Forum Submissions

Month

Country

Author

Article

February 2017

 Cameroon  Solange Ngah  The Practice of Healing Ministry in Africa: What is the Christian Contribution Today?
   India Stanislaus Alla Reconciling Peoples
  Austria Ingeborg Gabriel It's the Morals, Stupid! On the Importance of Ethics in the Post-Truth Age
   Puerto Rico  Jorge Jose Ferrer
  United States  Michael Jaycox  What is Truth?
       
       

January 2017

 Nigeria Anthonia Bolanle Ojo The Challenges of Economic Recession on the Dignity of Nigeria Citizens
   Phillipines  Eric Genilo The Marcos Burial
   United States  Ramón Luzárraga ¿Están Las Américas verdaderamente convirtiéndose en un Hemisferio de Paz?
   United States  Nichole Flores and Mary Jo Iozzio Mercy and the Failure to Form Moral Imagination
       

December 2016

Kenya Peter Knox HIV-vaccine launch hype
  Japan Osamu Takeuchi A Carpenter in the Reign of God
  Germany Petr Stica ,Crisis of democracy' - Challenges for theological ethics / Impulses of theological ethics
  Mexico Jutta Battenberg Galindo Reflexiones en torno a la carta apostólica "Misericordia et Misera"
  USA Mary Doyle Roche "The Nightmare Before Christmas"
       

November 2016

 Malaysia  Sharon Bong  'What's gender got to do with climate justice?'
   Germany  Marianne Heimbach-Steins  The Jubilee of Mercy - Social ethical reflections
   Argentina  Emilce Cuda  Francisco y el Trabajo
   Mexico  Miguel Angel Sanchez Carlos  Choque moral en México
   United States  Michael Jaycox  VSED: Is the Practice both Respectful and Compassionate?
       

October 2016

 Uganda  Margaret Ssebunya  Of violent protests in South African universities: Where is the Church in South Africa?
   Vietnam  Hoa Trung Dinh  CHURCH LEADER CALLS FOR ACTION AGAINST MARINE POLLUTION IN VIETNAM
   United Kingdom  Julie Clague  Structural injustice revisited
   United States  Mary Jo Iozzio  The US Affordable Care Act: Modest Success
       

September 2016 

 Uganda

 Margaret Ssebunya  Examining the 2016 municipal elections in South Africa in light of the social teaching of the church on political  authority and the common good: An outsider’s observation
 

 Hong Kong

 Mary Mee-Yin Yuen  Wisdom, Courage and Conscience in Resistance
 

 United  Kingdom

 Tina Beattie  Who speaks for the Catholic Church? Women, abortion and theological ethics
   Brazil  Alexandre A. Martins  Political Power, Intolerance and Lack of Dialogue
   United States  Nichole M. Flores  A case for a globally-engaged perspective: A US Latina Perspective on Bogotá
       

July 2016

 Uganda Margaret Ssebunya Strengthening a pastoral response to the ecological crisis through existing spaces within the Church
   Philippines  Agnes M. Brazal Theological Ethics in Asia after Padova
   Puerto Rico  Jorge José Ferrer A diez años del encuentro de Padua:  Tareas pendientes para la teología moral
   United States

 Thomas Massaro and Mary Jo Iozzio

Padova: Ten Years Later and …
       
 

June 2016

 Kenya  Peter Knox  Business and Environment
   India  Stanilaus Alla Movements, Momentum and Metanoia
   Belgium  Ellen van Stichel  125 years after Rerum novarum
   Argentina  Emilce Cuda  Los eticistas de América Latina y el Caribe tiene algo para testimoniar.
   Puerto Rico  MT Davila  ¡Una ética atrevida!
   United States  Mary Doyle Roche  "Dear Colleague"
       
 

May 2016

 Kenya  Elias Omondi Opongo  At the brink of extinction! Poaching of Elephants and Rhinos in Africa
   South Africa  Anthony Egan  AMORIS LAETITIA: A CHALLENGE TO THE CHURCH IN AFRICA – AND ELSEWHERE
   Philippines  Eric Genilo  Restoring the Death Penalty
   Germany  Petr Štica  How can Christians contribute to the integration of refugees?
   Italy/Austria  Martin Lintner  The notion of conscience in Amoris Laetitia and its significance for the divorced and remarried
   Argentina  Pablo Blanco González  “Bogotá 2016 Conference: A Date with History”
   United States  Mary Jo Iozzio  Poppies and Memorializing the Dead
       
 

April 2016

 Cameroon  Solange Ngah  The burning topic of education and responsibility in the heart of the African family
   Cameroon  Solange Ngah  La question actuelle de l’éducation et de la responsabilité au sein de la famille africaine
   Japan  Osamu Takeuchi  Spirituality Informed by Faith
   Germany  Marianne Heimbach-Steins  New nationalisms in Europe and the ambivalent role of religion
   Mexico  Jutta Battenberg Galindo  La Cruz:  Misterio de Revelación.
   United States  Nichole M. Flores  Human Trafficking: A Lacuna in Catholic Ethics
       
 

March 2016

 Kenya  Peter Knox  Teaching Environmental Ethics in Africa
   Malaysia  Sharon Bong  ‘Caring for our common home’
   United Kingdom  Julie Clague  Number crunching: Catholics and same-sex unions
   Mexico  Miguel Ángel Sánchez  LA VISITA DEL PAPA FRANCISCO A MÉXICO: UN VIRAJE ALENTADOR PARA LA ÉTICA
   United States  Michael Jaycox  Dangerous Memories, Dangerous Movements: Christian Freedom in the Empire
       

February 2016

 Vietnam  Hoa Dinh  MELBOURNE DOCTORS REFUSING TO RETURN CHILDREN TO DETENTION
   United Kingdom  Tina Beattie  Reflections
   Brazil  Alexandre Martins  Zika Virus and Other Mosquito-Borne Virus: The Failure of Modern Healthcare
   Puerto Rico  Jorge José Ferrer  Neurociencia, libre albedrío y teología moral
   United States  Thomas Massaro  On Economic Inequality
       

January 2016

 Hong Kong  Mary Mee-Yin Yuen  Internet for Communication or Persecution?
   Czech Republic  Jaroslav Lorman  Saying yes to the sin?
   United States  Mary Doyle Roche  “Hold fast to dreams” Langston Hughes
       
 

December 2015

 Kenya  Peter Knox  Pope Francis and the land issue in Africa
   India  Shaji George Kochuthara   A Ray of Hope from the World of Art and Literature
   Belgium  Yves De Maeseneer  Towards a European Theological Ethics of Migration and its Implications for Catholic Social Thought
   Argentina  Pablo Blanco Gonzalez  Argentina’s Presidential elections of 2015: The challenge of governance and unity
   Brazil  Alexandre Martins  Mariana: Tragedy of Market Fundamentalism Against the Earth and the Poor
   United States   Angela Senander  Faithful Citizenship: Papal Visit and Episcopal Statement
       
 

November 2015

 Philippines  Eric Genilo  Protecting the Lumads of the Philippines
   Germany  Marianne Heimbach-Steins  A short comment on the Synod from Germany (November)
   Puerto Rico  MT Davila  “Francisco en CUBA y EE.UU.: Teología de los gestos y culture wars”
   United States   Meghan Clark  Some Thoughts on Baby Elephants
   United States  Mary Jo Iozzio  An Opportunity [Lost] to Hear Catholic Women and Men Speak
       

October 2015

 Kenya  Peter Knox  Thoughts From Africa
   Japan  Osamu Takeuchi  Passing Japan's Security-related Bills—the Breakdown of the Constitutional Law, of Democracy, and of Pacifism
   Germany  Petr Štica  Stranger within your gates – Some notes on the current "European refugee crisis"
   Mexico  Jutta Battenberg Galindo  ¡La muerte del justo… la muerte del inocente… la vida de todos!
   Canada  Carolyn Chau  Syrian Refugee Crisis –A Local Canadian Response
       

September 2015

 South Africa  Anthony Egan  ON SNAKES, FUNDAMENTALISM AND RELIGIOUS ABUSE
   Malaysia  Sharon Bong  ‘Citizens’ call out’
   Belgium/United States  Joe Selling  If not ‘gender’ … then certainly ‘women’s rights’
   Mexico  Miguel Ángel Sánchez  Diplomacia y utopía
   United States  Mary Doyle Roche  “Go, set a watchman, let him announce what he sees.”  Isaiah 21:6
       

