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Dr. John Haas Named to Membership of the Pontifical Academy for Life

Contact: Mark Bradford, National Catholic Bioethics Center, 215-877-2660


PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 14 /Christian Newswire/ -- Dr. John Haas, President of The National Catholic Bioethics Center, has recently been named by Pope Benedict XVI to serve as an Ordinary Member of the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV). The PAV was formed in 1994 by the late Pope John Paul II for three specific purposes: to study issues related to the promotion and defense of human life from an interdisciplinary perspective; to foster a culture of life through appropriate initiatives; and to inform the authorities of the Church, those working in the biomedical sciences and social and health care organizations of those initiatives so that they may provide a strong and informed Catholic witness to the world community.


Dr. Haas received his Ph.D. in Moral Theology from The Catholic University of America and his S.T.L. in Moral Theology from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. Before assuming the Presidency of The National Catholic Bioethics Center in 1996, Dr. Haas was the John Cardinal Krol Professor of Moral Theology at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Adjunct Professor at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies in Marriage and the Family, Washington, D.C. He is in constant demand as a speaker and for several years hosted a television program on the Eternal Word Television Network called The St. Charles Forum. Dr. Haas also serves on the board of the International Federation of Catholic Bioethics Centers founded by Bishop Elio Sgreccia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life.


The National Catholic Bioethics Center was founded in 1972 to apply the Church’s moral teaching to developments in health care and the life sciences. The Center has worked closely with various offices of the Holy See for many years, including the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care for Health Care Workers. This appointment formalizes the Center’s relationship with the Pontifical Academy for Life and provides an opportunity for even closer collaboration of the Center’s work with the efforts of the PAV.


Dr. Haas joins three other North Americans as Ordinary Members: Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, Dr. Thomas Hilgers, founder and director of the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction and Mercedes Wilson, President of the Family of the Americas Foundation. The membership is comprised of almost 60 individuals from across the globe known to be eminent scholars in their field and for their professional contributions to the Culture of Life.