June THE FIRST (2012)

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The FIRST
June 2012
Welcome to the FIRST


In this issue:
From the editor
Announcements
Regional Conference Update
CTEWC Scholarship Programme for African Women Profile: Marie-Rose Ndimbo Ngbiangonda
Forum 
New on the website 


Jim Keenan S.J - Editor
Jillian Maxey - Layout 


From the desk of the editor
Dear Friends,

This summer is fast becoming the summer of regional conferencing.

Certainly we are all looking forward to NAIROBI in August. The African Regional Chair, Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator, SJ, will be hosting the first pan- African expert seminar of Catholic ethicists. Then the Catholic University of Eastern Africa together with CTEWC hosts a series of public lectures. 

In July, Shaji George Kochuthara hosts a meeting of Indian Theological ethicists in BANGALORE, India; along with me, Lucas Chan Yiu Sing, the Asia Regional Committee Chair, will be attending and presenting at that meeting. Before meeting with Shaji, Lucas Chan travels to Manila to meet with Ritchie Genilo and Agnes Brazal to begin planning the 2015 Pan-Asian meeting.

And, last month, MT Davila, the Latin American Regional Chair and I went to SAO PAULO, Brazil to begin preparations for subsequent meetings there and the Pan-Latin American conference of 2016. We had sensational meetings over the course of four days.

So this issue we highlight these three events and omit any other regional reports.

Still, we have three essays in the Forum (Nuclear power plants in Japan, Syria after Libya, and a view of the financial crisis from Argentina) and an introduction to another African women CTEWC scholar, Sr. Marie-Rose Ndimbo.

All the best...as you read on, Jim

Announcements

Peter Henriot recently wrote an article for The Tablet on the planned co-educational Jesuit secondary school in rural Kasungu, Malawi. The article can be downloaded at http://catholicethics.com/articles. More information on the school is available at www.loyola-malawi.org and www.facebook.com/loyolamw

Catholic Theological Union has a faculty opening in Catholic Theological Ethics (rank open). More information is available on the Clearing House page of our website: http://catholicethics.com/clearinghouse

The Center for Theological Inquiry is accepting applications for Research and Post-Doctoral Fellowships “for research scholars who welcome the dialogue between theology and science.” More information is available on the Clearing House page of our website: http://catholicethics.com/clearinghouse

Looking to Nairobi 2012

Plans have been finalized for the Regional CTEWC seminar in August 2012. This will be a first and, in line with the mission of CTEWC, the seminar will bring several African scholars together to “dialogue from and beyond local culture; and, to interconnect within a world church” around the themes of the second African Synod – reconciliation, justice and peace. The event will be in 3 parts.

The first part will consist of lead presentations on the synodal themes followed by responses and discussions by participants. A unique feature of this part will be the conversations with three foremost Catholic church leaders in Africa – Archbishops John Onaiyekan, John Baptist Odama and Joseph Atanga. This represents beginning steps towards bridging the gap between theological scholarship and ecclesiastical leadership on the continent. Another unique feature of this seminar is the participation of 7 African women who have received CTEWC scholarships to pursue doctoral studies in theological ethics. They represent the changing face and the future of theological ethics in Africa.

In the second part, the gathering will shift to the campus of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa for a public lecture on sustainability and feminism in Africa and the world church. Fr. Richard Rwiza and Sr. Veronica Rop have been involved in the planning of the event. It will also be the occasion for launching the first in our book series: James F. Keenan (ed), Catholic Theological Ethics Past, Present, and Future: The Trento Conference (Orbis, 2011).

The third and final part will be a meeting of the CTEWC planning committee.

There is much anticipation and excitement about Nairobi 2012. Leading moral theologian, Laurenti Magesa, recently commented: “I hope the seminar will be an occasion for facilitating close, intimate human and professional relationships among participants.... In other words, the seminar could be a time of connecting, and identifying and initiating thought on a broad spectrum of contemporary ethical issues facing Africa.” Zimbabwean Annah Nyadombo adds: “I am expecting to gain knowledge and increase skills in moral teaching of the church and in ethical approaches while educating women, youth and community in HIV/AIDS. The insights and new ideas from the seminar will also help me in my day-to-day activities with clergy and religious in pastoral work. The event will give me the opportunity to interact with different people from various fields and therefore share ideas and experiences in various ethical issues in the church.”