August 2015

 Nigeria  Ojo Bolanle Bimbo  GLOBALISATION, INEQUALITY AND POVERTY IN NIGERIA: ADVOCACY FOR GLOBAL JUSTICE
      Fr. Don Bosco Onyalla  African Catholic Scholars Discuss Challenges and Opportunities of the African Church Ahead of Synod on Family
   India  Shaji George Kochuthara  One Road Accident Death Every Four Minutes!
   United Kingdom  Gillian Paterson  LOST IN TRANSLATION:  Is SDG 5 a problem for religion?
   Argentina  Emilce Cuda  Fin de la luna de miel entre Francisco y la prensa hegemónica
   United States  Nichole M. Flores  The GOP’s Latina/o Strategy: A Mirror for Catholic Social Ethics
       

July 2015

 Kenya  Carine Umutoniwase  The Unforgettable Black Day
   Philippines  Eric Genilo  A Safe Haven
   Austria  Ingeborg Gabriel  Ukraine at the Crossroads: Political and ethical reflections
   Puerto Rico  Jorge José Ferrer  Justicia cordial para la bioética del siglo XX
   United States  Mary Jo Iozzio  Proud, Relieved, and Heartened by the Rule of Justice
       

June 2015

 Hong Kong  Charles Chan  A Gift from our Holy Father
   Brazil  Alexandre Martins  Education, Dialogue and Paulo Freire
   United States  James Keenan  Grieving at Pentecost
   United States  James Keenan  Lúcás (Yiu Sing Luke) Chan, S.J.: Bridge-Builder
       
 

May 2015

 Kenya  Peter Knox  Xenophobic attacks in South Africa
   Malaysia  Sharon Bong  A poor woman's Dignity
   Czech Republic  Jaroslav Lorman  The Slovak Church unfortunately involved in the issue of same-sex partnerships?
   Argentina  Pablo Blanco Gonzalez  COMMON GOOD, ECONOMY AND POLITICS
   Canada  Carolyn Chau  Current Canadian 'Culture Debates'
       

April 2015

 Belgium/United States   Joseph Selling  Visiting professor at Hekima College, Nairobi, Kenya
   India  Shaji George Kochuthara  Section 66 A of IT Act
   Belgium  Ellen van Stichel  Strawberries in springtime…
   Mexico  Jutta Battenberg Galindo  Violencia, redes sociales, conciencia y responsabilidad
   United States  Nichole M. Flores  When Discourse Breaks Down: Engaging Racial Conflict on Campus
       

March 2015

 Kenya  Peter Knox  Illicit Financial Flows
   Philippines  Eric Genilo  Lessons from a Papal Visit
   Germany  Petr Štica  Transnationalität und global governance als Herausforderung für die christliche Sozialethik – Bericht vom Berliner Werkstattgespräch der deutschen Sozialethiker und Sozialethikerinnen (23. bis 25. Februar) (English)
   Mexico  Miguel Ángel Sánchez  Fundamentalismos allá y aquí
   Brazil  Alexandre Martins  The Priority of Personal Goods and the Lack of Ethical Virtues: A Looking at Current Brazilian Politics
   United States  Mary Doyle Roche  To be Seen and Heard: Children, the Synod, and the World Meeting of Families
       

February 2015

    Ken Ogot  Fighting Terrorism or Introducing Dictatorship?
   Japan  Osamu Takeuchi  Peace and Life
   Germany  Marianne Heimbach-Steins  Europe after the Terror Attacks in Paris – A Socio-Ethical Reflection
   Canada  Carolyn Chau  Shootings and Social Responsibility
       

January 2015

 Malaysia  Sharon Bong  ‘Religion or rights: The higher moral ground’
   United Kingdom  Julie Clague  British Catholics and Family Morality: The times they are a-changin’
   Argentina  Emilce Cuda  Francisco: ¿Etica, Política o Teología Pastoral?
   Argentina  Gustavo Irrazábal  Un sínodo en verdad “extraordinario”
   Peru  Edwin Vásquez Ghersi  El sínodo sobre la familia: Aires nuevos en la Iglesia
   United States  Mary Jo Iozzio  The Challenge of Women’s Consent
       

December 2014

 Cameroon  Azetsop Jacquineau  THE EBOLA EPIDEMIC IN WEST AFRICA: AN ISSUE OF JUSTICE?
   United Kingdom  Tina Beattie  Synod on the Family
   Mexico  Jutta Batterberg Galindo  Violencia de Género:  Un asunto pendiente en la teología moral
       

November 2014

 South Africa  Frances Correia  Crime and Family Life in South Africa
   Philippines  Eric Genilo  Clean Hands
   Czech Republic  Jaroslav Lorman  Visit of Prof. Gerhard Kruip to the Czech Republic
   Puerto Rico  Jorge José Ferrer  Ética de los ministerios y de las organizaciones eclesiales:   ¿Una asignatura pendiente para la teología moral?
   United States  Angela Senander  Listening to Elizabeth Johnson: The Leadership Conference of Women Religious and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
       

October 2014

 Zimbabwe  Nontando Hadebe  ‘The blood of your (sister) cries out to heaven’ A prophetic Trinitarian response to gender-based violence.
   Japan  Osamu Takeuchi  A Crisis of Peace in Japan
   Belgium  Ellen van Stichel  Developing a Theological Anthropology for the 21st Century: An Introduction to the Anthropos Research Project (Catholic University Leuven)
   Mexico  Miguel Ángel Sánchez  Condición de migrantes
   United States  Mary Jo Iozzio  Waiting in Hope for Our Families:  The Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (October 5-19, 2014)
       
 

September 2014

 Malaysia  Sharon Bong  ‘A home to call one’s own’
   Poland  Konrad Glombik  Challenges in Research in the field of moral theology in Poland
   Argentina  Pablo Blanco Gonzalez  “PEACE UNDER FIRE IN GAZA”
   Puerto Rico  Jorge José Ferrer  Ética de los ministerios y de las organizaciones eclesiales:  ¿Una asignatura pendiente para la teología moral?
   Canada  Carolyn Chau  Euthanasia in Canada – Recent Developments
       

June 2014

 Tanzania  Laurenti Magesa  The Synod on the Family and Africa
   Philippines  Eric Genilo  Legislating Compassion
   Germany  Marianne Heimbach-Steins  Reflections on the election of the European Parliament
   Brazil  Alexandre Martins  Fraternity and Human Trafficking
   United States  Nichole M. Flores  Political Emotion, Religion, and the Pursuit of Racial Justice
       

May 2014

 Kenya   Wilhelmina Tunu  TOWARDS A HOLISTIC UNDERSTANDING OF POVERTY
   Malaysia  Sharon Bong  ‘Not containing trauma and memory in the name of Allah’
   Europe  Gillian Paterson and Joseph Selling  Catholic Discourses on Population and Development
   Brazil  Alexandre Martins  Fraternity and Human Trafficking
   Puerto Rico  Jorge José Ferrer  Liberalización de las drogas: una “questio disputata”
       
 

April 2014

 Kenya  Marie-Rose Ndimbo  "Ethical Examination of overcrowding in the city of Kinshasa and its related problems."
   India  Shaji George Kochuthara  "Development without Compassion for the Aged?"
   Czech Republic  Jaroslav Lorman   "Challenges of moral theology in the Czech Republic."
   Mexico  Jutta Battenberg  MEDIOS DE COMUNICACIÓN SOCIAL: LA MIRADA AUSENTE
   United States  William Mattison  "An Air of Change: Reception of the Eucharist for the Divorced and Civilly Remarried?
       

March 2014

 South Africa  Anthony Egan  Denis Hurley - Bishop And Public Ethicist
   Japan  Osamu Takeuchi  Specific Secret Protection Law: What is secret?-that is secret
   Italy  Vicenzo Viva  The Ecclesial Dimension of Moral Theology between Magisterium and Sensus fidelium.
   Mexico  Miguel Ángel Sánchez  Indignación ética ante la ausencia del Estado de Derecho
   United States  Mary Jo Iozzio  International Women's Day (March 8) and (US) Women's History Month
       

February 2014

 Kenya  Peter Knox  Water and oil in Turkana: How will they play out?
   Philippines  Eric Genilo  Aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan
   Belgium  Ellen Van Stichel  Happy Birth Day?
   Argentina  Emilce Cuda  La teología en Argentina después de Francisco
   United States  Nichole M. Flores  Synod of Bishops on the Family: Critical Questions from the US
       

December 2013

 Cameroon  Solange Ngah  Changes in Family Life and the Challenges of Contemporary Culture
   Malaysia  Sharon Bong  ‘The Gospel of Families’
   Italy, Europe  Martin Lintner, The Presidium of the European Society for Catholic Theology  Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in the European Context
   Argentina  Pablo Blanco Gonzalez  Who Cares?
   Canada  Carolyn Chau  Secularism and Religious Freedom in Canada: The Quebec Charter of Values
   United States  Jillian Maxey  From the Trenches: A Reflection on the Preparatory Document on the Synod on Marriage and Family
       

