May the FIRST (2012)

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May 2012
Welcome to the FIRST

The newsletter of Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church (CTEWC)
May 2012

From the desk of the editor
Dear Friends,

We are late in getting the May newsletter out simply because our talented layout editor was enduring her comprehensive exams that finished just this past Friday. Congratulations, Jillian!

In this issue we announce two new appointments of the Planning Committee, Kristin Heyer and Maureen O’Connell.

We share the sad news of the death of Soosai Arokiasamy.

We introduce you to Margaret Ssebunya who is in our Phd Program in Makerere University, Uganda.   

We have a FIRST for the FORUM: three women contributors: Sharon Bong, Emilce Cuda, and Veronica Rop. We invite you to see the reports from Africa, Asia and Latin America and to see the books by Kevin Kelly, Roger Mpongo, and Charles Camosy and the festschrift for Lucius Ugorji edited by Uzochukwu Jude Njoku.

The summer is packed full of activities for many theological ethicists around the world, but in a special way for the Planning Committee.

On May 14, MT Davila and Jim Keenan arrive in Sao Paulo, Brazil for four days of meetings, to plan for a new scholarship fund there and to begin the groundwork for a Latin American regional conference in 2016.

On July 2, I arrive in Bangalore to teach at Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram (DVK). Then on July 12-15, Dharmaram’s Shaji George Kochuthara, CMI will host a pan-Indian conference called Moral Theology in India. Lúcás Chan (Hong Kong) from the Planning Committee will join me in representing CTEWC and present a paper on Moral Theology in Asia. Later in the summer, Lúcás will fly to Manila to meet with Agnes Brazal and others to begin the groundwork for the Pan-Asian Conference in 2015.

On August 20, Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator will welcome Linda Hogan and me to Nairobi to participate in the Pan-African Bilingual expert seminar: CTEWC in Africa after Trento: Engaging the African Synod.  More than thirty-five scholars across the continent are participating. Then on August 22, the entire Planning Committtee for the Future arrives for CTEWC-sponsored Public Lectures on Sustainability and Feminism, to be held at The Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Karen-Langata, Nairobi.

I hope this finds you well,


At its March Meeting, The Planning Committee for the Future welcomed two new members.

Kristin Heyer

Kristin Heyer joins the Planning Committee for the Future. Kristin Heyer serves as Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Santa Clara University; she received her B.A. from Brown University and her Ph.D. in theological ethics from Boston College in 2003. Her current research interests include the ethics of immigration, Catholic political engagement, and moral agency; she has published Prophetic and Public: the Social Witness of U.S. Catholicism, and her volume Kinship Across Borders: A Christian Ethic of Immigration will be out later this year, also from Georgetown University Press. She will take on the task of eventually forming the North American Regional Committee. Effectively, Kristin replaces Margaret Farley, who served as an original member of the Planning Committee.

 Maureen O’Connell

Maureen O’Connell becomes co-chair (with Andrea Vicini) of the Development Committee and an ex-officio member of the Planning Committee. She is Associate Professor in the Theology Department at Fordham University in New York. Her scholarship stands at the intersection of social ethics and systematic theology, particularly via political theology and theological aesthetics. Her interests include virtue ethics, aesthetics, race and privilege, and urban poverty. In her book, Compassion: Loving Our Neighbor in an Age of Globalization (Orbis Books, 2009), she examines the social disasters of Hurricane Katrina and global poverty in order to argue for a revival of the virtue of compassion rooted in the political theology of Johann Baptist Metz and political philosophy of Martha Nussbaum.


Soosai Arokiasamy SJ

Fr. Soosai Arokiasamy SJ, Original Member of the Planning Committee
Leading Jesuit theologian and professor Fr. Soosai Arokiasamy SJ (75) passed away on April 20 at Vidyajyoti College, New Delhi. He was professor of Moral Theology at Vidyajyoti College, editor of Vidyajyoti Journal of theology, and former Executive Secretary of the CBCI Commission for Doctrine. He was one of the original members of the Planning Committee of Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church. Arokiasamy did his M.Sc. in botany from the University of Madras. After his licentiate in philosophy and theology, he acquired his doctorate in theology from the Gregorian University, Rome. He has been teaching theology since 1978.

