Priests for Life welcomes new Pontifical Council for Laity, Family, and Life


Date: June 4, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma

NEW YORK — Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, has welcomed the news this morning from Pope Francis that he is establishing a new Pontifical Council for Laity, Family, and Life.

“Pontifical Councils” are a particular type of Vatican office that assists the work of the Holy Father and the Catholic Church around the world on particular themes of importance to the Church’s ministry.

Already in existence are the Pontifical Council for the Family and the Pontifical Council for the Laity. The new Pontifical Council combines these two. It also indicates that there will be a special connection between the new Pontifical Council and the already existing Pontifical Academy for Life, which addresses life issues from an academic perspective.

Fr. Frank Pavone was an official in the late 1990’s at the Pontifical Council for the Family, which fosters initiatives in the defense and pastoral care of the family and of the sanctity of human life. He was also appointed to be a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life in 2010.

“I believe this new step of the Holy Father, in accordance with the advice he has received from his Cardinals, will strengthen the Church’s efforts to defend life and family at a time when these are more important than ever,” Fr. Pavone stated. “In particular, this step elevates and emphasizes the importance of defending life from evils like abortion. Whereas the Pontifical Council for the Family, where I served, was entrusted with fostering initiatives to protect human life from abortion, that role, in this new Pontifical Council, is now explicitly referenced in its title and is given its own “Section,” that is, an official division of the office, headed by an “Under-Secretary.” I know both from my own experience in working at the Pontifical Council for the Family and from my experience heading a worldwide pro-life ministry that has regular interaction with the Vatican that this structural change will make it possible for pro-life groups to have even more effective interaction with the Church on the global level, and for there to be even more mutual encouragement in the urgent task of defending what Pope Saint John Paul II called “the first of the fundamental rights, the right to life” (Evangelium Vitae, 20). We look forward to working with this new Vatican office.”

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit

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