Controversy has arisen over the nomination of an Anglican professor – who agrees with abortion in certain circumstances – to the Pontifical Academy for Life.
The academy is against abortion and is committed to involving increasing numbers of people in the defence of human life according to Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the academy president.
Critics have cited a 2011 interview Prof. Biggar took part in with a philosopher, Peter Singer, who is pro-abortion.
The interview was published in the online edition of the British Standpoint magazine, where Biggar said he “would be inclined to draw the line for abortion at 18 weeks after conception, which is roughly about the earliest time when there is some evidence of brain activity, and therefore of consciousness”.
The larger point of his argument, though, was to argue against Singer’s greater openness to abortion and even infanticide in circumstances where a baby is severely ill or disabled.
However Archbishop Paglia defended the nomination of Prof. Biggar as a member of the academy.
Archbishop Paglia said he had not known previously about the interview, but he later spoke to Biggar about it.
The focus of the Anglican theologian’s work is on opposing euthanasia, the archbishop said, noting that he has never written or published anything about abortion “and he does not intend to enter into debates on this theme in the future”.
“We are at the service and defence of life from the first moment of conception to the last breath,” he added.