VATICAN CITY, FEB 19, 2004 (VIS) - The Pontifical Academy for Life opened its Tenth General Assembly this morning in the Vatican with a Mass to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the academy's founding by Pope John Paul II. The assembly, which will end on February 22, has scheduled morning and afternoon sessions during which 26 Roman Curia officials, doctors and experts in genetics, bioethics, medical ethics, human reproduction, moral theology and psychology will make presentations. An audience with the Holy Father is also scheduled.
The theme of this year's meeting is "The Dignity of Human Procreation and Reproductive Technologies: Anthropological and Ethical Aspects."
Each work day will start with Mass in the chapel of the St. Martha Residence in the Vatican. Today's morning session focussed on the spiritual and moral figure of the academy's first president, Prof. Jerome LeJeune, who died shortly after being named to this position, and on the teachings of Pope John Paul II on human life. A concert is scheduled for the afternoon.
Friday, February 20, participants will study the biblical and theological meaning of human procreation, artifical procreation in all its implications and fatherhood and motherhood faced with the technologies of artificial procreation: anthropological considerations.
Saturday morning, February 21, will be dedicated to the psychological and spiritual repercussions of artificial procreation for women and families and alternative anthropological approaches, and to the juridical aspects in the making of right-to-life laws in a pluralistic society. Six round table discussions are scheduled for the afternoon.
The final day of the plenary assembly, Sunday, February 22, will feature communications by the academy's president, Prof. Juan de Dios Vial Correa, and vice president, Bishop Elio Sgreccia, a general discussion on and proposals for the theme for the 2005 meeting and the presentation of the draft of the Final Document.
ACAD-V/PLENARY:PROCREATION/. VIS 20040219 (310)