[With excerpts from Vatican News]
Pope Francis added 4 new Ordinary Academicians to the Pontifical Academy for Life on Friday, February 12, 2021, including our own Margarita Bofarull RSCJ. The Pontifical Academy for Life is a scientific academy of the Holy See, whose mission is to study, in an interdisciplinary perspective, the problems related to the promotion and defense of human life; to form for a culture of life, through appropriate initiatives; and to inform and disseminate the most relevant results of its study and research activities.
Sister Bofarull was already a Corresponding Member of the Pontifical Academy for Life and was already working in a commission of the Pontifical Academy for Life on human gene editing. To clarify, Corresponding Members are appointed by the President of the Academy itself, while Ordinary Members are direct Papal appointments.
Margarita Bofarull serves as a professor of Moral Theology at the Faculty of Theology of Catalonia and the José Simeón Cañas Central American University of El Salvador. She has a degree in Medicine and Surgery and a postgraduate degree in Tropical Medicine from the University of Barcelona, as well as degrees in Theology and Moral Theology from the Faculty of Theology of Catalonia. She has practiced medicine in different outpatient clinics, hospitals and health centers in Spain and Peru, and is president of the Patronat de l'Institut Borja de Bioètica.
With regard to the other appointees, Fr Paolo Benanti, T.O.R., is a professor of Moral Theology, Bioethics, and Neuro-ethics at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University. Professor Gualtiero Walter Ricciardi directs the Department of Sciences of Women’s, Children’s, and Public Health at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, in Italy. Professor Maria Chiara Carrozza is a professor of Industrial Engineering at the Normal School of Pisa, in Italy.
Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia and Msgr. Renzo Pegoraro, the president and chancellor, respectively, of the Pontifical Academy for Life, released a statement welcoming the Pope’s appointments.
“The new appointments of four Ordinary Academicians represent an important event for the entire Pontifical Academy for Life. Our commitment deepens, following the guidelines indicated by Pope Francis in the speeches he addressed to the Pontifical Academy for Life in recent years and in the definition of the 'strategic' objectives of work and study, contained in the 2019 Letter Humana Communitas.
“With Prof. Margarita Bofarull, former Correspondent Academician, reflection in the fields of moral theology and bioethics is strengthened. With Prof. Father Paolo Benanti, former Correspondent Academician and now Ordinary Academician, and with Prof. Maria Chiara Carrozza, the Academy acquires new skills on the topics of technologies and their implications in the ethical and health fields. With the appointment of Prof. Walter Ricciardi, the Pontifical Academy for Life is preparing itself for the next Assembly on the theme of public health in a global perspective in September. That is a topic of great importance both at a social and health level, and for that inescapable ethical reflection in the face of a world changed by Covid19, of women and men in search of meaning and hope for their lives.
“On behalf of all the Academicians, we express an heartfelt thanks to Pope Francis for the attention with which he looks at our work. And we reaffirm the commitment to bring that gospel-based prophetic inspiration and vocation to our world, in order to show the way for a new time.”
Sister Bofarull has expressed her immense joy at this appointment: “I am grateful for the appointment, for what it means in terms of confidence and recognition, also towards the Society and towards feminine religious life.”