Karibu – welcome to Kenya! A. E. Orobator, SJ

View the Nairobi Program


Gearing up for Bangalore 2012

Workshop on Moral Theology in India, July 12-15, 2012 Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram, Bangalore 560029

Participants and topics:

1. Scaria Kanniyakonil: Integration of Virtues and Laws in Indian Bioethics
2. Stephen Fernandes: Humanae Vitae and the Indian Response
3. Charles Irudayam: Justice in Catholic and Hindu Traditions
4. Thomas Srampickal: Historical Perspectives
5. Jose Koodapuzha: II Vat and Indian Moral Theology
6. Sr Vimala: Gender Ethics
7. Paul Chummar Chittilappilly: In Search of a Common Denominator for a Contextualised Theological Ethics
8. Baiju Julian: Interreligious Perspectives – Distinctiveness and Relationship
9. Saji Kanayankal: Ecotheological Ethics
10. John Chathanatt: Corruption
11. James F. Keenan: Catholic Theological Ethics in the world Church
12. Innaiah Polisetti: Spirituality and Morality
13. Sahayaraj Stanley, SJ: Business Ethics – Corporate Social Responsibility
14. Lucose Chamakala: Healthcare in India – Contemporary Challenges
15. Kochuthresia Puliyappallil: Moral Theology: Malankara Perspectives
16. Lucas Chan: Moral Theology: The Asian Scenario
17. Patrick Xavier: Political Ethics
18. Anthony Raj: Human Rights in India
19. George Kodithottam: Ethics in Politics
20. Mathew Illathuparampil: The Role of Imagination in Moral Reasoning
21. Matthew Coutinho: Family Ethics
22. Prem Xalxo: Communication Ethics
23. Paulachan Kochappilly: Oriental Perspectives
24. John Karuvelil: Dignity of women and Selective abortions in India: An Ethical Reflection
25. Shaji George Kochuthara: Sexuality: Changing Perspectives
26. James Poonthuruthil, SDB  


 News from Sao Paulo

What can I say? MOITO OBRIGADA! Our visit with the Brazilian ethicists and our supporters in Sao Paulo was fruitful and significantly propelled our work for the Latin American region forward. Thanks to the groundwork by CTEWC LA planning committee member Ronaldo Zacharias, and our colleagues Leo Pessini, Marcio Fabri, and Alexandre Martins, we were able to meet with them and then with 20 Brazilian ethicists to discuss our plans for the Latin American region. Out of this meeting came the idea that we would gather a small group of Latin American ethicists (12-15) in October 2013. The goal is for these ethicists to have already been working with their own working groups on topics of interest and import for their environments and countries, but that resonate with the larger Latin American context. The planning committee for the Continental meeting of Latin American ethicists scheduled for 2016 will formally launch from this October 2013 meeting. 

Friends, the remainder of my report this month consists on sharing with you more of the great news resulting from Fr. Jim Keenan and my travel to Sao Paulo, Brazil, as part of the efforts of reinforcing the four main goals of CTEWC in Latin America:

-­‐     establish, support and encourage new and existing networks of Catholic ethicists across the continent;
-­‐     establish scholarships for doctoral work in theological ethics (including the broad range of social, fundamental moral, and bio-ethics) initially targeting lay women and women religious;
-­‐     support regional meetings of theological ethicists in Latin America; 
-­‐     and support needs for development of working groups and research of ethicists.

Keeping these goals in mind we took advantage of the gathering of the Association of Brazilian Moral Theologians, that took place from May 16-19, in conjunction with the International Congress of Clinical Bioethics, to meet with as many ethicists in Brazil as we could as well as other organizations supportive of our goals. Thanks to the work of CTEWC regional committee member Ronaldo Zacharias, and the hospitality of Leo Pessini, Marcio Fabri, and Alexandre Martins, our visit was a success and achieved significant advances in all of our goals.

