An Open Letter

to

His Excellency,
The Most Reverend Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia
President of the Pontifical Academy for Life
and
Members of the Pontifical Academy for Life

 

“Qui tacet consentire videtur.”

“He who is silent is taken to agree.”
St Thomas More, former Lord Chancellor of England, 1  July  1535.
 

“Personally I would not practice assisted suicide, but I understand that legal mediation can constitute the greatest common good concretely possible in the conditions in which we find ourselves.” (Emphasis added)   Archbishop Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, 19 April 2023 in a speech to the International Festival of Journalism in Perugia, Italy.

 

    1. “I think that law 194 is now a pillar of our social life,” (Law 194/1978 legalised procured abortion in Italy)… in a subsequent question the interviewer asked Archbishop Paglia whether he intended to question this law, he replied: “No, absolutely, absolutely!” (Emphasis added) [1, 2]
    1. It was an attempt, and certainly not a perfect one, to accept the invitation contained in Veritatis Gaudium (par. 3) for a radical paradigm shift in theological reflection, or rather – dare I say – at “a bold cultural revolution.” (Emphasis added)  Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia in an interview on the book Theological Ethics of Life. Scripture, tradition, practical challenges. [3]

 

Archbishop Paglia asserts that he understands “that legal mediation [regarding assisted suicide] can constitute the greatest common good concretely possible in the conditions in which we find ourselves.” It can never be in the greatest common good to legalize a mechanism for a doctor to provide a patient  with a poison with which to kill himself. There is  no moral difference between this and the doctor or the nurse giving someone an overdose of morphine himself or herself. Your Excellency, Thou shalt not kill applies equally to both situations. Moreover so called “legal  mediation” of assisted suicide is simply a tactical step in the process of facilitating the legalisation of euthanasia. In practice assisted suicide will be seen by doctors to be the moral hypocrisy that it is and open them to the practice of direct euthanasia.

The Statement published by the press office of the PAV on 24 April 2023 following on the legitimate public outrage at his position is in itself misleading in proclaiming that “The President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, in full conformity with the Church’s Magisterium, reaffirms his “No” to euthanasia and assisted suicide” [4] whilst reiterating his support for a “legislative initiative” that would specify the conditions in which the crime is depenalised.

In order to avoid complicity and in the light of the above absence of an unequivocal correction and apology for this scandalous betrayal of vulnerable patients the remaining  pro-life members of the PAV must ask Pope Francis to dismiss Archbishop Paglia, replacing him with a President who, with courage, unequivocally proclaims the perennial teachings of the Church and Saint John Paul both on life and on its legal protection.

Failing this these pro-life members should themselves resign from this discredited Vatican institution.

 

“Qui tacet consentire videtur.”
“He who is silent is taken to agree.”

 

(1) (Video no longer available) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psj8fnte-Dw  (Alternative link to same reference from “Nuova Bussola Quotidiana” (NBQ) Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CC24DvVl8ds)

(2)https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/252147/taken-out-of-context-pontifical-academy-defends-archbishop-paglias-abortion-law-remarks

(3) http://www.vaticannews.cn/en/vatican-city/news/2022-06/archbishop-vincenzo-paglia-pope-francis-interview-theological-et.html

Interview Question: Is the fact that there is free and open discussion in the book a sign of synodality?

Answer: “Of course. There is no other way, especially when it comes to such fundamental issues as those involving the multiple dimensions of human life. We followed a path of study and reflection that led us to see the issues of bioethics in a new light… It is certainly a process that reflects the synodal breath and climate in which Pope Francis wishes the Church to operate. This synodal process was authoritatively stressed during the workshop, by Cardinals Grech and Semeraro.

(4) https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_constitutions/documents/papa-francesco_costituzione-ap_20171208_veritatis-gaudium.html#_ftn27

This vast and pressing task requires, on the cultural level of academic training and scientific study, a broad and generous effort at a radical paradigm shift, or rather – dare I say – at “a bold cultural revolution.Veritatis Gaudium (par. 3)

(5) https://www.academyforlife.va/content/pav/en/news/2023/paglia-end-of-life-statement.html

 

Yours Sincerely in Christ,

Dr. Thomas Ward
President

Mrs. Christine de Marcellus Vollmer
Vice- President

Mr. Steven M. Mosher
Treasurer

 

 

Member’s Signature:

José Antonio Ureta, Author, Chile

John-Henry Westen, Journalist, Canada

Dr. Adrian Treloar, Consultant in Old Age Psychiatry, England

Miguel da Costa Carvalho Vidigal, Attorney of Law, Brazil

Judith Brown, President, American Life League, United States of America

José Tadeu Nóbrega, Master of Laws, Brazil

Georges Buscemi, President of Campagne Québec-Vie, Canada

Michelle A. Cretella, M.D., United States of America

Michael Hichborn, President of the Lepanto Institute, United States of America

Carlos A. Casanova, Professor of Philosophy and Attorney, Chile

Orlando Villalobos Baillie Dr., United Kingdom

Fr. René Stockman, Superiore generale Fratelli della Carità, Italy

Pedro Luis Llera Vazquez, Professor, Spain

Edmund P Adamus, Education Consultant, England

Fabio Fuiano, Ph.D in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Italy

Fr Patrick Pullicino, Malta

Doyen Nguyen, M.D., S.T.D., Braga, Portugal

Pilar Calva M.D., Mexico

Michael Olsta, Associate Member, United States of America

Stanisław Kobus, Poland

Katarzyna Kobus, Poland

Tommaso Scandroglio, Qualified as an Associate Professor in Moral Philosophy, Italy

Liam Gibson, LLM (Human Rights Law), Northern Ireland – UK

Dr. Claudio Pierantoni, Professor Universidad de Chile, Chile

Thomas Zabiega, MD, Neurologist, United States of America

 

Supporter’s Signatures:

Jesus Rodriguez Arias, Writer, Spain