In October 2017 JOHN PAUL II ACADEMY FOR HUMAN LIFE AND THE FAMILY was founded to serve the same goals as the original Pontifical Academy for Life for the interdisciplinary study and defense of human life in all its stages founded by Saint Pope John-Paul II on February 11 1994 (motu proprio Vitae Mysterium.) In May 1981 Pope John Paul II founded a Pontifical Institute of Marriage and Family to study the cradle of human life: marriage and the family.
John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family has taken up the study both of human life and of marriage and the family.
The founders of the John Paul II Academy were a group of former members of the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV).
Jointly with a change of the statutes of the PAV effected by Pope Francis in 2016, it had pleased His Holiness to dismiss all members of the previous PAV in order to create a new Academy for Life. Some of the members of the original PAV were reappointed in the new PAV for maximum terms of 5 years, others not.
A number of members who had not been reappointed, most of whom had been regular PAV members ad vitam and who had made a lifelong commitment to promote the goals of the PAV felt a duty in conscience to continue to fulfil their obligation. They therefore founded this new lay Academy to unfold the splendor of truth about life and family as taught by Pope St John Paul.
The founding members of the Academy all believing Catholics deeply committed to the goals of the original PAV as formulated by Saint John Paul II wished to render through the new Academy a service to the Church’s Magisterium and to the Catholic faithful as expressed in its original statutes and Oath.
The Academy itself is a lay, non-governmental organisation that is and will remain independent of civil and religious organisations.
Academicians united in this new Academy are fully faithful to the authentic Magisterium and perennial doctrine of the Catholic Church.
They also fully acknowledge that the teaching authority of the Catholic Church does not only extend to the revealed truths that no man could know without God’s Revelation and without faith, but also to many metaphysical, anthropological, and ethical truths open to the understanding of human reason.
Thus, while members of this Academy fully submit, by an obedience of faith, to the entire deposit of faith and moral doctrine that the Church presents to us, they understand that as Fides et Ratio says the « wing » to rise up to know and to explain the eternal anthropological and ethical truths that belong to the natural law and its foundation is human reason more than faith. The Popes themselves have emphasized this.
Therefore, Pope John Paul II directed an appeal to philosophers and to men and women of all branches of human knowledge to explain the moral truths which the Church teaches by means of human reason and thus make them better understood by Catholics as well as by all men and women of goodwill.
“You have to go to the entire world to tell everyone: ‘for’ the family no ‘at the expense’ of the family.” – St. John Paul II