In an extensive meeting on May 16 with Leo Pessini, Marcio Fabri, and Alexandre Martins, we discussed our goals and best ways to begin implementing them. We determined that the next course of action is to hold a preliminary meeting of Latin American ethicists in October 2013 that will help set the agenda for the Continental meeting of ethicists we announced previously in the CTEWC newsletter, slated for 2016. This would be a gathering of 12 representative persons who will also generate the planning committee for 2016. The idea is that the 12 will focus on diverse areas and ethical questions of importance to their regions and countries, forming working groups around these topics prior to October 2013.

On May 17 we were able to meet with a group of about 20 Brazilian ethicists gathered for the Clinical Bioethics Congress. Our meeting discussed the plans for the future as developed so far. We received both enthusiastic support for our agenda as well as important feedback to refine our next moves to be even more attentive to the needs of particular ethicists in regions outside of Brazil. The Brazilian ethicists offer a strong model of a well-developed network of communication, collaboration, and support. Our goals are to increase the network among ethicists in various countries who may be isolated or networks of ethicists that are operating only within their own countries and contexts but who lack a continental network of support.

Finally, we were able to visit with some of our supporters who are very positive and excited about our plans, scholarships, the preliminary meeting in October 2013, and the Continental meeting in 2016, and have promised to assist us in seeing these plans come to fruition.

Many, many thanks to the Brazilian community of ethicists! Moito obrigada!

[In Spanish]

Amigos, mi informe este mes consiste en comunicarles las grandes noticias como resultado de la visita que el Padre Jim Keenan y yo hiciéramos a Sao Paulo, Brazil, para darle énfasis a nuestros 4 objetivos principales para CTEWC en América Latina:

-­‐     establecer, apoyar, y promover redes nuevas y existentes de eticistas Católicos en el continente;
-­‐     establecer becas para el trabajo doctoral en ética teológica (incluyendo la gama que esto representa de ética social, moral fundamental, y bioética) principalmente para mujeres laicas y religiosas;
-­‐     apoyar reuniones regionals de eticistas en América Latinas;
-­‐     apoyar la necesidad de grupos de trabajo y desarollo de investigación para eticistas. 

Con estas metas en mente, viajamos a la reunion de la Asociación Brazilera de Moral Teológica que se llevó a cabo del 16 al 19 de mayo, en conjunto con el Congreso Internacional de Bioética Clínica. También aprovechamos para reunirnos con nuestros auspiciadores en el area. Gracias a la labor y hospitalidad de Ronaldo Zacharias, miembro del comité de planificación de CTEWC para América Latina, y de nuestros colegas Leo Pessini, Marcio Fabri, y Alexandre Martins nuestra visita fue todo un éxito y alcanzó darle avance a todas nuestras metas.

Durante una reunión extensa con Leo Pessini, Marcio Fabri, y Alexandre Martins el 16 de Mayo, discutimos nuestras metas y las mejores maneras de comenzar su implementación. Determinamos que a proseguir debemos hacer una reunión preliminary de un grupo pequeño de eticistas en Octubre de 2013. Esta reunión servirá para plantear la agenda del Congreso Continental de ética teológica planificado para el 2016. La consulta de Octubre 2013 será de unos 12 representantes, y también se generará el grupo de planificación para el Congreso del 2016. La idea principal es que este grupo de 12 se enfoque en áreas de ética diversas de importancia para sus países, formando grupos de trabajo que se hayan reunido y trabajado en estos temas antes de Octubre del 2013.

El 17 de mayo pudimos reunirnos con 20 eticistas en el Congreso Internacional de Bioética Clínica. Allí se discutió los planes para el futuro que tenemos desarrollados hasta ahora. Recibimos un apoyo entusiasmado para la agenda ademas de comentarios y críticas importantes para refinas nuestros planes para atender las necesidades de los eticistas fuera de Brazil. Los eticistas brazileros ofrecen un modelo concreto y estable de una red de comunicación, colaboración, y apoyo. Nuestros deseos son hacer crecer la red entre los eticistas en distintos paises quenes puedan sentirse aislados a nivel continental, o quienes participan en redes locales o nacionales pero no continentales.

Finalmente, pudimos reunirnos con algunos de nuestros auspiciadores. Éstos están muy entusiasmados con nuestros planes para las becas, la reunión preliminar en Octubre 2013, y la reunión continental en el 2016, y han prometido asistirnos a cumplir estos planes.