November 2013

 Cameroon  Solange Ngah  On Communication and the Media: Reflections of a Theological Ethicist
   India  A. Vimal Kumar, MMI, Bala Kiran Vannekuty and Joseph Thambi Gone  The Impact of the Dowry System in Christian Communities
   Germany  Petr Štica  Human rights in the Catholic Church: Report of the international expert meeting “Benchmark Human Rights. Ambition and Implementation in the Catholic Church” in Münster
   Brazil  Alexandre Martins  Moral Theology and Youth
   United States  Mary Jo Iozzio  Thanksgiving at 150
       

October 2013

 Democratic Republic of the Congo  Marie-Rose Ndimbo  Kinshasa: A Social Drama for the Poor
   Japan  Osamu Takeuchi  Olympics or Getting out of the Nuclear Accident
   Germany  Marianne Heimbach-Steins  A Report from Graz
   United States  Bill Mattison  Veritatis splendor at 20
       
 

September 2013

 Philippines  Eric Genilo  Saying No to Blood Ivory
   Argentina  Emilce Cuda  Francisco: entre la Teología de la Liberación y la Teología del Pueblo
   United States  Nichole M. Flores  March on Washington Anniversary: Fannie Lou Hamer and the New Evangelization
       

August 2013

 United Kingdom  Julie Clague  Your mission, if you choose to accept it: A European Project for Catholic Theological Ethics
       

July 2013

 South Africa  Raymond Perrier  Whistleblowing
   Malaysia  Sharon Bong  Casinos, connections, contestations
   Mexico  Miguel Ángel Sánchez  Una oportunidad para la ética teológica desde los sujetos emergentes femeninos.
   United States  Mary Jo Iozzio  U.S. Minimum Wage at 75
       

June 2013

 Kenya  Peter Knox  50 years of the Organisation of African Unity
   India  Shaji George Kochuthara  The "Tyranny of Money"
   United States  William Mattison  Hope and Pope Francis:  A Reflection from the US
       

May 2013

 Kenya  Peter Knox  Wage negotiation season returns to South Africa’s Mines
   Japan  Osamu Takeuchi  Peace or Amendment of the Constitution of Japan?
   Canada  Mark Miller  Rewarding the Deserving?
       

April 2013

 Democratic Republic of the Congo  Marie-Rose Ndimbo  Wages in the DRC
   Kenya  Veronica Rop  Role of Social Media in Kenya: A Threat or Opportunity
   Philippines  Eric Genilo  Wading into Political Waters
   Mexico  Miguel Ángel Sánchez  Pope Francisco and some resonances for ecclesiology and Latin American theological ethics: cautious optimism
   United States  Nichole M. Flores  Institutional Religious Freedom: Broadening the Scope
       
 

March 2013

 Kenya  Veronica Rop  African Women and Political Participation: A Worrying Trend
   Malaysia  Sharon Bong  ‘What’s in a name?’
   Argentina  Emilce Cuda  Implications of the Resignation of the Pope in the Media (available in English and Spanish)
   United States  Mary Jo Iozzio  The US Fails to Ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
       

January 2013

 Democratic Republic of the Congo  Marie-Rose Ndimbo  As the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO)  Face the Elections in the DRC in 2011. Were There Some Recommendations?
   India  Shaji George Kochuthara  That Delhi Girl!
   Mexico  Sebastián Mier  LA ETICA TEOLÓGICA EN EL CONGRESO CONTINENTAL DE TEOLOGÍA LATINOAMERICANA (available in English and Spanish)
   United States  William Mattison  Boundaries and Protections of Religious Freedom
       

December 2012

 Kenya  Veronica Rop  Escalation of Killings in Kenya: A Call for Respect for Human Life
   Philippines  Eric Genilo  The Changing Face of HIV/AIDS in the Philippines
   Canada  Mark Miller  The Media & Physician-Assisted Suicide in Canada
       

November 2012

 Kenya  Veronica Rop  Ushering African Women into the Year of Faith: Reflection on Motu Proprio Data
   Nigeria  Anne Arabome  Telling Our Own Stories: Seven Women, Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
   Japan  Osamu Takeuchi  Another Virtue Ethics
   United States  Nichole M. Flores  Race and Polarization in the U.S. Church and Public Life
       

October 2012

 Malaysia  Sharon Bong  ‘To Cut Or Not To Cut: That Is Not The Question’
   Mexico  Miguel Ángel Sánchez  La juventud estudiantil refresca el compromiso ético social
   United States  Mary Jo Iozzio  Threats to Responsible Citizenship in the 2012 US Presidential Election
       
 

September 2012

 Democratic Republic of the Congo  Marie-Rose Ndimbo  CTEWC in Africa after Trento: Engaging the African Synod: The First Day
   Kenya  Veronica Rop  CTEWC in Africa after Trento: Engaging the African Synod: The Second Day
   Kenya  Peter Knox  CTEWC in Africa after Trento: Engaging the African Synod: The Third Day
       

August 2012

 Kenya  Peter Knox  Human rights!  What about Rhino rights?
   Philippines  Eric Genilo  Freedom of Religion in Government Offices
   Puerto Rico  MT Davila  ¿A dónde vas Occupy?
       

July 2012

 India  Shaji George Kochuthara  Millions of Missing Girls! Female Foeticide and Ethical Concerns
       

June 2012

 Japan  Osamu Takeuchi  Should we restart nuclear power plants?
   Cote d'Ivoire  Nathanaël Yaovi Soede  La Syrie après la Libye: les maîtres du monde
   Argentina  Pablo Blanco Gonzalez  La Crisis Financiera a la Luz De la Doctrina Social de la Iglesia
       

May 2012

 Kenya  Veronica Rop  The African Synod: The Participation of Women in Reconciliation Justice and Peace
   Malaysia  Sharon Bong  A Second Life
       

March 2012

 South Africa  Anthony Egan  Criminalising Homosexuals in Uganda?
   Argentina  Emilce Cuda  Relación Iglesia-Estado: Un Debate Ético O Político?
   Brazil  Marcio Fabri dos Anjos  Nuevas Generaciones y Educación para valores éticos. Apuntes metodológicos
       

February 2012

 Kenya  Peter Knox  "People Power: Take Control of Your Energy"
   India  Shaji George Kochuthara  "Over an Ageing Dam"
   United States  Thomas Massaro  "Labor Justice in Catholic Social Thought and the Occupy Movement"
       

December 2011

 Kenya  Peter Knox  World AIDS Day 2011
   Philippines  Eric Genilo  "In God's Image"
   India  Shaji George Kochuthara  Response to "In God's Image"
   Argentina  Emilce Cuda  Mistica y Politica en los Nuevos Estilos Democraticos Latinoamericanos
       
 

November 2011

 Cote d'Ivoire  Nathanaël Yaovi Soede  "The International Community and Democracy in the South"
   India  Shaji George Kochuthara  Response to "The International Community and Democracy in the South"
   Japan  Osamu Takeuchi  "What Can We Learn from the Great East Japan Earthquake?"
   India  Shaji George Kochuthara  Response to "What We Can Learn from the Great East Japan Earthquake"
   Mexico  Miguel Ángel Sánchez  "Ethics in the Areopagus"
   India  Shaji George Kochuthara  Response to "Ethics in the Areopagus"
       

October 2011

 Kenya  Veronica Rop  The Challenge Posed by Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem to the African Perspective on the Dignity of Women
   Malaysia  Sharon Bong  ‘Obedient wives, first-class prostitutes and terrorism’
   India  Shaji George Kochuthara  Response to "The Challenge Posed by Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem to the African Perspective on the Dignity of Women"
   Brazil  Marcio Fabri dos Anjos  Un desafiante Escenario para la Teología Moral Católica en Latinoamérica y el Caribe (English)
       

August 2011

 South Africa  Anthony Egan  Good Governance, Good Grief!
   Philippines  Eric Genilo  The Challenge of Democratic Dialogue in the Philippines
   Argentina  Emilce Cuda  North-South Dialogue/Dialogo Norte-Sur
       

July 2011

 Kenya  Peter Knox  Mining in South Africa
   India  Shaji George Kochuthara  Response to "Mining in South Africa"
   India  Shaji George Kochuthara  The Transparency Revolution in India
   Mexico  Miguel Ángel Sánchez  Ethical living: Hope despite everything in an "underground city" of Mexico City

Reconciling Peoples

0 Comment(s) | Posted | by Stanislaus Alla |

Reconciling Peoples

Fr Arturo Sosa, the newly elected Superior General of the Society of Jesus, in his homily on 15/10/2016 mentioned ‘a reconciled humanity in justice,’ implying that the Jesuits ought to strive to incorporate this objective more vigorously into their varied ministries. Obviously, reconciliation is a foundational theme in Christian life and theology and it is incarnated continuously in the diverse ministries of the Church. Apart from all that is being done, Fr Sosa’s reflective comment reminds us that there is an urgent need in our contemporary world to find creative ways to reconcile peoples who are estranged from each other for various reasons. The Jubilee Year of Mercy –the writings, gestures, speeches and initiatives of Pope Francis in particular- helped many people to reflect on the theme of reconciliation, and, in light of that, large sections of Catholics began to find deeper meaning in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This write-up intends to bring into focus the theme of ‘reconciling peoples,’ an under-explored subject that has immense potential in all types of contexts, Indian, Asian or global. The laity and clergy, gifted with creativity and imagination, can involve themselves and find ways to reconcile people and thereby contribute to the peaceful and harmonious living of peoples.

