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Cardinal Elio Sgreccia Awarded Honorary Degree
Bioethics faculty of Pontifical Regina Apostolorum College recognizes Cardinal Sgreccia’s outstanding achievements.

El Card. Elio Sgreccia recibe del P.  Álvaro Corcuera, L.C., el pergamino con el doctorado. A la izquierda aparece el padre Pedro Barrajón, L.C., rector del Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum.
Cardinal Elio Sgreccia receives the honorary degree from Fr Alvaro Corcuera, LC.

Rome, March 28, 2011. On March 25, 2011, in the context of the Regina Apostolorum’s annual feast day, the bioethics faculty conferred its first honorary degree upon Cardinal Elio Sgreccia, president emeritus of the Pontifical Academy for Life. Also participating in the ceremony were Fr Alvaro Corcuera, LC, Grand Chancillor of the Athenaeum; Fr Pedro Barrajón, LC, the Lord Rector of the Athenaeum; Fr Víctor Pajares, LC, dean of the bioethics faculty; and various ecclesiastical, civil, academic, and Italian military figures.

In his welcoming speech, Fr Alvaro said, “In so many nations, there are lively debates on questions inherent to respect for human life and its dignity. In the Italian panorama, politicians, journalists, teachers, doctors, jurists, and other exponents of the various cultural spheres have spoken out and continue to speak out on this topic. In this primary and crucial field of bioethics, there emerges a figure—a historic figure, we could say—in the scientific and ecclesial community: His Eminence Cardinal Elio Sgreccia. Your Eminence, the bioethics faculty will confer upon you the title of Doctor Honoris Causa. It is a cultural gem to be added to your prestigious academic career and extraordinary pastoral life. You have been a researcher and a teacher of the highest level, one of the best bioethicists on the international level. But above all, you have been a man of the Church, a pastor who has loved and served her with admirable zeal and dedication. And for this, we want to thank you.”

During the laudatio, Fr
El P. Gonzalo Miranda dirige la “laudatio” al Card. Elio. Le acompañan (de izq. a der.) los PP. Pedro Barrajón, Álvaro Corcuera y Víctor Parajes, L.L.C.C.
Fr Gonzalo Miranda, LC, gives the "laudatio" to Cardinal Sgreccia. To his left are Frs Pedro Barrajón, Alvaro Corcuera, and Victor Parajes, LC.
Gonzalo Miranda, LC, recalled that Cardinal Sgreccia has been one of the pioneers in bioethics on the worldwide level. Afterwards, he noted the positive influence of the cardinal’s thought, not only within the Church, and the motivations of his work and research, born of love for the Church and his consecration.

In his lectio magistralis, Cardinal Sgreccia said that he felt like the “head of many sons, since I have quickly found a following of schools, colleagues, and disciples, especially in two institutions: the faculty of medicine at the Catholic University, and the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ, in addition to many other institutions which have worked together to create and spread this discipline.” His Eminence thanked Fr Gonzalo Miranda, LC, for his role, among many other colleagues and teachers, in supporting his work and research, which later on gave rise to the first bioethics faculty in the world at the Pontifical Regina Apostolorum College.

In 1985, Cardinal Elio Sgreccia instituted the Bioethics Center at the Catholic University of Rome. In 1992, he raised up the Bioethics Institute at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery at the Catholic University of Rome. In January of 1993, he was consecrated a bishop. He has published close to 400 writings in Italian and foreign magazines on this topic. In his curriculum, there is also the publication in 1986 of his first bioethics manual, a fundamental text translated into various languages. Cardinal Elio Sgreccia has been a member of Italy’s National Committee for Bioethics and since 2004 has been president of the Ut vitam habeant Foundation and of the Donum vitae Association.

He is a member of the directive team for Medicina y Moral (Medicine and Morality) Magazine and is a member of the Scientific Council of the Bioethics Faculty of the Pontifical Regina Apostolorum College. As mentioned earlier, he is also president emeritus of the Pontifical Academy for Life, in which he worked for many years, with research on personalism founded on ontological bases. He was named a cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI in the consistory of November 2010.

Videos (in Italian) of the lectio magistralis and of the laudatio can be viewed at these links:

Lectio magistralis:
• part one
• part two

Laudatio: here.



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Sponsored by the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, Copyright 2011, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.

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