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By LifeSiteNews staff, Aug 30, 2019
Archbishop Vincenco Paglia, Great Chancellor of the Institute
Msgr. Pierangelo Sequeri, President of the Institute
Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, Prefect of the Congregation for Education
Archbishop Vincenzo Zani, Secretary of the Congregation for Education
August 30, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Due to the vast coverage in the media (Tagespost, Kath.net, CNA, and many others in foreign countries) and due to the publication of the letter written by representatives of the Institute’s student body with now more than 1,500 signatures from students and alumni, as well as the release of an extensive interview with the vice president [of the Institute], Prof. Granados, and of the interview with Professors Melina, Grygiel, and Prof. Pesci of the State University La Sapienza/ Rome, the facts and the current situation of the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family at the Lateran University — as founded by Pope John Paul II in 1981 — are generally known. Therefore, we assume in the following that our readers are informed about them.
Since 1981, when Pope John Paul II called me (Prof. Martin) to be the first sociologist at the Institute, I was for approximately two decades intimately involved, with the help of the Institute’s first president — the later cardinal Prof. Carlo Caffarra — in its establishment and growth. In several meetings with the entire international academic staff, together with Pope John Paul II, there took place intensive consultations about the vision of the pope and his objectives. The pope (and after him, in a similar fashion, Pope Benedict XVI) hoped that, with the help of the founding of this new institution, there would take place a far-reaching renewal of Catholic theology and pastoral care for marriage and the family. We all were and still are convinced that Divine Providence gave the Church and the world, through Pope John Paul, a charismatic new beginning in the field of the Church’s teaching on marriage (anthropological explanation of Humanae Vitae, personalism, expansion of the Sacrament of Matrimony, etc.), which was at the same time a bulwark against the anti-family ideologies that in the meantime had sprung up.
Under the leadership of its president and leading moral theologian, Carlo Caffarra (who in the end was the cardinal of Bologna); his successor, Cardinal Angelo Scola (Milan); and Livio Melina, the Institute developed an enormous impact and expanded in many countries in the world (foundation of different affiliated institutes). From my own experience, I can testify as to how here, in amicable collaboration, an interdisciplinary and international institute was built up, in which in heretofore unknown ways different academic disciplines and its professors and teachers (theology, sociology, anthropology, pedagogy, spirituality, psychology, NFP [Natural Family Planning], political science) taught and researched together in an integrative way in the field of marriage and the family. ….