A cursory look at the people at the level of parishes or communities, villages or towns, cities or states reveals that people within these ‘social units’ are divided for a multitude of diverse reasons. In places like Sri Lanka, Kashmir and Kandhamal, the causes for division may be obvious, but in many other places the divisive forces operate in much subtler ways. Caste, tribe, race, language, ethnicity, religion, region, poverty, gender and many other factors draw the lines between ‘us’ and ‘them’ and the division denies the ‘outsiders’ access to dignity, equality, freedom, just wages and even the means to livelihood. Violence (state-sponsored or otherwise) consolidates divisions, increasing suspicion and fear of the other among all sections of society.

What divides and estranges people from one another is a very complex socio-cultural phenomenon and there is no easy solution to tide over this problem. However, if one desires to think of an action plan to reconcile peoples, it may be important to look at reality in its small manageable units: the ethnic or caste divisions in a particular village, the religious divide among the people living in this part of the town, divisions among the supporters of rival political parties in a parish-constituency, etc. These are just few examples but many issues polarize people and engender animosity among them. At times the divided may all be of one religion or of a social class. Whatever be the nature of the division or its scope, the question is, how prepared are the Church’s personnel to take steps to reconcile people in concrete situations!

Many problems such as an act of violence or a long standing rivalry between families or groups could open a window to enter and explore the possibilities in this regard. When taking a step in this direction, surely, one is entering into an unknown area, bordering the impossible, and it is difficult to have control on the process as well as the outcome. Reliance on faith and hope and holding on to belief that God at times works miracles through human instrumentality is crucial! Tired of living estranged, people might be looking for a little opening, a small initiative by a credible person to bring the rivals together for a sharing. Of course, while reconciling peoples one cannot ignore the prevailing realities that sustain and reinforce inequalities and injustices or overlook the crimes committed or sufferings endured by groups. Learning lessons from little known or well-known initiatives taken in the past in this area (like the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa), action plans may be adapted to the local context.

Mahatma Gandhi offers us an excellent model in reconciling peoples. For instance, when the communal clashes were destroying property and lives, not only did he fast and pray but also he exhorted the Hindus and the Muslims to reach out to the best in themselves and their Scriptures that endorse the virtues of reconciliation, forgiveness and peaceful coexistence. With people’s support or all alone, Gandhi was able to undertake this mission of reconciling the divided people, always convincingly and often successfully. He relied on the inner spiritual strength and courageously spoke against violence and hatred.

 

Often, in contexts like India, many priests, apart from being ministers of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, do not take seriously their potential to be reconcilers of divided peoples. For various reasons, many members of the clergy and the Religious (without prejudice to what the laity can accomplish) are held in high esteem by people of various castes and classes and religions and social groups. The values and the virtues they espouse and embody, the services they render, the commitment they display put them at an advantage and with this they can easily bring various groups of people to a common platform. The ‘evil one’ may be ever ready to foil any such attempts to reconcile people but the Lord’s grace and guidance can help us to pursue such attempts. Collaboration with the educated and enlightened laity, committed and open-minded religious leaders (of other religions) and youth will make the attempts of reconciling peoples a shared mission. More and more people with imagination and creativity -and employing cultural and religious symbolism- are needed to embrace the Church’s mission of reconciling peoples so that together we all can become builders of peace and live in peace.  

 

Stanislaus Alla, SJ, 

Vidyajyoti, Delhi

Reconciling Peoples

0 Comment(s) | Posted | by Stanislaus Alla |

Reconciling Peoples

Fr Arturo Sosa, the newly elected Superior General of the Society of Jesus, in his homily on 15/10/2016 mentioned ‘a reconciled humanity in justice,’ implying that the Jesuits ought to strive to incorporate this objective more vigorously into their varied ministries. Obviously, reconciliation is a foundational theme in Christian life and theology and it is incarnated continuously in the diverse ministries of the Church. Apart from all that is being done, Fr Sosa’s reflective comment reminds us that there is an urgent need in our contemporary world to find creative ways to reconcile peoples who are estranged from each other for various reasons. The Jubilee Year of Mercy –the writings, gestures, speeches and initiatives of Pope Francis in particular- helped many people to reflect on the theme of reconciliation, and, in light of that, large sections of Catholics began to find deeper meaning in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This write-up intends to bring into focus the theme of ‘reconciling peoples,’ an under-explored subject that has immense potential in all types of contexts, Indian, Asian or global. The laity and clergy, gifted with creativity and imagination, can involve themselves and find ways to reconcile people and thereby contribute to the peaceful and harmonious living of peoples.

A cursory look at the people at the level of parishes or communities, villages or towns, cities or states reveals that people within these ‘social units’ are divided for a multitude of diverse reasons. In places like Sri Lanka, Kashmir and Kandhamal, the causes for division may be obvious, but in many other places the divisive forces operate in much subtler ways. Caste, tribe, race, language, ethnicity, religion, region, poverty, gender and many other factors draw the lines between ‘us’ and ‘them’ and the division denies the ‘outsiders’ access to dignity, equality, freedom, just wages and even the means to livelihood. Violence (state-sponsored or otherwise) consolidates divisions, increasing suspicion and fear of the other among all sections of society.

What divides and estranges people from one another is a very complex socio-cultural phenomenon and there is no easy solution to tide over this problem. However, if one desires to think of an action plan to reconcile peoples, it may be important to look at reality in its small manageable units: the ethnic or caste divisions in a particular village, the religious divide among the people living in this part of the town, divisions among the supporters of rival political parties in a parish-constituency, etc. These are just few examples but many issues polarize people and engender animosity among them. At times the divided may all be of one religion or of a social class. Whatever be the nature of the division or its scope, the question is, how prepared are the Church’s personnel to take steps to reconcile people in concrete situations!

Many problems such as an act of violence or a long standing rivalry between families or groups could open a window to enter and explore the possibilities in this regard. When taking a step in this direction, surely, one is entering into an unknown area, bordering the impossible, and it is difficult to have control on the process as well as the outcome. Reliance on faith and hope and holding on to belief that God at times works miracles through human instrumentality is crucial! Tired of living estranged, people might be looking for a little opening, a small initiative by a credible person to bring the rivals together for a sharing. Of course, while reconciling peoples one cannot ignore the prevailing realities that sustain and reinforce inequalities and injustices or overlook the crimes committed or sufferings endured by groups. Learning lessons from little known or well-known initiatives taken in the past in this area (like the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa), action plans may be adapted to the local context.

Mahatma Gandhi offers us an excellent model in reconciling peoples. For instance, when the communal clashes were destroying property and lives, not only did he fast and pray but also he exhorted the Hindus and the Muslims to reach out to the best in themselves and their Scriptures that endorse the virtues of reconciliation, forgiveness and peaceful coexistence. With people’s support or all alone, Gandhi was able to undertake this mission of reconciling the divided people, always convincingly and often successfully. He relied on the inner spiritual strength and courageously spoke against violence and hatred.

 

Often, in contexts like India, many priests, apart from being ministers of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, do not take seriously their potential to be reconcilers of divided peoples. For various reasons, many members of the clergy and the Religious (without prejudice to what the laity can accomplish) are held in high esteem by people of various castes and classes and religions and social groups. The values and the virtues they espouse and embody, the services they render, the commitment they display put them at an advantage and with this they can easily bring various groups of people to a common platform. The ‘evil one’ may be ever ready to foil any such attempts to reconcile people but the Lord’s grace and guidance can help us to pursue such attempts. Collaboration with the educated and enlightened laity, committed and open-minded religious leaders (of other religions) and youth will make the attempts of reconciling peoples a shared mission. More and more people with imagination and creativity -and employing cultural and religious symbolism- are needed to embrace the Church’s mission of reconciling peoples so that together we all can become builders of peace and live in peace.  

 

Stanislaus Alla, SJ, 

Vidyajyoti, Delhi

What is Truth?

0 Comment(s) | Posted | by Michael Jaycox |

What Is Truth?