¡Muchísimas gracias a la comunidad de eticistas de Brazil! Moito obrigada!

Jim Keenan and Alexander Martins 

Fathers Jim Keenan and Alexander Martins at the statue of José de Anchieta, SJ, founder of Sao Paulo.

 MT Dávila

MT Dávila, CTEWC planning committee member, ringing the peace bell in the Patio do Colegio, Sao Paulo.


 Meet Marie-Rose Ndimbo Ngbiangonda Member of the CTEWC Scholarship Programme for African Women

 Marie-Rose Ndimbo Ngbiangonda

I am Marie-Rose NDIMBO NGBIANGONDA, a Religious of the Congregation of the Sisters Daughters of Mary of Molegbe, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The congregation was founded in 1937 by Bishop Basil Tanghe, of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, then Vicar Apostolic of Molegbe.

After finishing primary school in 1982 and secondary schools in 1990, I entered the Congregation. After initial years of formation, I took my first vows in Molegbe September 8, 1993 and perpetual vows in Kinshasa on 11 August 2002.

Within the congregation, I was Director of a nursery, Mistress of postulants and Secretary of the Congregation from 1993 to 2001.

In September 2001 I was sent to study in Catholic Faculties of Kinshasa where I spent one year in Philosophy and then did Theology.

In 2005, I was called back to be superior of the community as well as professor and prefect of one of our high schools. In September 2008, I returned to the Catholic Faculties of Kinshasa for graduate studies, receiving the CTEWC scholarship. This support has allowed my congregation to let me go on to the doctoral cycle.

At this point I am taking four required courses and 6 elective seminars, not to mention the research for writing a thesis project. The title is "The Contribution of the Association of Episcopal Conferences of Central Africa (ACEAC) in search of peace in the sub-region of the Great Lakes from 1994 to 2010. The Moral Approach.” As the subject suggests, it is divided into three chapters except the introduction. The first outlines some general data on the socio- political context of the Sub-Great Lakes region including: the colonial heritage of this region, independence and new problems (boundary disputes, nationality problem, ethnicization of politics, problem of refugees, impoverished the population, looting of natural resources, etc..). The second chapter analyzes the major documents produced by the ACEAC or the episcopal conferences that comprise it. And finally the third chapter will make some considerations on moral theology texts and the context and analyzed.

What motivates me in this research is the widespread loss of Christian values or the anti-values that are gaining ground throughout the African continent in general and the sub-region of the Great Lakes in particular. In addition to the fratricidal war or even the genocide, there is indeed a normalization of violence and disrespect of human rights. Faced with all these injuries, reconciliation and peace that are true gifts from God are welcomed and sought. 


CTEWC FORUM: Japan, West Africa, and Argentina

Should we restart nuclear power plants?

The devastating earthquake (magnitude 9.0) and tsunami on March 11, 2011 triggered many problems. The number of dead is 15,854 and 3,155 are still missing after a year. Many of the 344,000 evacuees are still forced to live in temporary housing. The nuclear meltdown and a series of explosions showered 8 % of Japan with radioactive materials. Radiation is still being released into the air and water. This is a serious problem not only for Japan but also for other countries, even our planet. 

The last of the reactors at the Tomari nuclear plant in Hokkaido was switched off for routine maintenance on May 5. Now all 54 reactors in Japan (13% of the reactors in the world) are shut down or destroyed. This raised a debate over the country’s nuclear future. Before last year’s triple catastrophic meltdown at the Fukushima Daiich plant, nuclear power supplied a third of Japan’s energy. Japan depended on nuclear power for one-third of its electricity.

The government of Japan and power companies insist that a shortage of electricity generation capacity could lead to mandatory power cuts. Therefore, they want to force the restart of the idled nuclear power plants. In fact, power shortage is expected only at peak periods, such as the middle of the day in hot weather. The urge to restart the nuclear plants is more threat than warning as the stress tests that some plants passed for restarting are based on obscure, possibly irrelevant criteria.

