Cardinal Elio Sgreccia, who has died in Rome on the eve of his 91st birthday, was for many years the Roman Catholic Church’s leading guide on bioethics; in Italy he was considered a public intellectual of considerable standing, in a country where intellectuals are still deeply respected.
He was born on June 6 1928, the youngest of six children in a devout farming family in the village of Nidastore, near Arcevia, in the province of Ancona, which had once formed part of the Papal States. The Marches were deeply divided between anti-clericalists and devout Catholics, something that Mussolini’s treaty with the Vatican, signed in 1929, had gone some way towards healing.
Sgreccia discovered a vocation...
Start a 30-day free trial for unlimited access to Premium articles
- Unlimited access to Premium articles
- Subscriber-only events and experiences
- Cancel any time
Free for 30 days
then only £2 per week
Save 25% with an annual subscription
Just £75 per year