonization of St. Thomas More

    “..John Fisher, gifted by nature with a most gentle disposition, thoroughly versed in both sacred and profane lore, so distinguished himself among his contemporaries by his wisdom and his virtue that under the patronage of the King of England himself, he was elected Bishop of Rochester. In the fulfillment of this high office so ardent was he in his piety towards God, and in charity towards his neighbour, and so zealous in defending the integrity of Catholic doctrine, that his episcopal residence seemed rather a Church and a University for studies than a private dwelling.

    He was wont to afflict his delicate body with fastings, scourges, and hair cloth; nothing was dearer to him than to be able to visit the poor, in order to comfort them in their miseries and to succour them in their needs. When he found someone frightened at the thought of his faults and terrified by chastisements to come, he brought comfort to the erring soul by restoring confidence in God’s mercy. Often when celebrating the Eucharistic Sacrifice, he was seen shedding abundant tears, while his eyes were raised to heaven in an ecstatic expression of love. When he preached to the multitudes of the faithful that crowded round to hear him, he seemed neither a man nor a herald of men, but an angel of God clothed in human flesh.

    Nevertheless, whilst he was meek and affable towards the afflicted and the suffering, whenever there was question of defending the integrity of faith and morals, like a second Precursor of the Lord, in whose name he gloried, he was not afraid to proclaim the truth openly, and to defend by every means in his power the divine teachings of the Church. You are well aware, Venerable Brethren and Beloved Sons, of the reason why John Fisher was called in judgment and obliged to undergo the supreme test of martyrdom. It was because of his courageous determination to defend the sacred bond of Christian marriage—a bond indissoluble for all, even for those who wear the royal diadem—and to vindicate the Primacy with which the Roman Pontiffs are invested by divine command.


    This Primacy Binds later Pontiffs since Peter cannot contradict Peter.

    It is time that Rome was reminded that they can do nothing, have no Authority without Jesus Christ whose name seems to have escaped their Lips.


  5. Roger says:

    Catholicism is God Centred not Man Centred

    The Original balance of Creation is Matthew 22 [36 : 40]

    Charity starts with God (first Commandment -“This is the greatest and the first”) and then the second flows to the love of Neighbour.

    Matthew 22
    36 Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law?
    37 Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind.
    38 This is the greatest and the first commandment.
    39 And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
    40 On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets

    I refer to the various aspects concerning the care of the dignity of the human person in the various ages of existence, mutual respect between genders and generations, the defense of the dignity of every single human being, the promotion of quality of human life that integrates the material and spiritual values, in view of an authentic ‘human ecology’, which helps to restore the original balance of creation between the human person and the whole universe.

    Matthew 15
    9 And in vain do they worship me, teaching doctrines and commandments of men.


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