Pope appoints priest-doctor as president of Pontifical Academy for Life


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Vatican City, Jun 30, 2010 / 02:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Holy See announced the nomination of priest, medical doctor and philosopher Msgr. Ignacio Carrasco de Paula to the presidency of the Pontifical Academy for Life on Wednesday. He will take over at the helm of the academy following the resignation of Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella.

This morning, in announcing the resignation of Archbishop Fisichella, Pope Benedict appointed Msgr. Carrasco de Paula as president of the Pontifical Academy for Life (Pro Vita) from his current position as chancellor of the same academy. The previous president stepped down due to his appointment as the head of the recently announced Vatican dicastery for renewed evangelization.

Msgr. Carrasco de Paula was born in Barcelona, Spain on October 25, 1937, earned a doctorate in philosophy in 1962 and another in medicine and surgery in 1962. He has held a variety of positions in Rome since his ordination to the priesthood in 1966.

Besides serving as chancellor of the Academy for Life, he is a consultor to both the Pontifical Councils for the Family and for Health Pastoral Care, and is the vice-assistant of the Association of Italian Catholic Doctors. He is also a member of the ethics committee for the experimentation clinic at Rome's Bambino Gesu Hospital.

Among other positions he has held in his medical career are being the ordinary of bioethics in the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery "A. Gemelli" at Sacred Heart University in Rome and a seven-year stint as the Bioethics Institute's director from 2002 - 2009.

Msgr. Carrasco de Paula has also served as the rector of Opus Dei's Holy Cross University from 1984-1994 and the director of its Moral Theology Department from 1994-2002.