2014-02-12 Vatican - The Pontifical Academy for Life celebrates its 20th Anniversary next week with a General Assembly and Workshop entitled “Aging and Disability”.

The event is scheduled to take place at the Augustinianum Institute from 19 to 22 February 2014.

Rome, 19-22 February 2014

On this occasion the Academy will also celebrate the 20th anniversary of its foundation by Blessed Pope John Paul II by means of the Motu Proprio Vitae Mysterium(11 February 1994).

Please find below the full text of the communiqué:

During the General Assembly, there will be a Workshop (from the afternoon of Thursday, February 20th, through Friday, February 21 st) open to the public and catering particularly to researchers, scholars, health care workers and students who intend to deepen their understanding of this topic.

The experts will be reflecting on practical application of the philosophical and theological, scientific and medical, ethical, social and cultural perspectives.

As explained by the President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, H. E. Msrg. Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, “Coming of age brings new challenges in the area of physical and intellectual abilities. These disabilities often alter the lives and autonomy of the human person, increasing the challenges for the individual, their family and all of society. The Church is motivated to contribute a renewed reflection on this reality in order to provide a more noteworthy and leading support”.

During the three sessions of the Workshop – “Disability and the Human Condition”, “Aging and Disability: Statistics and Concerns”, “Aging and Disability: Ethical Questions and Solutions” – the most relevant topics and problems will be considered, including: the social and cultural problem of disabled elderly persons, the international documents which defend the dignity of the elderly, the diseases that could lead to disability and the necessary health care, the anthropological dimensions together with the ethical principles to be adopted by health care workers and institutions, the spirituality of the elderly disabled persons and the particular attention that the Church gives to the elderly who are sick and disabled. Speakers will be renowned professors coming from well known Universities and advanced research and study centers: A. Borovecki, R. Buchanan, F. Caretta, R. Colombo, R. Dell'Oro, V. Di Lazzaro, J.J. Garcia, S. Krajcik, M. Leonardi, E. Pérez Bret, A. Pessina, M. Petrini, A. Serani, M.-J. Thiel and Mr. P. Marchiori (President of the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Italian Association– Brescia). H.E. Msgr. Zygmunt Zimowski, President of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, will be presenting at the conclusion of the Workshop.

The full program of the Assembly and the Workshop along with registration forms are available on the website of the Academy. Simultaneous translations will be provided in English, Italian Spanish and French. Journalists, photographers and cameramen are kindly asked to request the necessary accreditation directly through the Holy See Press Office following the procedure explained on the Press Office’s website.