Pope Francis appoints Bishop Noël Simard to Pontifical Academy for Life

Thursday, June 15 2017

simardOn 13 June 2017, the Holy Father appointed 50 members to the Pontifical Academy for Life, including the Most Reverend Noël Simard, Bishop of Valleyfield, and Dr. William F. Sullivan, family physician and an ethicist on the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Toronto. Those appointed to the Academy are experts in different fields of biomedical sciences and related disciplines. Forty-five of the appointees, including the two Canadians, were named to the Academy as “Ordinary Members”, the remaining five as Honorary Members. The 50 appointees are from 27 countries and include a number of non-Catholics, some not belonging to any religion and some of whom hold no religious belief. This range of members is intended, the Academy has announced on its website, as “a sign that the protection and promotion of human life knows no divisions and can be assured only through common endeavor.”

Bishop Simard holds a doctorate in moral theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University and has taught ethics at the University of Sudbury and Saint Paul University, Ottawa. He regularly serves as a spokesperson for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on ethical questions, and was Chair of the Catholic Organization for Life and Family, 2011 to 2014. He has been a corresponding member of the Pontifical Academy since 2004. Dr. Sullivan is a founding member of the International Association of Catholic Bioethics and was the founding executive director of the Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute, Toronto. His first appointment to the Academy was in 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI.

The Pontifical Academy for Life was founded in 1994 by Saint John Paul II. Its aim is “the defence and promotion of the value of human life and the dignity of the person”, as stipulated in its new statute which was revised in November 2016 by Pope Francis and came into effect on 1 January 2017. The Ordinary Assembly of the Academy, scheduled to meet 5-7 October 2017 in the Vatican, will be opened by Pope Francis and will constitute the official launch of the renewed Academy.

Link to website of the Pontifical Academy for Life