Bengaluru: The Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) established a Bioethics Forum and appointed Rev. Dr Christopher Vimalraj from the Archdiocese of Bangalore as its first Director. The decision to establish the Bioethics Forum was taken during the 87th Executive Committee meeting of the CCBI, held on 20 and 21 September 2021.
The CCBI Bioethics Forum will work under the CCBI Commission for Theology and Doctrine. His Grace Most Rev. Felix Toppo, SJ, Archbishop of Ranchi and Chairman of the CCBI Commission for Theology and Doctrine, will be the Chairman of the CCBI Bioethics Forum.
The CCBI Bioethics Forum is a consultative forum that engages with moral questions arising in clinical practice, biomedical research and public policy on healthcare issues, through a person-centred bioethical approach. The forum will engage in scholarly dialogue with healthcare workers, bioethicists, lawyers and theologians; it will also seek to study the implications of the teachings of the Catholic Church for the fields of medical practice and public policy.
The CCBI had come up with a bioethics document concerning the Covid Vaccine — “A Catholic Ethical Response to Questions about Covid-19 Vaccines” — on 11 February 2021. It was internationally appreciated.
Fr. Christopher Vimalraj is a moral theologian and a professor of Bioethics in St. John’s National Institute of Health Sciences, Bangalore. He holds a doctorate in moral theology from the Accademia Alfonsiana, Rome. He took a master’s degree in Bioethics from the Gemelli Medical College, Rome. He was born on 23 October 1967 and ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Bangalore on 11 July 2007. He is currently the director of St. Germain Academy, Bangalore.