Michael P. Jaycox

I quote the haunting words of Pontius Pilate, “what is truth?” (Jn 18:38), to frame a trend observed in the relationship between the mainstream U.S. news media and the newly elected Trump administration. Journalists are not only reporting on the information they can verify as being factually true. They are also reporting on—or rather, trying to make sense of—the contradictory worlds of information that compete to be perceived as true.

Their efforts are laudable, due the fact that it is the solemn duty of journalists to seek truth and report it and to hold political leaders accountable to the truth. Absent the virtue of journalistic vigilance, the way lies open for democracies to be replaced by alternatives such as demagoguery or totalitarian systems of government.

Nevertheless, as an ethicist I am troubled by the question of whether journalists are equipped professionally to offer critical analysis of contradictory information worlds. Lately some journalists are reluctant to use the terms “lie” and “lying” to describe a pattern of counterfactual claims made by Trump and his administration. Instead, some journalists describe these counterfacts as “falsehoods” and “provably not true.” Interestingly, the defense journalists offer for their scrupulous restraint is their lack of ability to know intent. According to this view, journalists can use their training to prove whether an individual’s statement contradicts information previously established as factual, but to prove that an individual intended to deceive the audience by making a counterfactual statement is much more difficult and, apparently, beyond their capacity.

These journalists are obviously not referring to a technical, ethical concept of intentionality, but does their view of the distinction between telling a falsehood and lying even meet a public standard of discerning intention in speech?

Conventional wisdom holds it is reasonable to not presume the intention of another’s statements. Further, American legal institutions have created a broader legalistic culture of forensic truth, wherein intent must always be proven to determine responsibility. Theological traditions seem to corroborate these views, reminding us that human beings “look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Sam 16:7). Ignatius of Loyola likewise counsels us “to be more eager to put a good interpretation on a neighbor’s statement than to condemn it,” since the presumption to know another’s intent is often itself erroneous.

However, we must be careful that an otherwise appropriate attentiveness to individual subjectivity does not result in the collapse of our shared, culturally embedded methods for assessing intent in the everyday speech of those with whom we share relationship. We know what the non-verbal gestures and cues are. If nothing else, we have a sense of trust or doubt about another’s intent.

Moreover, even if questions of individual intent are set aside, there always remains the social context that makes a false statement seem plausible, and there are always social consequences of speaking falsely. In many if not most cases, the social impact of speech matters more than the individual speaker’s intent. Here the scriptural injunction “you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” is apt, not because invoking a negative precept straightforwardly settles the question. Perhaps the biblical authors were more cognizant than contemporary U.S. society that truth can be elusive, and as socially mediated it is fragile. Even more fragile are the reputations and livelihoods of those groups who typically bear the consequences of false witness. If false speech results in harm to the lives of vulnerable groups, then regardless of intent such speech counts as lying and dishonesty in the deepest sense of those words.

Second, it is vital for journalists to call the false statements of Trump and company lies because he and his administration occupy the role of public officials. By virtue of the offices they hold, this particular group of individuals arguably has the greatest responsibility of anyone in U.S. society to seek out and report reliable information relevant to the enforcement of federal law and the formulation of domestic and foreign policy. The manifest ignorance of this group is therefore all the more culpable. When such disregard for truth becomes the driving force behind public statements, questions of intent are virtually moot since those statements are clearly intended to deceive. The impact, or more precisely the damage being done to the republic and to the already weakened bonds of civil society is proportionately far more troubling. Such statements are, in effect, culpable lies because the public has a right to truthful speech from their political leaders. How else will the public be able to trust anything these leaders say?

Third, calling the Trump administration’s false statements “lies” as the word of choice is a first step that journalists can and should apply to their reporting. Taking the historical and political long view, as a second step they should consider using the more accurate and appropriate term “propaganda”. As the philosophers Hannah Arendt and Jason Stanley have noted, the goal of propagandists is “to sketch out a consistent system that is simple to grasp, one that both constructs and simultaneously provides an explanation for grievances against various out-groups. It is openly intended to distort reality, partly as an expression of the leader’s power.” When Trump circulates propaganda about immigrant, refugee, Muslim, and African-American communities in order to identify them as “out-groups”, he is effectively circumventing the democratic function of journalists in differentiating fact from intentionally deceptive fiction. Simply put, his propagandist manner of communicating attempts to create a different factual reality on his own terms to better serve his interests.

The historical record of fascism (Italy's Mussolini, Germany's Hitler) has taught us that when journalists don’t take the risk of calling false statements lies and propaganda they are likely to face the greater risk of normalizing demagoguery and becoming pawns in a political chess game. Let this historical memory stand as a warning for the journalistic profession and citizens of U.S. society in the present.

 

Aportaciones de la Tradición Social Católica a la ética de la Investigación Biomédica

0 Comment(s) | Posted | by Jorge Jose Ferrer |

Aportaciones de la tradición social católica a la ética de la investigación biomédica

Jorge José Ferrer, SJ

Recinto de Ciencias Médicas – Universidad de Puerto Rico

 

Durante los últimos tres lustros me he dedicado a la enseñanza de la ética de la investigación biomédica a estudiantes que cursan carreras de ciencias. En el contexto de la universidad pública, en el que trabajo, la asignatura no se aborda desde una perspectiva teológica. Sin embargo, es importante para mí, como creyente y como teólogo, preguntarme por la aportación específica de la tradición moral católica a la ética de la investigación biomédica. Esa reflexión es uno de los proyectos en los que trabajo en la actualidad. Me interesa, sobre todo, explorar la aportación de la tradición social católica a mi disciplina.

 

Curiosamente, la bibliografía de bioética teológica no ha explorado suficientemente dicho vínculo. La asimilación de la Doctrina Social de la Iglesia y, en nuestras latitudes latinoamericanas, de los aportes válidos de la teología de la liberación son, en gran medida, asignaturas pendientes para la bioética teológica.

 

Este desfase se puede explicar, al menos en parte, por la tradicional vinculación de la bioética con la “moral de la persona” y con los temas controvertidos relacionados con la moral sexual, la protección de la vida no nacida o el final de la vida (limitación de tratamientos, suicidio asistido y eutanasia, entre otros). Incluso cuando se aborda teológicamente el tema de la investigación con poblaciones vulnerables, se hace desde una perspectiva que no integra la visión de transformación social que es cónsona con nuestra tradición católica.

 

Debido a las restricciones de espacio, me limito a presentar un ejemplo. En 2008, el Centro Nacional Católico de Bioética de los Estados Unidos y la Asociación Médica Católica publicaron un importante documento titulado A Catholic Guide to Ethical Clinical Research[1]. El mismo propone cuatro principios generales, a saber: 1) Veracidad, 2) Respeto por la vida humana en todas sus etapas, desde su primera formación hasta la muerte, 3) Respeto por la integridad de las personas, 4) Generosidad y justicia.

 

Los principios tres y cuatro recogen la preocupación por las personas que son vulnerables en virtud de su edad, educación, límites económicos o condiciones de índole médico o sicológico. Se afirma que las personas vulnerables no deben participar en investigaciones clínicas que no les beneficien directamente. No hay duda de la validez de estos enunciados. Sin embargo, cuando se aborda la protección de las personas vulnerables, se echa de menos una más explícita conexión con la doctrina social católica. El análisis de la vulnerabilidad se queda, además, como suele hacerlo la bioética secular, en lo que S. R. Benatar y P. A. Singer han llamado “micro-explotación.” No se analizan las estructuras de injusticia e inequidad en las que tienen lugar las situaciones de vulnerabilidad y explotación[2].

 

En el documento tampoco se mencionan otros temas importantes como la identificación de criterios para el establecimiento de las prioridades de investigación, las relaciones entre los investigadores y sus patrocinadores con las poblaciones vulnerables, la investigación clínica internacional, las patentes o los precios de los medicamentos. Este documento no es una excepción. En términos generales, los teólogos no hemos hecho la tarea de articular una ética de la investigación biomédica netamente teológica y católica, que incorpore nuestra rica tradición de justicia social. Lo excepcional es precisamente lo contrario. Un modelo para el nuevo abordaje que propongo se puede encontrar, en mi opinión, en la obra de la teóloga estadounidense Lisa S. Cahill[3].

 

En el breve espacio del que disponemos me limitaré a: 1) enumerar los principios de la tradición social católica que deberían, a mi juicio, guiar una genuina bioética teológica de la investigación biomédica, 2) señalar algunos de los temas cuyo abordaje se vería, en mi opinión, transformados por la bioética teológica por la que abogo. Los principios son los siguientes: 1) La dignidad no negociable de cada persona[4]. 2) El principio de justicia social, que se refiere a la edificación de una sociedad global que garantice a todas las personas la posibilidad de construir una biografía conforme con las exigencias de la dignidad humana de la que hemos hablado en el primer principio. 3) El principio del bien común, entendido como la suma total de las condiciones que permiten que las personas alcancen su plenitud humana.4) La opción preferencial por los pobres, en plena coherencia con el ministerio de Jesús. 5) El principio de solidaridad, que requiere que cada uno se interese y trabaje por el bien de todos. Estos principios requieren, por supuesto, una profundización mayor. Por ahora debe bastar con enunciarlos.