The Jesuit priest has published articles on themes of Moral Theology and methods of theologizing in India. He has edited books related to moral issues and broader issues of theology in the Indian context.

Fr. Arokiasamy has been the editor of the Vidyajyoti Journal of Theological Reflection for 22 years and contributed significantly to theological thinking in India. He has also served as the President of the Association of Moral Theologians of India.

He held the office of Secretary of the Office for Clergy, Religious and Doctrine of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) for 13 years. He has also served as Secretary for the Theological and Doctrinal Commission of Latin Bishops Conference of India (CCBI).

He authored many articles and essays on liberation and Dalit theologies, ethics, and challenges facing Indian Christians.    He published Dharma, Hindu and Christian According to Roberto de Nobili: Analysis of Its Meaning and Its Use in Hinduism and Christianity (1986); Responding to Communalism: The Task of Religions and Theology (1991); Social Sin: Its Challenges to Christian Life (1991, co-edited with George V. Lobo); Liberation in Asia: Theological Perspectives (1987, co-edited with G. Gispert-Sauch, S.J.).

Meet Margaret Ssebunya Member of the CTEWC Scholarship Programme for African Women

Margaret Ssebunya

My name is Margaret Ssebunya and I am a Ugandan aged 27 years. I am one of the beneficiaries of the CTEWC scholarship. I completed my first degree in Education from Uganda Martyrs University Nkozi in October 2007 (majoring in Geography and Religious Studies). In August 2009, I enrolled at Makerere University to pursue a Master of Arts Degree in Ethics and Public Management. Having attended the Trento Conference, I was exposed to a number of ethical and theological issues in the world church such as missing and marginalized voices, health issues, political ethics, ethics and inter religious dialogue as well as identity and familial relations. To me, the most striking issue was the missing and marginalized voices and it did guide me during research which explored the linkage between Patriarchy and women’s ownership of property in rural Uganda. I made a number of recommendations to ensure that the rights of women and girls are promoted there by upholding their dignity. On the whole, the course has enabled me appreciate issues of Ethics, Gender, Policy and Human rights.

I am currently working with Action for Development; a women based NGO formed in 1985 and one of the oldest women rights organizations in Uganda. It envisions a just society where there is gender equality of opportunities in all spheres and its mission is to promote women’s empowerment, gender equality and equity through advocacy, networking and capacity building of both men and women. I started as a volunteer and was later promoted to the position of Programmes Assistant/Associate. In the organization, I work under the Economic Policy Department and I coordinate GBV programmes. I also fundraise for projects aimed at politically, socially and economically empowering women in different parts of the country.

I am very passionate about women and I have always aspired to become an advocate for women’s rights and help fellow women and girls especially in the rural areas of Uganda since they have been subjected to all sorts of oppression undermining their human dignity. I am motivated by seeing women and girls being able to overcome obstacles affecting them thereby contributing to their own development and the development of the nation. As an advocate for women, I am glad that I have begun on what I always dreamt of doing and I will continue doing so to ensure that women in Uganda are able to overcome many of such obstacles. I believe the opportunity of working with ACFODE is going to help me a lot in realizing my dreams.

CTEWC FORUM: Malaysia, Kenya, and Argentina
A Second Life

I had spent the month of February in tranquil Nara, Japan and through its NHK-televised (and English-translated) news, I witnessed the selfless volunteerism of many to restore photographs that had been salvaged from the March 11 tsunami that hit northern Japan last year.

Whilst the world’s attention had been focused on the clean-up of the nuclear crisis of the Fukushima Daiichi plant, many Japanese, including university students, professionals and non- professionals and global citizens like All Hands Volunteers, a Massachusetts-based, non-profit organisation who enlisted the help of “scores of volunteers — from Sydney to Spain,” were moved to clean up photographs, to give them and their owners, a second life [1].

