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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

For studies in Marriage and Family

The Holy Father has published a chirograph addressed to His Excellency, Vincenzo Paglia by which he names His Excellency as the Grand Chancellor of the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for Studies in Marriage and Family and President of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

Chirograph of His Holiness, Pope Francis
addressed to His Excellency, Vincenzo Paglia

Dear brother,

As part of the reform of the Roman Curia, it has seemed appropriate that also the Institutions which serve the Holy See through the activity of research and formation regarding themes that relate to Marriage, Family and Life should also be renewed and developed in order that their activities might be more clearly pointed toward the horizon of mercy.

From this point of view, knowing of your solid preparation and your vast experience in this field, gained during the years that you have spent in service  as President of the Pontifical Council for the Family including much appreciated spiritual and pastoral fruit, I have decided to confide to you the Offices of Grand Chancellor of the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, respecting Article 6 of the respective Statute; and of President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, while also pointing out some general directives for this, your task.

As you are aware, from the time of the Second Vatican Council until today, the Magisterium of the Church has been developing in a comprehensive and thorough manner in regard to these themes.  The recent Synod on the Family, with the Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, has further widened and deepened the content of these matters.  It is my intention that the Institutes placed under your guidance will be encouraged in a renewed manner to deepen and to spread the Church's teachings as they pertain to th challenges of contemporary culture.  With this scope of reflection to guide you, also in theological study, we should never fail to maintain a pastoral perspective and to pay attention to humanity's wounds.

Therefore, appointing you as Grand Chancellor of the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, I wish to promote an adequate development of activities and reflection, research and teaching by this Institute, in order that this may become a privileged field for helping families to live their vocation and mission in the Church and in the modern-day world.

As President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, I exhort you to be concerned with new challenges that concern the value of Life.  I refer to different aspects that concern the care of the dignity of the human person in various states of existence, mutual respect among various genders and generations, the defence of the dignity of every single human being, the promotion of a quality of human life that integrates both material and spiritual values, in view of an authentic human ecology, that will help us to find the original balance in Creation between the human person and the entire universe.

To do this, it will be useful to promote fruitful relationships between the Academy and the John Paul II Institute, in order that the activities of one and the other, in fidelity to the respective aims and methods, may proceed in a harmonious manner and in unity of purpose.  From this perspective, you will aim to promote cordial and active dialogue with other scientific Institutes and academic Centres, including in the contexts of ecumenism and inter-religious relations, benefitting from Christian inspirations and those of other cultural and religious traditions.  Being attentive to the wounds of humanity, in order to understand them, to care for and to heal them is the task of a Church entrusted with the light and the strength of the risen Christ, able to face situations of tension and conflict and to be a field hospital that lives, proclaims and brings about the mission of salvation and of healing that properly belongs to the life of individuals who are threatened by new cultures of competition and disposability.

The two Institutions with which you will be concerned are also connected with the new Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, knowing that some topics which will be dealt with by the new Dicastery will also concern the pastoral care of health care workers.  Your task, therefore, should be to develop in harmony with both Dicasteries, with respect to mutual competences and in a spirit of mutual collaboration that guides the activities of these organizations in service to the Holy See.

Wishing you success in your work, so that the scientific work of cultural research and academic formation, which is in a special way confided to these two Institutions, may continue to provide their own specific contributions in a harmonious context of various activities undertaken by the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, I impart to you my Apostolic blessing.

Vatican City
15 August 2016
Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

(Original text in Italian)
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