The Pontifical Academy for Life Between Night and Fog

September 11, 2020
Mgr Vincenzo Paglia

While the culture of death is gaining ground everywhere in the West and is one of the major challenges of the next presidential election in the United States, the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life has just rejected any political dimension in the fight for life.

One of the representatives of the Holy See has just thrown a huge brick into the middle of the pond of the American presidential election: the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life declared, on August 28, 2020, that the fight for life “could not constitute a political issue,” but had to be placed in “a perspective of global bioethics.”

Interviewed by Crux, Mgr. Vincenzo Paglia explained: “It would do great harm, if some topic of bioethics is extracted from its general context and put toward ideological strategies. It would do great harm.” The activists fighting for the defense of life will appreciate...

These comments do not fail to suggest an interference as clumsy as it is unwelcome in the campaign for the American presidential election scheduled for November 3, since the current president—who is up for re-election, unlike his rival Democrat,—has put the fight for life at the heart of political engagement.

“Mgr. Paglia is corrupting the principles of Catholic moral theology,” Stefnao Fontana states in reaction in the columns of the Nuova Bussola Quotidiana.

For the philosopher, author of a thesis on political theology, “the renunciation of so-called non-negotiable principles, understood as ordered principles of moral nature, is (intentionally) producing very grave consequences. If there is not something that can never be done – either by the politician or the elector – then everything can be done… It is quite simply the destruction of Catholic morality,” he lamented.

If moral theology is not his strong point, the current president of the Jean-Paul II Academy better handles utopia and doublespeak. At the conclusion of his interview with Crux, Mgr. Paglia urged “Christians to engage in an attentive dialogue in every sense, the humanist and the technological.”

With a touch of humor, one could wonder if, contrary to the lesson of the Gospel, the time has not come to remove, not the beam, but the straw—paglia in Italian—stuck in the eye of the Academy for Life.