Another controversy arose in Ohi in Fukui prefecture. Nuclear power plants in Fukui supply approximately half of all the electricity used in the greater Kansai region, which includes the cities of Osaka and Kyoto. The government announced that the Ohi plant was safe to operate and that it is necessary to restart it. However, there is still outright opposition from other adjacent prefectures, such as Shiga, Kyoto and Osaka.

Opinion polls on the anniversary of the March 11 disaster found that about 60 % of the people opposed restarting the reactors with 80 % expressing distrust in the new safety measures. However, at the same time, local people living near the nuclear plants have mixed feelings because their lives depend on the nuclear power industry. One said, “Our jobs and daily life are more urgent than a disaster that may occur only once in a million years.”

Past, present, and future in Japan

- The total quantity fission produced radioactive material since the start of nuclear power plants in 1963: 1.2 million times that of the Hiroshima atomic bomb.
- Possession of plutonium: 4,000 times that of the Nagasaki atomic bomb.
- What should we do for the future?

1.      We have responsibility to God who made everything to care for the environment of the earth.

2.      We need reliable and capable leaders both in secular and the religious Church world who can evaluate reality critically, comprehensively, and faithfully.

Osamu Takeuchi, S.J., a native of Japan, is a professor of moral theology at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan. He received his S.T.D. from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. His areas of special interest are fundamental moral theology, bioethics, and sexual ethics. He has published Conscience and Culture: A Dialogue between the West and the East concerning Conscience (Saarbrücken, Germany: LAP Lambert Academic Publishing, 2010).


La Syrie après la Libye : les maîtres du monde

Pour sauvegarder leurs intérêts, celles de deux des leurs, les grandes puissances adoptent depuis plusieurs mois une position qui ne permet pas d’établir un ordre de paix en Syrie. Que devons-nous faire au niveau éthique chrétien, pour éviter que ces « maîtres » d’aujourd’hui ne soient demain encore les seuls à décider de l’avenir de l’humanité, et que leurs propres intérêts n’empêchent de garantir la justice et la paix partout dans le monde ?

Cette question mérite notre attention au regard de la gravité des conséquences des décisions partisanes des grandes puissances sur le devenir des pays du Sud et de l’humanité entière.

Par exemple, au mois d’Avril 2012, la Communauté Economique des Etats d’Afrique de l’Ouest (CEDEAO) a été confrontée à l’épineux problème des conséquences de la guerre menée dans la résolution de la crise libyenne. La CEDEAO doit résoudre des problèmes de rebellions armées, d’islamisme sectaire, de partition du territoire du Mali, de réfugiés abandonnés à eux-mêmes, etc. Pendant ce temps, les pays occidentaux qui, contrairement à l’avis de l’Union Africaine, ont opté pour l’offensive militaire en Libye dont résulte cette situation se préoccupent principalement de l’essor politique et économique de leur nation chez eux. Leurs institutions financières et leurs entreprises, elles, se partagent l’exploitation des puits de pétrole et les chantiers des infrastructures économiques en Libye, sous prétexte d’aide et de coopération à la reconstruction du pays de Kadhafi.

« Devons-nous nous laisser enfermer, se demandait J.-M. Ela, dans un univers à trois dimensions qui sont le péché, les sacrements et la grâce au moment où, sous couvert de coopération, des groups économiques et financiers se disputent librement les terres (...) les mines de bauxite et de cuivre, de diamant (...) et le pétrole, et bien sûr la conscience même du peuple (...)? »

En réponse à une telle interpellation, nous ferions deux observations. La première est que les grandes puissances imposent leur loi au monde parce qu’elles disposent de moyens supérieurs à ceux des autres pays. De plus, elles n’accueillent pas à leur table que les nations qui ont atteint leur seuil de

« développement ». La seconde remarque est les moyens dont elles se servent souvent pour dominer les autres, représenteraient, selon nous, analogiquement, les « morceaux de pain » qui manquent aux pays appauvris..Par rapport à ces besoins, l’Eglise, notamment les serviteurs de l’éthique chrétienne doivent s’entendre dire les mots de Jésus :

« Donnez-leur vous-mêmes à manger » (Jn 6, 27) en les amenant à ne pas oublier le pain de la vie éternelle (Mt 14, 16). Celui-ci, c’est l’ensemble des valeurs évangéliques sans lesquelles la production des biens, l’acquisition et l’utilisation des armes ne contribuent pas à promouvoir un ordre de justice et de paix dans le monde.