 

Pensemos en el impacto que tendría una bioética teológica, elaborada a partir de los principios identificados, en la selección de las prioridades de investigación o en el tema de las patentes de medicamentos. Se ha hecho casi proverbial hablar de la brecha 90/10, que significa que: “…apenas el 10% de los recursos mundiales destinados a investigación en salud se dedica a las enfermedades responsables del 90% de la carga mundial de morbilidad[5].” Esto significa, dicho de manera clara y sencilla, que los fondos que se invierten en la investigación clínica no atienden adecuadamente las necesidades de salud de las masas empobrecidas. Es posible que el desbalance 90/10 no sea numéricamente exacto. Pero, como apunta D. P. O’Mathúna, lo importante no es la precisión matemática, sino el problema muy real y de enormes proporciones al que apunta[6].

 

Si la selección de temas de investigación estuviese guiada por los principios enunciados –particularmente los de justicia social, solidaridad y opción preferencial por los pobres- las prioridades tendrían que modificarse dramáticamente. Llama la atención que los teólogos moralistas católicos no demos prioridad a este tema en nuestras publicaciones. Nadie, en campo católico, duda de la importancia de proteger la dignidad de la vida humana no nacida, pero parecería al menos igualmente urgente que esa protección se conceda a la vida humana nacida, cuando ésta está desprotegida por la desigualdad y la pobreza. En la era del Papa Francisco esta laguna en la bioética teológica católica es totalmente inexcusable.

 

Otro tema que debería ser prioritario es el de las patentes biomédicas. Ciertamente, la tradición católica reconoce el derecho de propiedad, incluyendo la propiedad intelectual. Pero no es menos cierto que toda propiedad privada tiene una hipoteca social, para usar la expresión consagrada por San Juan Pablo II[7]. Los precios de los medicamentos dificultan o imposibilitan el acceso a terapias que son necesarias para la salud y la vida de las personas. Es de sobra conocido el escándalo de las patentes de los fármacos para tratar el HIV-SIDA en los años 90 del pasado siglo[8]. El drama se da también para las poblaciones pobres de países ricos. Es el caso de los Estados Unidos, país en el que el precio de los medicamentos se rige por las leyes del mercado. ¿No son temas e este estilo de los que se debe ocupar prioritaria y urgentemente una bioética teológica inspirada por los principios y valores de la doctrina social católica?

 

El desarrollo de una bioética teológica inspirada por los principios de la ética social católica es especialmente urgente para los que vivimos, reflexionamos y escribimos desde las latitudes meridionales de nuestro mundo globalizado.

 

 



[1] The National Catholic Bioethics Center and the Catholic Medical Association, A Catholic Guide to Ethical Clinical Research: The Linacre Quarterly 75 (2008) 181-224. Available on line: http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/002436308803889521, accessed: October 7, 2016.

[2] Benatar S. R. y Singer P. A., Responsibilities in International Research: A New Look Revisited: Journal of Medical Ethics 36 (2010) 194-196.

[3] Cahill L. S., Theolgoical Bioethics, Washington DC, Georgetown University Press, 2005. Cf. Id., Bioethics and the Common Good, Milwuakee, Marquette University Press, 2004.

[4] Es verdad que este tema aparece en la bioética secular, pero desde una comprensión que tiende a reflejar el individualismo de la cultura liberal postmoderna, que los teólogos no podemos comprar sin más. La dignidad de las personas es inseparable de la promoción del bien común y de la justicia social, porque las personas florecen en la comunidad y nunca fuera de ella

[5] Frenk J., Las necesidades en materia de salud y el programa mundial de investigación: México     http://www.who.int/macrohealth/newsletter/11/es/  Acceso: 25 de enero de 2017. Cf. Pinto Bustamante B. J. et al.,  Bioética y la brecha 10/90: fallos, desafíos y oportunidades: Revista Redbioética UNESCO 5 (2014) 81-93.

[6] O’Mathúna D. P., Decision-making and Health Research: Ethics and the 10/90 Gap: Research Practitioner 8 (2007) 164-172.

[7] Hasta donde he podido investigar, Juan Pablo II usó la expresión por vez primera en su discurso a los obispos del CELAM reunidos en Puebla, el 28 de enero de 1979. Cf. AAS 71 (1979) 189-196; Sollicitudo rei socialis Número 42.

Sr. Anne's Account as a Post-Doctoral Research Scholar at the Jesuit Institute of Boston College

2 Comment(s) | Posted |

Postdoctoral Research Scholar- at the Jesuit Institute-Boston College

From 13th September 2016 to 9th January 2017

Sr. Anne Celestine Achieng Oyier Ondigo FSJ

 

In early fall semester 2016, I was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at Boston College. My significant thanks goes to Professor James Keenan SJ, the initiator of the CTEWC program for the training of African Women without whom, the postdoctoral scholarship would not have been possible. I also give special thanks to those who worked with him to ensure that the program is a reality. These include Linda Hogan of Trinity College Dublin, Orobator E. Agbonkhianmeghe, Elias Opongo, and Caro Mwangi all from Hekima University in Kenya.  My Boston experience would not have had a smooth success without Toni Ross who was instrumental in ensuring I had a great experience at the Jesuit Institute.

My postdoctoral research scholarship at Boston College was a unique opportunity that offered me four months of research and academic skill enforcement. It was both an exciting challenge and a pleasure being at Boston College. The College has a friendly academic environment with vast resources and facilities that enhanced and particularly reinforced my postdoc research. Most importantly, is that this postdoc did not require any teaching and as a result allowing me to devote solely to my research. Many thanks to Rose Mary Donohue for the convent house at Boston College. Residing at the main campus, the proximity of where I lived saw me get around the college for almost everything I needed within walking distances; the chapel at St. Mary’s, the libraries, the bookstore, the classes, and the offices. I therefore planned my research goals with specific timelines for the necessary output.

 In this context, I accomplished several tasks in academic endeavor. I had a brief discussory talk on the experience that led to the topic of my PhD research work and the plan I had for the postdoc period at Boston including the research topics I was to engage in.  After my first article paper was ready, I gave an expertise presentation on the work surrounded by professionals, PhD students and friends in the field. The question and answer approach on the papers widened my horizon of knowledge and also helped me to intentionally narrow my research focus.  The feedback was great.

With strict time management, I managed to write four papers in peer reviewed journals. I also got time to work on the possibility of the publication of my thesis. Towards this end, I whole heartedly appreciate the time taken and availability given by professor James Keenan from his very busy schedule to give top notch advanced mentored training on how to assert ideas and thoughts into an article paper, what to emphasis and why. In this sense, I acquired competencies for undertaking highly developed research work and was able to work independently and tailor my research articulating vividly the message. I moved from mainly a consumer of ideas to complexly consume and produce ideas as well. Keenan also introduced me into the writing system with peer reviewed article editors which saw me within a short time ensconced within their networks. This has widened my academic networks within the field and enhanced my professional skills deepening my scientific, technical, empirical research and independence in the field. These leadership skills obtained in research while at Boston, will be utilized me in assisting the next generation of scholars. I appreciate the time taken by Keenan to support my academic work and career development positioning me as a driver of innovative research.

Apart from writing, I attended an ethics class for doctoral and Masters students by James Keenan where I was an observer each Tuesday auditing the course on Theological Virtue Ethics. It was a very interactive class that I looked forward to each Tuesday.  The class advanced my postdoc mission on ethics as a lifestyle and life long focus. It was in deed a pleasure being at Boston College.

I also participated in college and departmental scholarly life by taking part in the doctoral students’ seminars where a variety of contemporary topics and works were discussed. In these seminars, there were feedbacks and encouragement given to students in progressing with their proposals.  The great experience here was how the academic community at Boston interacted between the professors and the students to bring out the best of each student.  Together we advanced the scholarly cause.

The Gasson lecture series “Engaging Islam” by Professor Gerhard Bowering SJ was one of the classes that I attended widening my knowledge on foundations, beliefs and characteristics of Islam, Muslims and their faith. I also had chance to identify and attend some other conferences, talks and workshops within the college that were of special interest to me.

The attendance of the Society of Christian Ethics (SCE) conference in New Orleans from 5th to 8Th January 2017 was the last function of the postdoctoral experience. I was impressed by the diverse areas covered during the conference. The address of the various social dimensions articulated issues the way they are calling a spade a spade without coloring with subtle wording.  Lastly, my special thanks to all the doctoral, masters and the professional academia in the department of Theology for the cordial relationship we formed within the short time at Boston. Thank you for taking your time to attend my presentations, for your support, advice and feedback.  Thank you all, it was an experience of a lifetime.