The photo-retouchers and paper conservators not only restore the soiled images (often digitally using Photoshop for instance) but also endeavour to return thousands of photographs to their owners. Many subjects in these photos had of course perished in the tsunami and for survivors trying to rebuild their lives, these restored photographs restore memories of loved ones. Says Bob Whitmore who learned about the photo rescue project on Facebook, "It's the most satisfying work I think I've ever done, taking old photos and breathing some life into them...People just light up when they see something come back that they thought was gone." For paper conservator Satoko Kinno, she vows to press on until the last photo is returned. She adds that, "I've really started to realize the depth and meaning that each and every photo has to it, and as such I want to do what I can to return as many photos as I can."

Next month marks the first anniversary of this disaster and the NHK which is Japan’s sole public broadcaster will feature a series of programmes, ‘A Year After March 11, 2011’ to highlight not only what went wrong in “one of the biggest disasters in a generation” but also lessons learned [2]. I hope that these narratives of hope featuring human resilience of the tsunami survivors in rebuilding their lives from ground zero and the human compassion of the photo rescuers will be privileged.

Having returned to Malaysia, I join the Catholic Church here in reflecting on the “very heart of Christian life: charity” and in particular, the biblical verse, “Let us be concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good works” (Hebrew 10:24). [3] The countless individuals dedicating their lives to clean up the nuclear plant and the photographs, are acts of “good works” that “stir a response in love” in empowering survivors to overcome their despair of the death of loved ones and hope in a second life.

[1] See Frank Langfitt ‘In Japan, Restoring Photos For Tsunami Victims’, NPR, August 19, 2011, victims and Chris Meyers, ‘Japan Tsunami: Photographs Lost To Disaster Returning To Owners’, Huffington Post, February 27, 2012, available at: owners_n_1291483.html.
[2] See
[3] ‘Celebrating Lent’, Herald Lenten Supplement, February 26, 2012, page I.

Sharon A Bong is Senior Lecturer in Gender Studies at the School of Arts and Social Sciences, Monash University, Malaysia. She is author of The Tension Between Women’s Rights and Religions: The Case of Malaysia (2006) and former Coordinator of the Ecclesia of Women in Asia, an academic forum of Catholic women theologizing in Asia. She is also a member of the Asian Regional Committee of the Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church. 

The African Synod: The Participation of Women in Reconciliation Justice and Peace

The Second African Synod rightly deliberated on the theme Reconciliation, Justice, and Peace since our entire Continent is in dire need of peace. Given the importance of the Synod to the Church in Africa, one could expect that the all people of God are involved in its preparation and implication. However, this seems not to be the case. Women are among the many laity who know little about these synods. Many of them faithfully attend Church, Small Christian Communities prayer meetings, seminars and workshops, but hear little about the African Synods. This leaves the majority of women with little involvement before, during or after each African Synod.[1]

It has been observed that the values of communion and participation so valued in African communities can serve as principles upon which reconciliation, justice and peace can be built.[2] These values include involvement of women at various activities of the Church that include the Synods. Benedict XVI in his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Africae Manus, on Africa’s commitment, urges the Church in Africa to carry out a thorough discernment in order to identify those aspects of African culture which are incompatible with Christianity and those that promote the Gospel values.[3] One of the African traditional values that we encounter in the incarnation of Gospel values is the participation of women in reconciliation, justice and peace. According to African Traditional beliefs and practices and particularly in matters relating to life, women are viewed as the ones who understand the sacredness of human life more than other members of the community. The reason being, a woman is the one’s who carries life in her womb, brings it forth, nurtures it, and defends it when it is threatened.[4]

