new member of the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV)
The 23rd Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Academy of Life (PAV), was held in The Vatican City October 5-7. It was a “special” assembly because it was the first meeting of the new 153 academicians (sholars), coming from 37 countries, appointed after the reform of the Roman Curia willed by Pope Francis.
Novelty and change, of course, but in continuity with a story that dates to 1994.
The novelty is to be found in a “double logic of enlargement and deepening” (Mgr Vincenzo Paglia, opening speech, October 5), that is, of inclusion and of a courageous dialogue in the interweaving of opportunities and criticalities that intercepts planetary humanism, in reference to the recent technological developments of the sciences of life. The power of biotechnology, which already allows manipulations of life until yesterday unthinkable, poses tremendous questions” (Pope Francis, speech addressed to PAV members October 5).
The three days of the assembly included: a one-day open-workshop on “Accompanying life. New Responsibilities in the Technology Era”, as well as several closed-door sessions of reflection.
New and emerging issues include: neuroethics, neuroscience and neuro-technologies applied to consciousness, robotics, transhumanism and post-humanism, and human genetic editing.
The synthesis and final mission of the new PAV could be summarized with these words: in the technological era we live in, it is urgent to articulate a new and enthusiastic anthropological synthesis of the formidable biotechnological challenges by promoting the life of the human person and creation, our common home.
Here is the task that awaits us as academics in the service of the Magisterium and of the Church in matters concerning human life and dignity, its promotion and safeguard.
“A new beginning,” “a new horizon,” “difficult, but also exciting” that passes for that “picking up the challenge” and that “resume the initiative” by dialoguing with men and women with “generous minds and enlightened”, who know how to open “roads for science and conscience in their time. The world needs believers who, with seriousness and happiness, are creative and proactive, humble and brave, resolutely determined to recapitulate the fracture between generations.” This is the inclusive and promising “cultural revolution” that will truly promote the well-being of every human person (Pope Francis, speech to PAV members on October 5).