Les pays du Sud doivent œuvrer pour connaître le seuil de développement qui leur permettrait de prendre place à la table des grandes puissances. A travers l’éthique sociale et le témoignage, l’Eglise doit amener les pays appauvris à acquérir les biens qui leur font défaut ainsi que les valeurs éthiques et évangéliques dont les grandes puissances ne font pas preuve, sur le plan international, dans l’utilisation de leurs richesses et de leur armement.

Et comme, il n’est pas certain que les victimes d’aujourd’hui ne deviennent pas les bourreaux de demain ni de nouveaux complices des pratiques injustes décriées, l’Eglise devra aussi promouvoir, d’une part une éthique de l’évangélisation du cœur et des organisations économiques ; et de l’autre, une éducation à l’obligation pour tous de trouver une alternative à l’ordre politico- économique actuel. Toutes les initiatives dans ce domaine et toute stratégie visant aussi l’évangélisation des « maîtres de ce monde » seront encouragées.

Nathanaël Yaovi Soede was Professor of Christian Ethics at the Catholic University of West Africa, Abidjan, 1991-2009. He is currently Head of Research and Publication Department at the “Centre de Formation Missionnaire d’Abidjan” and Executive President of the Association of African Theologians. His latest publication is: Sens et enjeux de l’éthique, Paris, L’harmattan, 2007.


LA CRISIS FINANCIERA A LA LUZ DE LA DOCTRINA SOCIAL DE LA IGLESIA [1]

“El colapso de Argentina dio lugar a la suspensión de pagos más grande de la historia. Los expertos están de acuerdo en que éste es sólo el último de una serie de salvamentos encabezados por el FMI que despilfarraron miles de millones de dólares y no lograron salvar a las economías que pretendían ayudar”[2] --Joseph Stiglitz.

Llegan desde Europa las noticias sobre la crisis y la analogía con lo sucedido en Argentina en 2001 parece inevitable. Mientras algunos analistas mencionan la necesidad de aplicar recetas o minimizar impactos, la Iglesia y su Doctrina Social vienen recordar a quienes piensan que en economía se trata sólo de manipular variables y aplicar recetas, que “las disfunciones económicas siempre comportan costes humanos”[3] y por tanto una dimensión ética.

El contexto en el cual se desenvuelven los Estados, en especial el nuevo contexto económico-comercial y financiero internacional, caracterizado por una creciente movilidad de los capitales financieros y los medios de producción materiales e inmateriales, impone enormes limitaciones a la soberanía del Estado Las lecciones que provienen de las crisis económicas - en ese contexto - revalorizan contrariamente el papel y poder del Estado, para afrontar los desafíos del mundo actual[4]. Precisamente, las lecciones de la crisis Argentina, muestran la necesidad de recuperar la soberanía política y económica.

Otra gran lección que deja la crisis Argentina y actual, es el rol de la cooperación y de los organismos internacionales de crédito, cuya subistencia pareciera estar condicionada a la existencia de situaciones de dependencia y desigualdad entre países desarrollados y en vías de desarrollo.

Señala al respecto Benedicto XVI, que “los propios organismos internacionales deberían preguntarse sobre la eficacia real de sus aparatos burocráticos y administrativos, frecuentemente demasiado costosos. A veces, el destinatario de las ayudas resulta útil para quien lo ayuda y, así, los pobres sirven para mantener costosos organismos burocráticos, que destinan a la propia conservación un porcentaje demasiado elevado de esos recursos que deberían ser destinados al desarrollo”[5].

Eso no quita, que en el actual contexto no tengan validez las iniciativas de asistencia y la creación de nuevas instancias para financiar el desarrollo, pero es preciso una regulación del sector financiero para “salvaguardar a los sujetos más débiles e impedir escandalosas especulaciones”... porque “los sectores más vulnerables de la población, siempre deben ser protegidos de la amenaza de la usura y la desesperación” [6].