 

 

Ja Jan's on Manilla Calling

0 Comment(s) | Posted |

Manila calling…

 

In the context to the CTEWC exchange program, I was able in September-October to spend 6 weeks of teaching, lecturing, tutoring and research at De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines. It took my local contacts in the persons of Agnes Brazal and Rito Baring a serious effort to get the application being approved by the University, but once I was there the admin part went very smooth and for the rest of the time, there were no surprises. Having a room in a condominium right next to the campus on Taft Avenue and a small office of my own with PC and printer in the vicinity of the TRED (Theology and Religious Education Departement) secretariat turned out to be a real blessing. And this part of Manila – just as probably everywhere else in the Philippines - offered many options for daily shopping and obtaining good and cheap meals.

 

My first task at DLSU was to teach: planned were a course on intercultural ethics and a class/seminar on moral methodology. Unfortunately, the first didn’t materialize but for the second, 9 very dedicated students were prepared to break their heads over “Living the Truth – A Theory of Action” by Klaus Demmer. I promised them ‘blood, sweat and tears’ but also a great reward… and both turned out to be true! It was very satisfactory for a teacher like me to see how the students one by one were getting into the theological hermeneutics as developed by Demmer and how they in their concluding presentations wrested with it, but they succeeded.

 

A second task consisted in giving three academic lectures: “Hegemonic Masculinities”; “Ethics of Care”; “Secularization” – they were well attended and also sparked some further discussion. Next to these, I was also lecturing in the religious education program where I gave a class on “Catholic Social Teaching 101” in which I managed to get the attention of the 17-18 years old who are the majority of the senior college students (around 250 in total). A second lecture for this group on “Amoris Laetitia” was cancelled because on that very day DLSU was closed in view of super-typhoon Haima and the possible massive rain and wind it might bring to Manila (in the end, it was not that bad – luckily).

 

During my stay, I was also invited on Wednesday October 5 to facilitate a seminar on “Gender justice” and give a lecture on “Amoris Laetitia” at the SJ Ateneo University of Manila situated in the north of Metro Manila and this also exposed me to the almost permanent traffic congestion from which this collection of cities suffers. The very dense traffic is also the main cause for the pollution which on days without wind becomes very difficult to bear. Add to this temperatures above 30°C and a humidity between 85% and 99%: I got my fair share of being in a tropical country! The seminar at Ateneo went well and as for the lecture: the room had 400 seats but students and even faculty were sitting on the stairs and standing at the sides – quite impressive. The talk was followed by a serious time for discussion which left all of us with a feeling of satisfaction and with some the dedication to get deeper into studying Amoris Laetitia. For me personally, there was also the joy of meeting with one of my former professors from the Catholic University of Leuven, Georges De Schrijver SJ who was recovering from an infection but only needed rest before he would resume his teaching at Ateneo. It was a heart breaking shock to learn on Friday morning that he passed away and the only consolation was being present at both the funeral mass and the interment – he had asked to be buried in the Philippines where he rests at the Jesuit graveyard of Manila: RIP father Georges.

 

At DLSU, I was also invited to give a lecture for faculty and students of the philosophy department on “The Islamic Headscarf”: again the room was not big enough and the Q&A had to be cut of… it ended by the famous phrase: please come again!

 

The third part of my tasks was to be a resource person for papers that were in the process of being prepared by students and junior staff. After two meetings with 10-12 participants, we continued with a more person-to-person approach and again having this office at my disposition was most useful! Arrangements were also made to continue this tutoring for a couple of students after my return home – and they do continue.

 

Finally, there was the project of writing an article together with members of the staff on ‘social order’ as it is perceived by students in terms of what they think would be the ideal situation and how this differs from the actual situation. The first part of this in terms of the setting up and the formulation of a questionnaire was finished during my stay; the article itself is work in progress. It was also agreed that my lecture on “Ethics of Care” will be offered for publication in the newly established DLSU Journal of Theology and Religious Education.

 

Next to these various ‘official tasks’, it was a joy to participate in some events at DLSU: the festive opening of the academic year, a staff meeting of TRED, the celebration of outstanding scholars, a graduation ceremony… At all occasions – and others such as birthdays or saying farewell – Pinoys make sure there is something to eat and this sharing is at the core of what struck me from day 1: hospitality in capital letters – SALAMAT PO!

 

In the final week, I travelled to the south and was hosted in Cebu by San Carlos University and in Tagbilaran on the island of Bohol by Holy Name University, both under the leadership of SVD. This also added to my ‘cultural exposure’ which was already very present in Manila but now got the addition of visiting in Cebu the rightly famous Jesuit House of 1730 and in Bohol the fascinating ‘Chocolate Hills’ (a real treat for a Belgian…!).

 

Conclusion? Nope – one cannot do justice to 7 extraordinary weeks in a few lines: do I add my conversations with street children, being crushed on the packed Light Rail Transit or getting scared in a Tricycle (I did not try JeepNeys), being baffled by the contrast between the beauty of Bonifacio Global City and the appalling poverty of the nearby shanty shelters, …? It was a grace and a blessing, including the thorny sides. And I learned about bahala na.

"It’s the Morals, Stupid! On the Importance of Ethics in the Post-Truth Age"

0 Comment(s) | Posted | by Ingeborg Gabriel |

It’s the morals, stupid! On the Importance of Ethics in the Post-Truth Age

By Ingeborg Gabriel

The slogan of Bill Clinton’s electoral campaign 20 years ago “It’s the economy, stupid” has gained prominence and still has something to be said for it. However, observing the social and political trends in the Western world, one asks oneself whether it fully explains why a scary phenomenon going by the diffuse name of populism that hardly anybody foresaw is gaining ground so rapidly. Ethicists (and not only economists) should help people better understand what, the hell, is going on in our societies and in politics which in democracies after all reflect positions widely held by the respective populations. Of course, there is real apprehension in the air. Old ethnic conflicts are flaring up, terrorists and fanatics attempt to revive the millennial war between Islam and Christianity within our societies and whereas during the past decades of globalization the rich became superrich, the poor and the very poor lost out in income and opportunities. But these – it seems to me - are not the only reasons why a growing part of the population in Western liberal societies is angry and frustrated. Moral disorientation also plays a significant role. An “(un)culture of arbitrariness” or - what may be called - emancipation from morals has grown at great speed. Moral transgressions, power grabbing, the unashamed breaking of rules and a general lack of consideration for others and their interests became ever more frequent. If one talks to people the complaints are the same everywhere: in banks, businesses, in government offices and universities. And just as important: there is less of an uproar against these practices partly out of opportunism, but partly also out of a growing uncertainty of what is right or wrong, what can be done and what is not to be done. Those who are in power at whatever level consider it their right to boss others around and to reinterpret facts to suit them, using any ruse to get what they want. Why complain: everybody does it and those who do it best are considered to be really smart. The Economist recently launched post-truth as Word of the Year (January 7th, 2017, 64) and already last Fall had dedicated an issue to “The Art of the Lie” asking: Why do voters prefer shrewd often rich and highly manipulative types aligned with capital and finance? What is the reason for what I once called the Berlusconi effect? Why do mostly poor folk (after all the majority of the population) find them so attractive? Do they admire them and their ruthless lies?

There is an ethical as well as a metaphysical side to this question. The definition of truth as adaequatio intellectus et rei may have something to teach. There is a reality we are to take as given and that we have to conform to. Facts are not to be changed arbitrarily. Man is not the master of everything. A will to a power that wants to command also over reality is hubris. Truth - to the heck with it - is what I make out of it! And after all: It’s up to me how I treat others. The consequence of this “outsourcing of morals” (the title of the speech of Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks, the 2016 Templeton Prize winner, at the award ceremony) is an immense erosion of trust. Yes, people have always lied and the Kantian demand that even under threat of life any lie is forbidden seems too rigid to most. However, the confusion caused in today’s world by uninhabited lying, twisting the truth and mocking those who stick to it, makes one understand, that there is more than a kernel of truth in it. Could the deep malaise in the Western world that brings all sorts of figures to popularity have to do with the obscuration of this fundamental human insight? Confronted with Communist propaganda Václav Havel spoke of the human need to “live in the truth”. May this also be a motto for the West today? In any case ethicists should ask themselves how to get their knowledge out of the ivory tower. It is needed more than ever.

“The practice of healing ministry in Africa: What is the Christian contribution today?”

0 Comment(s) | Posted | by Solange Ngah |

“The practice of healing ministry in Africa: What is the Christian contribution today?”