As such, African women are reserved a special role of stopping a war or cleansing warriors after war. They are accorded this honour because they are protectors and defenders of life and since they do not take part in battlefields nor are they contaminated by the sin associated with war. Taking away human life whether accidentally or deliberately is considered a sin that requires cleansing and purification of the offender, the clan and sometimes the entire community. During these ceremonies, women play a significant role by way of specific rituals, gestures and special prayers. Their role is taken seriously such that it is considered a taboo for men to continue with war after women’s intervention.[5] This clearly shows that by their specific feminine gifts, women in the Church in Africa rightly seek participation in African Synods so as to continue to foster reconciliation, justice and peace.[6] After all, African tradition agrees with the teaching of the Church that a woman is treasured as a God- given gift in crucial matters touching life. No wonder, most names attributed to God in the African Traditional Religion are feminine. Indeed, Benedict XVI reminds the Church in Africa that God has made women channels for life [7] - something that we need to have in mind in our service to reconciliation, justice and peace.
Moreover, it is a fact that by their specific talents and unique gifts African women have made an immense contribution to the family, society and to the Church. However, when it comes to their involvement in the African Synod, women fade into the background and their contributions receive little recognition. Denying women this special role, a role that is acknowledged by the Traditional African society, is tantamount to denying them justice. But, seeking their contribution does not only promote their dignity but it is for the common good as well. Their participation in the synods would allow them as disciples of Jesus Christ to live out their commitment to making the reign of God, of peace a reality in Africa. Yes, one area that the Church in Africa stands to benefit from the African practice of reconciliation, justice, and peace is the involvement of women in the African Synod. [8]

[1] David, Kaulem in E, Orobator Agbonkhianmeghe, ed., Reconciliation, Justice, and Peace: The Second African Synods, Nairobi, Acton Publishers, 2011, 144. 
[2] E. Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator, ed., Reconciliation, Justice, and Peace: The Second African Synods, Nairobi, Acton Publishers, 2011, 33.
[3] Benedict XVI, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Africae Munus, Nairobi, Paulines Publications Africa, 2011, 36. 
[4] Interview with Dr. Susan Chebet, The Role of Women in Restoring Peace among the Kalenjin Community, Eldoret, Moi University, December, December, 2011. 
[5] Interview with Dr. Susan Chebet, December, 2011. 
[6] Benedict XVI, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Africae Munus, 59. 
[7] Benedict XVI, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Africae Munus, 59. 
[8] Orobator, 9.

Kiplagat, B. (1998). “Is Mediation Alien to Africa?” In Online Journal of Peace and Conflict Resolution 1.3 (August ).

Sr. Veronica J. Rop, ASE is a PhD candidate in Sacred Theology with a specialization in Moral Theology. She is a receiptant of CTEWC scholarship. She is studies at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Kenya. She recently carried out her research on “Human Dignity: Study on the Participation of Women in Integral Human Development among the Kalenjin in the Catholic Diocese of Eldoret-Kenya.”

La declaración que el presidente de la última dictadura militar de Argentina, Jorge Rafael Videla, hizo a la revista española Cambio 16 el domingo 12 de febrero del 2012, provocó un cierto malestar, adverso a la Iglesia Católica, entre la opinión pública de Buenos Aires. Declaración que no debería pasar sin la reflexión de los teólogos dedicados al campo de la moral. El ex- militar, juzgado responsable de la desaparición y muerte de personas entre los años 1976 y 1983, sostuvo: Mi relación con la Iglesia fue excelente, mantuvimos una relación muy cordial, sincera y abierta. No olvide que incluso teníamos a los capellanes castrenses asistiéndonos y nunca se rompió esta relación de colaboración y amistad.

Lo cierto es que, el relato público de Videla sobre la colaboración de una parte de la Iglesia Católica en Argentina con la dictadura militar de 1976, re-instala el debate sobre cuáles son los límites en la relación Iglesia-Estado en América Latina – un continente que lleva ya casi tres décadas de democracia sostenida, con un catolicismo que acompaña ese proceso. Cuando Videla declara que los vicarios castrenses –obispos católicos afectados a capellanías militares con jurisdicción propia- colaboraron con las Fuerzas Armadas: para atender al cuidado espiritual de los militares de tierra, mar y aire, y para atender las necesidades espirituales de la Nación, reaviva el conflicto. Sobre todo al decir que el Estado argentino –cuando lleva adelante, y de pleno derecho, el juicio a los militares genocidas-, confunde justicia con venganza, constituyendo ese acto una amenaza grave a la unidad del Estado.