Las crisis europeas y la crisis argentina nos alertan sobre esta situación verdaderamente escandalosa, pero también sobre otras cuestiones acerca de las cuales la Iglesia llama la atención: la persistente y creciente desigualdad, la imperiosa necesidad de desarrollo integral del hombre; la afirmación del destino universal de los bienes: la necesidad de participación de los Católicos en política; la globalización de la solidaridad y una nueva visión ética y moral del desarrollo.

Todo esto no alcanza sin embargo, si no cambia el corazón - como bien dice Benedicto XVI en su Deus Caritas Est - o si no hay una vía de la Caridad que inspire los cambios y la economía, donde el centro sea verdaderamente el Hombre. Tampoco alcanza con la Caridad si no se trabaja simultáneamente en la institucionalización de la Ética “se pueden vivir relaciones auténticamente humanas, de amistad y de sociabilidad, de solidaridad y de reciprocidad, también dentro de la actividad económica y no solamente fuera o «después» de ella. El sector económico no es ni éticamente neutro ni inhumano o antisocial por naturaleza. Es una actividad del Hombre y, precisamente porque es humana, debe ser articulada e institucionalizada éticamente”[7].

Viendo lo que pasa hoy en Europa, o lo que pasó a fines de 2008 durante la crisis financiera internacional, la lógica general del sistema mundial aún no ha cambiado. Los mecanismos que se utilizan para regular las crisis siguen siendo básicamente los mismos: aumento de la edad jubilatoria, de la presión impositiva, desaceleración del gasto público, reducción de salarios, ayudas y subvenciones, “préstamos “blandos” de organismos de crédito, ayudas financieras y “salvatajes”, “enfriamiento” de la economía, y presiones de todo tipo - ejercidas por las “autoridades” financieras - que ponen en tela de juicio el mismísimo concepto de Estado Nación.

Durante mucho tiempo se creyó que “la realidad” era eso: un “afuera inmodificable” ante lo cual no se podía hacer nada (más que colisionar contra ella, adecuarse a ella o resignarse). Este concepto se ha construido e instituido deliberadamente, hasta naturalizarse, incluso utilizando índices de marginación como disciplinador social para sostener un determinado “statu quo.”

Hoy observamos, manifestaciones, pasos y huellas de una sociedad que “se mueve”, que desafía esa representación instituida de “la realidad” como “afuera inmodificable”, que intenta recuperar la administración de los “recuerdos” y de los “olvidos”. La realidad es lo que estamos haciendo que sea real, y esto representa un avance hacia la conciencia de la realidad como un proceso histórico aconteciente, en el cual cada singularidad, cada colectividad y cada organización, en la medida que co-inciden se vuelven co-protagonistas significativos.

Tal vez sea como dice Edgar Morín[8], “todo ha recomenzado, pero sin que nos hayamos dado cuenta. Estamos en los comienzos, modestos, invisibles, marginales, dispersos. Pero ya existe, en todos los continentes, hay una efervescencia creativa, una multitud de iniciativas locales en el sentido de la regeneración económica, social, política, cognitiva, educativa, étnica, o de la reforma de vida. Estas iniciativas no se conocen unas a otras; ninguna Administración las enumera, ningún partido se da por enterado. Pero son el vivero del futuro. Se trata de reconocerlas, de censarlas, de compararlas, de catalogarlas y de conjugarlas en una pluralidad de caminos reformadores. Son estas vías múltiples las que, al desarrollarse conjuntamente, se conjugarán para formar la vía nueva que podría conducirnos hacia la todavía invisible e inconcebible metamorfosis.”

[1]Artículo elaborado a partir la investigación publicada “La Convertibilidad y la crisis de 2001 en Argentina: Crónica y revisión de un final anunciado a la luz de la DSI” (autor: Lic. Pablo A. Blanco).

[2] Rodrik, Dani. “Reform in Argentina, take two” , pág. 2.

[3] Caritas in Veritate, no 32.

[4] Cfr. Caritas in Veritate, no 24

[5] Cfr. Caritas in Veritate, no 24

[6] Caritas in Veritate, no 65

[7] Op. Cit. 24, no 36

[8] Diario El PAIS (España) “Elogio de la metamorfosis” (2010).

Pablo Blanco is the faculty chair in "Moral Theology and Social Doctrine of the Church " at the Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina (UCA).


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