Pontifical Academy for Life, Regulations, 18 December 2006.


PONTIFICIA ADADEMIA PRO VITA, REGULATIONS

Preamble

These Regulations of the Pontifical Academy for Life were approved by the Cardinal Secretary of State on December 18, 2006 in order to more effectively implement the Statutes of the Pontifical Academy for Life (which were approved on 29 November 2004 by the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II). These Regulations, in addition to the table laying out the structure and the list of duties of the staff of the Central Office, also contains necessary provisions that supplement the Statutes and relate to the structure, the activities and the management of the funds and income of the Academy (cf. Statutes art. 8).

THE PRESIDENCY

Art. 1 – The President

§1 - The President1 ordinarily chairs the meetings of the Academy (cf. Statutes art. 3 §1, b). Where the need arises, he can delegate this task to the Vice President or in the second instance to the Chancellor or to one of the Members of the Governing Council.

§2 - The President can delegate to the Vice President or in the second instance to the Chancellor or to one of the Officials or Academicians the representation of the Academy on the occasion of public activities.

§3 – It is the responsibility of the President to express the thinking of the Academy. Where necessary, he can delegate this function.

Art. 2 – The Vice President

§1 – Where a Vice President has been appointed, he helps the President in the direction and running of all the activities of the Pontifical Academy for Life, and especially in the co-ordination of the Secretariat and in activities involving formation.

§2 – The Vice President substitutes the President when this last is absent or impeded from acting.

Art. 3 – The Chancellor

§1 – The Chancellor2 works directly with the President and the Vice President in the direction and running of all the activities of the Pontifical Academy for Life. He can be delegated by the President himself to perform some of functions on his behalf.

§2 – The Chancellor countersigns the official proceedings and documents of the Pontifical Academy for Life, as well as the official correspondence.

Art. 4 – The Governing Council

§1 - Composition:

a) The Governing Council is made up of the President, the Vice President, the Chancellor and six Councillors appointed by the Supreme Pontiff for a period of five years. Five Councillors are chosen from among the Ordinary Members of the Pontifical Academy for Life, in response to a proposal made by the President; one is appointed in response to a proposal made by the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care.3

b) In the case of a resignation, revocation of the appointment, or death of a Councillor, the Supreme Pontiff attends to his or her replacement for the time remaining of the mandate of the that Councillor.

§2 – Tasks:

a) To deliberate on the general orientations of the ordinary activities of the Academy and address particular questions that may arise connected with the life of the Academy.4 In particular, it is the responsibility of the Governing Council to identify and decide every year on the subject to be studied by the General Assembly.

b) To examine the proposals of the President — before they are submitted to the Secretariat of State — relating to the appointment of Officials of the Central Office of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

c) To assess the performance of the Ordinary and Corresponding Members, their duties and academic role (within the Pontifical Academy for Life), and the correct implementation, where this concerns them, of the provisions of the Statutes and the Regulations of the Academy.

d) To examine, with a view to the designation of Corresponding Members and their possible reappointment, the congruity of their curriculum vitae and their activities on behalf of the promotion and defence of human life.5

§3 - Meetings:

a) The meetings of the Governing Council are valid when a majority of its members are present. Its meetings are ordinarily held at the headquarters of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

b) All the members of the Governing Council that are present have the right to vote.

c) The deliberations of the Governing Council are valid if they are approved by an absolute majority of those present. When a vote is tied, the President has a casting vote. d) Minutes are drawn up of every meeting of the Governing Council. The Co-ordinator of the Secretariat is responsible for these minutes.

e) The Governing Council can meet at ordinary meetings or at extraordinary meetings.

1. Ordinary meetings

- The Governing Council is called to an ordinary meeting at least twice a year.6

- The calling of the Governing Council to an ordinary meeting is the responsibility of the President, or of the Vice President or the Chancellor acting by his mandate.

- The calling of the Governing Council must be done through the sending out to the Councillors of the agenda at least thirty days prior to the date envisaged for the meeting.

- It is the responsibility of the President, in agreement with the Vice President and the Chancellor, to draw up the agenda for the meeting, with an assessment of any proposals made by the Councillors.

- When he is unable to chair a meeting, the President can delegate to the Vice President or to the Chancellor the task of representing him and chairing the deliberations of the Governing Council.

- The President can invite another Academician to represent — for one ordinary meeting — a Councillor who has been impeded from taking part in it, as long as the consent of the Councillor involved has been provided.

2. Extraordinary meetings

- The Governing Council can hold extraordinary meetings to examine urgent questions.7

- Extraordinary meetings are called by the President, or, with his consent, by the Vice President or the Chancellor, and can also be requested by an absolute majority of the Councillors. The calling of the Governing Council to an extraordinary meeting must take place through the sending out to all the Councillors of the agenda at least fifteen days before the date of the envisaged meeting.

