The Fr. Joseph Kentenich Bioethics Commission in Argentina is a group of twenty professionals from various fields (medicine, philosophy, theology, law, economics, psychiatry, media) who, under the auspices of the Secular Institute of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary, want to respond to all of the dilemmas that technology has posed on life issues which deeply affect the decisions of married couples and families.
In 1999, a desire emerged in Argentina to respond to these challenges and begin working in the field of bioethics. Sr. Elena Lugo PhD (Puerto Rico, Sister of Mary, Bioethics lecturer at the National University of Puerto Rico, member of the Pontifical Academy for Life) and Dr. Lorenzo García Samartino (Psychiatry, Masters in Bioethics, member of the Family Federation), with the support of Sr. Virginia Perera (degree in Theology and then member of the Provincial Council of the Sisters of Mary) began to develop personalist bioethics, inspired on Schoenstatt principles and spirituality, both in the academic and pastoral environments.
Bioethics Conference and Ongoing Training
The Bioethics Commission focused on training leaders who are capable of reflecting on and responding to the current challenges in the professional context and other sectors of society. One of their areas of focus is training for university students and individuals in their daily and family life.
They have prepared a series of training courses including:
Basic Course on Natural Family Planning
Instructors’ Course on Natural Family Planning
Postgraduate course: “Holistic Bioethics Clinical Training” in conjunction with CAECE University. It is a diploma in Bioethics equivalent to 360 teaching hours.
Public Lectures in “Bioethics Topics.” This comprises six annual meetings that cover bio-ethics topics and is open to the general public.
Teachers’ courses: “Bioethics as an educational resource”
The Bioethics Conferences, which have been held annually since 1999, are intense one-day training courses. Each conference addresses a current topic related to bioethics problems and expands on them from a scientific, ethical and spiritual perspective, covering the topic in a holistic manner. The language is academic, scientific and clear, focusing on responding to issues of life in the light of the higher values and in accordance with the Magisterium of the Church. Renowned professionals and experts in their fields have contributed with their presentations, complementing the educational task of the Commission members.
The Bioethics Commission has the support of the Pontifical Academy for Life, the International Federation of Centers and Institutes of Bioethics of Personalist Inspiration (FIBIP) and the National Academy of Medicine and the Argentinean Medical Association endorsed its activities.
Response for the religious and moral renewal of the world
Modern culture denigrates the person and the personalist bioethics disseminated by the Bioethics Commission – in which the dignity of the human person is of an nonnegotiable value – can only emanate from the shadow of the Shrine because it is from there that the destiny of the Church and world will be decided.
The “Fr. Joseph Kentenich” Bioethics Commission seeks to respond to the need for religious and moral renewal by promoting a Culture of Life and the inherent dignity of the human person. Its aim is, from Schoenstatt, to contribute to the most glaring issues that challenge human life today, the areas where biotechnology affects life both at its inception as well as in the critical moments of illness and death.
In the Marriage and Family field
Bioethics is a theoretical, practical and interdisciplinary study that aims to respond to the moral challenges that the application of technology has on the development of life, health and the environment. The family is the environment in which men and women make decisions about life. For this reason, the Fr. Joseph Kentenich Bioethics Commission gives particular importance to serving the complete wellbeing of the natural family, emphasizes the dignity of fatherhood and motherhood as the school of love and model of virtues, and allows space for reflection and education so that, in their discernment process, couples may always opt for the dignity of the human person in all life situations.
The Bioethics Commission emerged in the shadow of the Shrine and has grown in the shadow of the Shrine. Its members want to apply Fr. Kentenich’s vision of the dignity of each person in the field of bioethics.
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