Cardinal Elio Sgreccia © Vatican Media

Pope Praises 'Precious Work' of Cardinal Sgreccia to Defend Human Life

‘Protagonist & Courageous Soul’ of Pontifical Academy for Life

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Pope Francis has praised late Cardinal Elio Greccia’s «precious work» to defend life…
Upon learning of death of Cardinal Elio Sgreccia, June 5, 2019, President Emeritus of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Francis sent his condolences to the cardinal’s niece, Professor Palma Sgreccia and his relatives, in a telegram.
“I remember with a grateful spirit his great service to the Church, especially his precious and diligent work in defense of the fundamental values of human life, by an action of capillary study, and by formation and evangelization,”
Through its President, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, its Chancellor, Monsignor Renzo Pegoraro, and all the staff, the Pontifical Academy for Life announced this morning with “sadness,” the death of its President Emeritus.
“Since the establishment of the Pontifical Academy on February 11, 1994, Cardinal Sgreccia was the protagonist and courageous soul of our institution, supporting and promoting activities of study and protection of human life, given the challenges posed by technology and biomedical progress,” stated the press release issued by the Academy.
Cardinal Sgreccia was born in Nidastore of Arcevia, in Ancona, Italy, on June 6, 1928, and was ordained a priest in 1952. In 1974, he became spiritual assistant in the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart. The first Professor of Bioethics in that Athenaeum, he became a full Professor in 1990. He founded and directed the bioethics Medicine and Morality review. He was the Holy See’s Observer in the Ethics Committee of the Council of Europe in the 1980s. From 1990 to 2006, he was a member of Italy’s National Bioethics Committee. Among his different writings, mention must be made of his two-volume Manual of Bioethics for Doctors and Biologists, which has been translated into several languages.
From 1992 to 2000, he was director of the Bioethics Institute. Pope John Paul II appointed him bishop on November 5, 1992. He was president of the Pontifical Academy for Life from Jan. 3, 2005 to June 17, 2008, and continued being its President Emeritus. Pope Benedict XVI appointed him cardinal in 2010.
In his final days, after being admitted to Rome’s Gemelli Polyclinic, Cardinal Sgreccia expressed the wish to return to his home in Rome, where he died on Wednesday, June 5 at 12:15 pm.
The Funeral Mass for Cardinal Sgreccia will be tomorrow, Friday, April 7, at 2:15 at the Altar della Cattedra in Saint Peter’s Basilica.

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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