Homage to Professor Lejeune MD

Source: FSSPX News


The Holy Father expressed "his gratitude" towards this institution, for the "service brought to the Church and the civil society". This service consists in "the collaboration with the doctrinal and pastoral organisms of the Holy See" about the "data and knowledge necessary for decisions concerning life, to be assumed in a moral framework". The Pope insisted "on the importance of the presence of Catholics in the cultural domains, in the school and university world and in that of scientific and technical research".

This colloq began with an evocation of the personality of Professor Jérôme Lejeune, a French geniticist and first President of the Pontifical Academy for life. "To pay homage to a good man is a work of pure justice, and it is very good that our company inscribed in the official program of its tenth anniversary this spontaneous need to express our gratitude to its first President", declared Jean-Marie Le Méné.

He depicted his predecessor as someone who "never ceased to be at the service of life, as a scientist and as a MD". "For him, it was unthinkable to kill with one hand and to heal with the other, or rather to kill the children we were not able to cure. Each time he heard of abortion for the patients he was taking care of – for the first campaigns in favor of abortion especially targeted the trisomic children – he had the impression that if he, who was their doctor, did not defend them, nobody would", declared the son-in-law of Professor Lejeune. "Even when nature condemns, the duty of the MD is not to execute the sentence, but rather to try to commute it", the French geneticist would like to recall.

Cardinal Fiorenzo Angelini, emeritus President for the Pastoral of Health, asked for the opening of a process of beatification of Professor Jérôme Lejeune, in the course of his speech : "He was a scientist who lived his faith in his profession, with heroism because he knew how to accompany it with simplicity and the joy to serve life with full devotion and total disinterest.

A scientist of worldwide renown, Jérôme Lejeune discovered trisomy 21 in 1959, thus opening the way to a new science, cytogenetics. In 1964, the first chair of fundamental genetics was founded for him at the Faculty of Medicine of Paris. He was also rector of the research center CNRS, and head of the department of sick children in the Necker Hospital. He received the Kennedy Award in 1962, the William Allen Memorial Award in 1969. Called by Pope Paul VI to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in 1974, and several times given as a possible candidate for the Nobel Prize, he was a member of the Institute of France in 1982, and of the National Academy of Medicine in 1984.

These past February 19, 20, 21, the works of the Pontifical Academy were centered on the theme of reproduction, according to its pluridisciplinary methodology, to wit, scientific, anthropological, theological, ethical, juridical and technological.

The participants thus presented the new technologies of reproduction and their anthropological implications. Then the conferences were about the repercussions of artificial procreation on the medical, spiritual and juridical domain. Lastly, they studied solutions of replacement for artificial procreation, with a special reference to prevention of infertility, the medico-surgical therapies of sterility. The recourse to adoption was equally brought forth.

The acts of this colloq will be published in the course of this year.