Me gustaría citar brevemente, a modo de reflexión, otro tipo de relación Iglesia-Estado. Citaré la relación que, en el siglo XIX, se dio entre el catolicismo y la república liberal en Estados Unidos, dentro de un marco que había separado constitucionalmente las jurisdicciones estatales y religiosas, como garantía de libertad para ambas esferas. Frente a los sucesivos ataques anticatólicos -que culminan con el incendio del convento de las Ursulinas el 11 de agosto de 1834 en Charlestown-, la Iglesia Americana reaccionó de manera diferente. En vez de abogar por la suspensión del Estado de derecho en defensa de los principios católicos, se hace más republicana y más demócrata. Reclama el fiel cumplimiento de los principios establecidos en la Declaración de Independencia y en la Constitución.

La Carta Pastoral del Tercer Concilio Provincial del arzobispado de los Estados Unidos, sostiene que la defensa del catolicismo debe hacerse desde las mismas garantías que ofrece la Constitución, y no mediante su suspensión. El documento, ni ataca a sus persecutores, ni pide situaciones de privilegio o tolerancia para el catolicismo. Simplemente reclama el fiel cumplimiento del Estado de derecho, argumentando que no se podría prohibir la libertad de expresión de algunos sin hacer caer al mismo tiempo el sistema republicano que garantizaba la suya. (Carta Patoral del Tercer Concilio Pastoral, 3 y 10)

Aun así, los obispos americanos sostuvieron que su garantía estaba en el ejercicio de la justicia por parte del Estado de derecho, y no en la venganza ejecutada en el vacío de su suspensión. Tampoco la jerarquía católica americana confundió la categoría de perdón correspondiente al plano religioso, con la categoría de justicia correspondiente al plano político. (12) Por el contrario, sus cartas pastorales constituyen un testimonio en defensa de las instituciones republicanas como garantía de los principios católicos en la modernidad. Sostuvieron frente al Estado que, el solo repudio moral serviría para mezclar jurisdicciones, mientras que un crimen social necesitaba de la condena institucional y el resarcimiento económico correspondiente; y eso, lejos está de constituir un acto de venganza. (21)

Cabe preguntarse y reflexionar públicamente, entonces, si es pertinente aludir a la responsabilidad ética de la Iglesia frente a la unidad de la Nación como fundamento para invadir la jurisdicción del Estado. José Pablo Martín, teólogo y filósofo argentino, en respuesta a las declaraciones de Videla, en una nota del diario Pagina/12 del domingo 19 de febrero del 2012, dice: Entre militares y sacerdotes, cuando el sacerdote piensa que se deben redimir no solamente personas, sino esencias sociales en peligro, y el militar piensa que no son enemigos solamente agresores armados, sino principalmente culturas extrañas. Cuando estos dos roles se encuentran, puede uno entender el paso que da Videla: ‘Relación de amistad’ .

La tarea de los teólogos latinoamericanos dedicados al campo de la ética, pasará por el análisis de estas nuevas relaciones, sin confundir el plano de lo ético –con su valoración del bien común en función de un fin último social-, con el plano de lo político –donde lo justo es el principio rector. Solo cuando las Furias devienen en Gracias, según Esquilo, puede alcanzarse el equilibrio de la polis; las Furias buscan el castigo como beneficio individual, las Gracias buscan la compensación como equilibrio social. Cuando la justicia desplaza la venganza, comienza la historia.
The recent statement made by the president of the last Argentine military dictatorship, Jorge Rafael Videla, to the Spanish magazine Cambio 16 on Sunday February 12, 2012, caused some discomfort adverse to the Catholic Church among the public in Buenos Aires. The statement should not pass without reflection by moral theologians. The ex- general, judged responsible for the disappearance and death of people between 1976 and 1983, said: My relationship with the Church was excellent, very cordial, frank and open. Do not forget that we even had to chaplains assisting us and never broke this partnership and friendship.

The public statement by Videla about the collaboration of one part of the Argentine Catholic Church with the military dictatorship of 1976 re-installs the debate about which are the limits on church-state relationship in Latin America, a continent with nearly three decades of sustained democracy, and a Catholicism that accompanies this process. Videla’s declaration that “military bishops” - Catholic bishops assigned to military jurisdiction- collaborated with the Armed Forces: to attend the spiritual care of military land, sea and air, and to attend the spiritual needs of the nation, revives the conflict. Above all, his saying that the Argentine State’s trials against the military for genocide, confuses justice with vengeance constitutes a serious threat to state unity.