- The agenda of the extraordinary meetings is drawn up by those who propose the meeting itself.

- In the case of extraordinary meetings, no possibility is contemplated of the representation of Councillors who may be impeded from taking part.

§4 – Economic Aspects

The Councillors of the Governing Council (or their delegates) will receive no fee but their expenses, where these exist and are documented, will be refunded.

THE CENTRAL OFFICE

Art. 5 – The Central Office

§1 – The Scientific Section

- The President, or the Vice President or Chancellor acting on his behalf, has the task of co-ordinating the work of the scientific section as a whole.8 To this end, when the need arises, he can request the direct co-operation of one of the official ‘area heads.’

§2 – The technical-scientific section (or Secretariat)9

The Co-ordinator of the Secretariat has the task:

a) of harmonising, in line with work needs and on the basis of directives of the President, the various activities of the officials of the technical-scientific section;

b) of keeping the minutes of the meetings of the Governing Council and, where this is so indicated by the President, of any other official meeting of the Academy;

c) of drawing up an annual report to be delivered to the relevant offices of the Holy See on the official activities of the Pontifical Academy for Life;

d) of preparing the programmes for the proceedings of the Assemblies or of other official meetings, after hearing the views of an official of the scientific section, and of submitting it for the approval of the Presidency;

e) of drawing up, as the bursar, and in collaboration with the technician of the Secretariat, the annual budget and annual accounts, attaching to them a brief report with suitable observations.

§3 - Archive and Library

- the proceedings and documents of the Academy must be kept in the Archive which is entrusted to the official Archivist-Librarian;

- the documents of the Catholic Church on subjects issues relevant to the Pontifical Academy of Life, the publications of the Academy, works received by way of exchange, and books and journals that have been bought or received as gifts, are to be kept in the Library of the Academy;

- the Archivist-Librarian will attend to the cataloguing of the bibliographical material and will watch over its consultation, by correspondence as well.

MEMBERS OR ACADEMICIANS

Art. 6 – Members or Academicians

The Members of the Pontifical Academy for Life, strongly committed to building a new culture of human life, are ‘called to be present and active in the leading centres where culture is formed, in schools and universities, in places of scientific and technological research, of artistic creativity and of the study of man … they ought to place themselves at the service of a new culture of life by offering serious and well documented contributions, capable of commanding general respect and interest by reason of their merit.’10

The Academicians are required to sign a ‘Statement of the Servants of Life,’ a testimony to the permanent decision of each one of them to promote and defend the principles that relate to the value of life and the dignity of the person, in conformity with the Magisterium of the Church.

§1 – Ordinary Members

The Ordinary Members11 are appointed by the Supreme Pontiff and remain in office until they reach the age of eighty. In conformity with the rules laid down by the Statutes, they cannot exceed seventy in number.

§2 – Emeritus Members

The Ordinary Members, on reaching their eightieth birthday, become Emeritus Members.12

§3 – Corresponding Members

1. The Corresponding Members13 are appointed for a five-year period by the Governing Council and have the function of constituting a line of contact with institutes and study centres interested in the culture of life.

2. Each Corresponding Member must:

a) Actively take part in the General Assemblies of the Academy.

b) Keep the Governing Council informed about the most relevant political, legislative

and cultural events of his or her country and about the activities promoted by him or her in harmony with the finalities of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

c) Draw up papers or studies on subjects that relate to the purpose and the functions of the Academy.

3. The Corresponding Members can have their membership of the Academy renewed by the Governing Council.

§4 – Revocation of the Title of Academician

Where the conditions envisaged by the Statutes exist,14 the Presidency of the Pontifical Academy for Life, after hearing the views of the Councillors, will submit the case to the Secretariat of State. After obtaining its consent, the President will communicate to the individual concerned the ending of his or her membership of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

§5 – The Suspension of the Functions of an Academician

If an Academician takes on an institutional political post, he or she is obliged to communicate this fact swiftly to the Presidency of the Pontifical Academy for Life, which then decrees the suspension of his or her academic functions for the whole of the time that this post lasts.15 During this period, he or she cannot avail himself or herself of the title of Member of the Pontifical Academy for Life; however, he or she is always allowed to take part, as a listener, in the sessions of the General Assembly.

ACTIVITIES

Art. 7 - General Assembly

§1 – Convocation

The General Assembly is convoked annually by the Presidency, with at least sixty days notice, by means of a written communication to all the Members,16 with all the Members participating.

The General Assembly has two moments:

a) The celebration of a Congress of study which addresses subjects specific to the tasks of the Academy. This is ordinarily open to the participation of the public.

b) One or more sessions of the Assembly, exclusively reserved to the Presidency, the Members and the Central Office of the Pontifical Academy for Life, dedicated to the internal life, the orientations and the activities of the Academy itself.

§2 – Subject, Programme and Speakers of the Study Congress.