 

 

Despite the intervention of scientific medicine, the practice of healing is appearing as a new attitude alongside the emergence of churches in Africa. Some practicioners of healing  would have one believe that healing is the sign of a life in conformity with the will of God, whilst the absence of healing, or any kind of suffering is a curse, or the result of disobedience on the part of the person concerned, or his or her progentiors.[1] This give an opening to the practices of healing. This way of thinking could have one believe that instead of a liberating healing, one could also be dealing with a worsening of the physical condition and psychology of the people concerned. In fact, examining these practices, we believe that there is certainly a legitimate care to help the suffering people from the perspective of the Apostle James (cf. Jas 5:14f.)

 

Taking this approach, several challenges should be noted for a good pastoral care of health in Africa: returning to the sources of Christian faith. As Jean-Marc Ela affirms, the faith leads us into every situation of distress and suffering to bring promise and a hope for life to whoever has been stripped of these.[2] The highest calling of the of the Gospel in Africa  is to explore viable pastoral ways to respond to the spiritual miseries of Africans – celebrating the sacraments, caring for the sick within the context of the healing ministry recommended by the Church.[3] As St John Paul II said in Salvifici Doloris, we must reassert the value of suffering if we want to be followers of Christ,[4] respecting human dignity in its entirety.

 

by Solange NGAH

Doctoral student in moral theology

Masters in Canon Law

Catholic University of Central Africa / Catholic Institute of Yaoundé – Cameroon



[1] cf. Bernard Ugeux, Guérir à tout prix? Paris: Ouvrères, 2000, 15-17.

[2] cf. Jean Marc Ela, Le cri de l’homme africain. Questions aux chrétiens et aux églises d’Afrique. Paris: L’Harmattan, 1980, 115.

[3] cf. The Church in Africa in the Service of Liberation, Justice and Peace: Lineamenta of the 2nd Special Session of the Synod of Bishops for Africa. 2006, no 71.

[4] cf. John Paul II, Salvifici Doloris: Pastoral Letter on the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering. 1984.

Book Release: An Ethics of Mercy

0 Comment(s) | Posted |

(cover back text)

AN ETHICS OF MERCY

On the Way to Meaningful Living and Loving

“A small step, in the midst of great human limitations, can be more pleasing to God than a life which appears outwardly in order but moves through the day without confronting great difficulties.” (Pope Francis I, Amoris Laetitia).

Sexual experimentation, living together, raising children outside of marriage, remarriage after divorce, and same-sex relationships.... : these behaviours have become common in the wider society as well as among Christians and Catholic Christians. Not only do they think and act differently than the official Church teaching but they do so convinced that they are acting rightly. This challenges ethics to respond by what can be called an ‘ethics of mercy’, by meeting people where they are and helping them to grow towards the fullness of live and love. Such a pastoral and educational ethics of growth should dare to stand within the tension between what is desirable and what is attainable, without surrendering the ‘pro-vocative’ idea of conjugal covenant as the basis for the family.

Mercy is needed not only after ethics but in ethics. In harmony with Pope Francis’s plea for ‘the logic of pastoral mercy and discernment’ (Amoris Laetitia), this book seeks a middle way between merciless rigourism and relativising subjectivism. It proposes an ethics of redemption that accompanies people on their way to meaningful living and loving, grounded in a spirituality that springs from the salvation offered in Jesus, the incarnation of God’s mercy.

“Burggraeve’s book provides an excellent reading for reflection and debate about issues of marriage and family life among Catholics. But it also offers ample orientation and encouragement for anyone who is searching for ‘meaningful living and loving’ in turbulent times.” (Thomas Knieps-Port le Roi).

Roger Burggraeve, sdb (1942) is professor emeritus of theological ethics at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium), where he taught, among others, the course An Ethics of Growth for Difficult Pastoral and Educational Situations. For 37 years he was also part-time collaborator and team member of the Salesian youth pastoral Centre ‘Eigentijdse Jeugd’ (Youth Today) in Dilbeek (Brussels, Belgium).

Leuven, Peeters, 2016, 299 p.

Roger Burggraeve 

Sr. Wilhelmina Uhai Tunu's Report on her Dissertation

2 Comment(s) | Posted | by Wilhelmina Tunu |

It is now one and a half months since I graduated after my doctoral studies. During my enrollment as a doctoral student, I had a strong desire and determination to pursue my studies and I was confident that I would succeed because of the financial, material and moral support accorded to me. I am delighted to express my sincere gratitude to the entire committee for Scholarship Programme of the Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church and indeed, to all members of CTEWC, for training me and other African Women in theological ethics. I am particularly indebted to Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator, Elias Opongo, Linda Hogan, James Keenan, and other benefactors whose love and sacrifices availed financial and material support for me to this end. I also thank Ms. Carol Mwangi who availed herself tirelessly to coordinate my financial needs. I thank my superiors for giving me the opportunity to pursue my studies at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA).

Four years of doctoral studies have been a moment of transformation. Indeed I look different, I have become different and I am behaving differently. The process of acquiring knowledge on theological ethics has excelled me to act in the present moment in order to create a better future where I will form and touch hearts, inform minds and transform lives of people.  

On the 13th October 2016, I presented the summary of my PhD Dissertation titled: The Socio-Moral Principle of Human Dignity: A New Paradigm for Alleviating Poverty in Same Catholic Diocese, Tanzania. Human dignity is the main orientation essential for organizing society for peaceful co-existence and for the full development of the human person and of the society at large. I proposed this socio-moral principle of human dignity as a new paradigm for alleviating poverty. Poverty is a major threat to human life, socio-economic and moral development of people today. Perceived as a lack of basic resources for human survival, it dishonours the human person who, according to Christian anthropology, is created in the image and likeness of God.  It disrupts the community relations thus; it is primarily a human and moral problem. Despite the fact that the world has undergone great technological advancement, many people still suffer the humiliation of material poverty. Government, Non-Governmental and Faith based organizations have tried to reduce it, but it continues to victimize and marginalize people from active participation in the decision making processes in the community.

The main argument in this dissertation is that understanding the nature of poverty in the African context contributes to promotion of human dignity. Eliminating catalysts of poverty including; illiteracy and low income, alcoholism, laziness, imposed fear and jealousy due to superstition requires teaching people to change their behaviour and work for the common good. Equally, rejection of structures that oppress and discriminate the poor helps to promote human dignity and alleviate poverty. Worthless relationships rooted in cultural, political and economic systems tend to dehumanize people. Indeed, such structures must be reformed beginning from conversion of individual mindset.

Provision of empowerment through capacity building avails to people various opportunities to realize what they value and live a life of sincere choice. In this fact, I recommended that the government has a great role in alleviating poverty by ensuring integral development of its citizens. Development is achieved when the rights of all people are defended and protected. Through the principle of subsidiarity, the State should be responsible to intervene actively in the economic life of the nation for the welfare of the society by making sure that human dignity is promoted. Likewise, there is need to improve the system of governance to enable strong economic performance and training citizens on poverty alleviation through civic education.

I also concentrated on the role of the Church in poverty alleviation. The prophetic role of the Church in alleviating poverty is significant. I proposed a model of the Church as herald of good news to be a relevant element in poverty alleviation. Through this model, the Church, as voice of the voiceless, will enlighten all people on strategies to alleviate poverty.  Such strategies include an appeal to behavioral change through education, evangelization through family catechesis, conscientization through seminars and workshops, spiritual transformation and accompaniment, establishment of youth associations, promotion of a self-reliant spirit, and enhancing transformative education.

Personalistic approach to human person is an ethical model I proposed. We need to measure every anti-poverty initiative with the human person who is the center of integral development which is authentic and all-inclusive. This kind of development which aims at the human success and elevation of each person in all dimensions of development is what we need to implement to enable the poor people to reclaim their dignity.

I also suggested the role of NGOs’ in ensuring impartial community collaboration and involvement. NGOs ought to guarantee support to facilitate the growth of projects. To this end, collaboration of all people in alleviating poverty is essential, right from the family level to the whole society. The family has also to play its role in reclaiming traditional African values (respect, hard work, solidarity, hospitality) and promoting harmonious co-existence. The role of Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOS) in encouraging a culture of saving to reduce income vulnerability among the people of Same Catholic Diocese is highly recommendable.  

My dissertation is thus; a wakeup call to the Church to embrace her prophetic social mission to denounce the evil of poverty in the society, enhance solidarity, improve the dignity and lives of the people as well as promote integral human development. It is also a wakeup call to the government to safeguard and improve the life of all people especially the poor.

After my public defence I graduated on 28th October 2016. I am thankful to God for the significant and wonderful educational achievement. As I continue to deliver transformative education to the Church and society, I feel a sense of hope because as a transformed person I can now stand as a champion of moral values to transform the society. May God’s Wisdom and Grace guide all CTEWC members and all who have assisted me to reach this far.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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