Historic precedent: Pope Francis names two rabbis to Pontifical Academy of Life

Pope Francis appointed two rabbis, experts on bioethics, to the Pontifical Academy of Life.

For the first time in history, Pope Francis appointed two rabbis to the Pontifical Academy of Life.

The announcement was made last week when Francis appointed 45 new members as Ordinary Members of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

The first rabbi is Professor Rabbi Avraham Steinberg of Israel, Director of the Medical Ethics Unit of the Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem and Director of the Editorial Committee of the Talmudic Encyclopedia.

The second rabbi is Professor Rabbi Fernando Szlajen, Director of the Department of Culture of the Asociación Mutual Israelita in Argentina and Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Letters at the University of Buenos Aires.

The Pontifical Academy for Life, founded by Pope John Paul II in 1994, exists for the “promotion and defense of human life,” especially regarding bioethics as it regards Christian morality. Its statute was defined by the motu proprio Vitae Mysterium of Pope John Paul II.

The Academy does research on bioethics and Catholic moral theology.

Academy members are nominated by the Pope for five-year terms, which can be renewed. Membership ends when an academician turns 80.

The new members hail from 27 countries, with seven from the United States and Canada.

By: World Israel News Staff