The Governing Council has the task of deciding the subject to be addressed during the Study Congress and of deciding upon the speakers. The speakers will be called to the Pontifical Academy for Life, during the months before the Assembly, for a first meeting to analyse their papers. The speakers should deliver the definitive version of their papers to the Secretariat of the Academy so that these can be sent out in good time (prior to the Assembly) to all the Members.

§3 – The Sessions of the Assembly

Ordinarily, each Assembly will have at least four study sessions. One session of the proceedings will be reserved to the discussion of questions relating to the activities and the orientations of the Academy. The study sessions, subject to the judgement of the Presidency, can be opened to participation by the public and to workers in the field of communications who make an explicit request to attend and who are accredited to the Press Office of the Holy See. Participation in the session dedicated to the internal life of the Academy is reserved to the Academicians, to the Presidency and to the Central Office.

§4 – Final Document and Proceedings

At the end of the proceedings of each Assembly, under the supervision of the Scientific Section, a Final Document on the subject of study will be drawn up and this will be submitted for the observations and the suggestions of the Members. The Presidency, subject to the nulla osta of the Secretariat of State, will then take charge of its publication.

The proceedings of each assembly will be published — in Italian and English — before the subsequent Assembly and this will be the responsibility of the Presidency.

Art. 8 – Study Groups

§1 – Creation and Planning

The President, also in response to a request from any Dicastery of the Roman Curia, can create and convoke Study Groups on subjects chosen from bioethics, and establish the agenda for their work.17 Ordinarily, these Study Groups are to meet at the headquarters of the Academy.

§2 – The Choice of Participants and their Convocation

The President chooses and convokes the participants of a Study Group from the Members of the Pontifical Academy of Life and from outside the Academy.

§3 – The Co-ordination of their Work

The President can entrust an official of the Scientific Section — ordinarily the head of the area of ‘study’ — with the co-ordination of a Study Group. He also has the task of assembling and cataloguing the documentation that is produced with a view to a possible concluding summary or the drawing up of a final document.

§4 – The Final Document

The Scientific Section draws up a final document or a concluding summary of the work of the Study Group. This text will be submitted for the approval of the Presidency.

Art. 9 – Publications

In addition to the proceedings of the Assemblies and the Documents produced by the Study Groups, the Pontifical Academy for Life may engage in the publication of monographs by its own Members or its Officials on subjects of bioethical interest, subject to the opinion of an ad hoc commission entrusted with this task by the Presidency.

The costs of publication cannot fall on the budget of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See.18

MANAGEMENT OF FUNDS AND INCOME

Art. 10 – Financial Means

§1 – The Budget

The Pontifical Academy for Life presents its budget every year to the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See for approval and consequent financing; all the ordinary and extraordinary activities of the Academy are referred to in this budget.19 The budgets and accounts are drawn up by the Co-ordinator of the Secretariat and are accompanied by an explanatory report. Subject to approval by the Presidency, the annual budget will be presented at the envisaged times to the relevant offices of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See.

The Co-ordinator of the Secretariat is also responsible for watching over the monthly budget of the Academy and its submission to the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, subject to the authorisation of the President.

§2 – The Management of other Economic Resources

The Pontifical Academy for Life receives annual economic support from the ‘Vitae Mysterium’ Foundation and in addition can receive donations from other agencies, institutions or private individuals to be used for the finalities specific to the Academy. In particular, such funds will be used prevalently to finance grants and other initiatives for formation in bioethics, in particular for people who live in developing countries.20 The budget of these funds will be drawn up by the Technical Official of the Secretariat, under the responsibility of the Co-ordinator, subject to the approval of the Presidency.

From the Vatican, December 18, 2006




1 Cf. Statutes, art. 3, §1.

2 Cf. Statutes, art. 3, §2.

3 Cf. Statutes, art. 3, §3.

4 Cf. Statutes, art. 3, §3, b.

5 Cf. Statutes, art. 5, §3.

6 Cf. Statutes, art. 3, §3, b.

7 Cf. Statutes, art. 3, §3, c.

8 Cf. Statutes, art. 4, §1.

9 Cf. Statutes, art. 4, §2.

10 Evangelium Vitae, n. 98.

11 Cf. Statutes, art. 5, §1.

12 Cf. Statutes, art. 5, §2.

13 Cf. Statutes, art. 5, §3.

14 Cf. Statutes, art. 5, §4, c.

15 Cf. Statutes, art. 5, §4, e.

16 Cf. Statutes, art. 6, a.

17 Cf. Statutes, art. 6, b.

18 Cf. the subsequent art. 10, §1.

19 Cf. Statutes, art. 7.

20 Cf. Statutes, art. 7, §1.




Pontifical Academy for Life, Regulations, 18 December 2006. English accessed 8 January 2020 at: http://www.academyforlife.va/content/dam/pav/documents/academy_regulations.pdf