I would like to briefly describe, by way of reflection and contrast, another type of church-state relationship, that between Catholicism and the liberal republic in the United States America in the 19th century, within a framework that had constitutionally separate state and religious jurisdictions as a guarantee of freedom for both areas. Successive anti-Catholic attacks culminating with the burning of the Ursuline convent in what was then Charlestown, Massachusetts on August 11, 1834, provoked a reaction from American Church different from Videla’s. Instead of advocating the suspension of the rule of law in defense of Catholic principles, it becomes more republican and more democratic.  The Conference called for strict compliance with the principles established in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

The Pastoral Letter of the Third Provincial Council of the Archdiocese of America (Pastoral Letters of American, Third Plenary Council, 3 and 10) argues that the defense of Catholicism be made from the same guarantees afforded by the Constitution, not by its suspension. The document neither attacks the Church’s pursuers nor calls for situations of privilege or tolerance for Catholicism. It simply calls the faithful performance of the rule of law, saying it could not prohibit the free expression of some without bringing down the republican system of guarantees for others.

The American bishops argued that the guarantee was in the exercise of justice by the rule of law, not vengeance executed in the emptiness of its suspension. Nor did the American Catholic hierarchy confuse the category of “forgiveness” on the religious level, with the category of “justice” on the political level. By contrast, the pastoral letters are a testimony in defense of republican institutions as collateral for Catholic principles in modernity. They argued that the State’s moral condemnation only serves to mix jurisdictions, whereas a social crime requires institutional conviction and financial compensation. That is far from being an act of revenge.

Public reflection is merited as to whether to the Church’s ethical responsibility regarding the unity of the nation can be used a base to invade the jurisdiction of the State. Argentine theologian José Paul Martín responds to statements by Videla in a letter to Página/12 Sunday February 19, 2012: Between military men and priests, where the priest thinks that not only people must be redeemed but endangered social essences as well, and the military man thinks that unfamiliar cultures are as dangerous as armed aggressors. When these two roles are found, one can understand the step that Videla takes: 'realtionship of friendship'.

The task of Latin American theologians dedicated to the field of ethics will be to analyze these new relationships without confusing the ethical plane, with its valuation of the common good in terms of an ultimate social end, with the plane of the political, where justice is the guiding principle. As Aeschylus teaches us, only when the Furies become Graces can the balance of the polis be achieved; the Furies seek punishment as an individual benefit, the Graces seek compensation in social balance. When justice displaces vengeance, the story begins.

Emilce Cuda, Ph.D. en Teología Moral, especialista en temas sociales, centrándose en la relación entre teología y política en América Latina y el diálogo Norte-Sur.

African Regional Update

To the CTEWC,

I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the laptop received. This has resulted in a significant academic progression. Not only is this a first laptop for me, but this facility also means alot to me. I have undergone numerous difficulties and hurdles in my studies before. I would leave the college after classes and quickly drop my books at the hostel, rushing to town about 20 kilometers late evening up to about nine p.m. to type and edit my work. Although this was risky, I had no other way of completing my class work and research on time.

I sincerely thank Maureen and her team for offering to coordinate the funding of the laptops. I acknowledge your hard work, your efforts in planning, and foresight. To all those who donated genorously towards this need, my heartfelt gratitude to you. I sincerely appreciate Fr. Orobator and all who participated in ensuring that the laptops reached us. Please accept my compliments prayers and best wishes in all your endeavors.

Sr. Anne Achieng Oyier

Asian Regional Update

Upcoming Workshop in Moral Theology in India

The Department of Moral Theology at Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram (DVK) will be organizing a workshop on Moral Theology in India. The workshop shall take place from July 12 to 15, 2012, in Bangalore. Papers will be presented by moral theologians from different regions and contexts of India. James F. Keenan and Lúcás Chan will also be present to talk about the global and Asian scenarios of moral theology respectively. The workshop aims at reflecting upon what directions moral theology in India is taking and how it should develop responding to the Indian situation, keeping its uniqueness but at the same time in dialogue with the global context. For further details, please contact Rev. Dr. Shaji George Kochuthara, CMI (

According to Rev. Dr. Shaji George Kochuthara, DVK plans on organizing a conference for moral theologians in India in 2013. We will provide more information in the months to come.

