The Vatican launches an app to help young people navigate bioethical issues
Panama City, January 26, 2019 – “Keys to bioethics” is the name of the new app that the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life presented at the press conference this morning to the journalists accredited for World Youth Day in Panama. The app seeks to raise awareness and to inform the young people about bioethical issues.
“It is the first time that a bioethics app has been created,” said Professor Gabriella Gambino, under-secretary of the Dicastery. “... It is needed because science can achieve many things, but with this challenge, not everything is permissible.” The professor also said that “it is important to be able to show that there are values and that science and faith are perfectly compatible with each other, as long as science is guided by these values.”
The app is a type of digital manual with questions and answers. It is currently only available for Android, but soon it will also be available on iOS and will be in three languages (Italian, English, and Spanish). It was created together with the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation of Paris, in collaboration with its location in Madrid. Issues regarding gender, assisted procreation, abortion, euthanasia, organ transplant, and stem cell research are the topics that bring up questions and challenges for which it is necessary to urgently give a concrete, quick, and accessible answer for the new generation through the most used device of today: the smartphone.
It was a privilege that the app was launched during World Youth Day because young people are the main target of this app which aims to share information, scientific explanations, and the teachings of the Magisterium of the Church on issues that are very complex and difficult to understand for those who do not deal with these issues regularly.
Antonio Garrido Salcedo, a young WYD volunteer, was also present during the press conference, and he explained that “today, we young people are saturated with information, but we don’t know the way that we should follow on fundamental issues.” For this reason, he added, “we need to hear the voice of the Church.
There were many questions about the issue of abortion, and Professor Gambino responded to them, highlighting the importance and the complexity of this issue which needs responses based on the truth of the relational and sexual dimension of human beings. Gambino also said that “motherhood is a privilege of women, and it is important to affirm that, regardless of the difficulties that may arise, the possibility of receiving help always exists. This is the fundamental message that we want to transmit with this app.”
The idea for the app came about to bring continuity through the digitalization of the paper manual, which was created in 2013 and distributed to the young people who participated in the World Youth Day in Río de Janeiro.