Catholic Theological Ethics, Past, Present, and Future: The Trento Conference
The Indian edition of Catholic Theological Ethics, Past, Present, and Future: The Trento Conference, published by The Theological Publications in India (TPI), is now ready. For further information and enquiry, please visit their website

Popularizing the Catholic Social Teaching in the Philippines

The Resource Center for Social Concern of the St. Vincent School of Theology in the Philippines is launching a project this year geared toward popularizing the Catholic Social Teaching through the production of education/formation/training modules and films which will be used at the grassroots level via regional trainers’ trainings. The project will draw heavily from the inputs of socially aware theologians.

Latin America Regional Update

Noticias Generales:
Del 14 al 17 de mayo, Jim Keenan y MT Dávila estaremos en Sao Paulo. La agenda de este viaje será cementar algunos detalles para comenzar las becas en América Latina, y reunirnos con nuestros colegas brazileros que se reunen del 16-19 de mayo para el Congreso de Bioética. A nuestro regreso, durante el verano (Norteño), estableceremos el comité encargado de planear el Congreso de Ética en 2016.

Pablo Blanco, miembro del comité de planificación para el futuro del CTEWC, fue nombrado docente de la cátedra de "Teología Moral y Doctrina Social de la Iglesia" en la Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina (UCA). Pablo también nos informa sobre algunos de sus proyectos recientes:

Presentación del Manual en Doctrina Social de la Iglesia para Universidades latinoamericanas.

En un encuentro, organizado por el CELAM (Consejo Episcopal Latinoamericano), la Fundación Pablo VI, el Pontificio Consejo Justicia y Paz y la Fundación Konrad Adenauer, se presentó un manual para los centros universitarios de América Latina con claves para actuar en sociedad sobre la base de la Doctrina Social de la Iglesia.

El simposio contó con la presencia, entre otros, de Mons. Mario Toso s.d.b., Secretario del Pontificio Consejo Justicia y Paz; el Padre Angel Galindo, rector de la Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca; y el padre Fernando Fuentes, responsable de la Fundación Pablo VI. El Centro de Estudios de la Doctrina Social de la Iglesia (CEDSI) de la Argentina, también estuvo presente. Mas sobre este simposio en las siguientes páginas: 11-15

Reportaje en Radio María (Argentina)

Con motivo de las elecciones presidenciales que se realizaron el pasado año en la Argentina, fui entrevistado por Radio María de Argentina. En dicho programa se trataron los fundamentos de la participación política desde los principios orientadores de la Doctrina Social de la Iglesia (el audio está disponible, si lo desean puedo remitirlo).
“Jornada Pedagógica Regional”

Participé de esta conferencia bajo el lema “Problemas y desafíos actuales de la educación”, con la presencia de docentes, rectores y directivos de los países de Argentina, Ecuador, Chile y Uruguay (archivo adjunto).

Desde Argentina también recibimos noticias de Juan Francisco Tomás: “El miércoles 4 de abril entregué en la Facultad de Teología de la Universidad del Salvador, Área San Miguel (Bs. As.) mi tesis doctoral, dirigida por el Dr. Humberto M. Yáñez sj, cuyo título es: “Epistemología y Método de la Teología Moral en clave de diálogo plural y secular según la Bioética Teológica de Javier Gafo”. Estoy a la espera de la fecha en que deberé defenderla; estimo será para el mes de agosto/2012.” !Muchas felicidades, Juan Francisco!

Claudia Leal nos comunica que está por terminar su doctorado en Roma (en la Academia Alfonsiana). A partir de Agosto se integrará a la planta docente de la Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. !Felicidades Claudia!

During May 14 to 17, Jim Keenan and MT Davila (co-chair and member of the CTEWC Planning Committee) will be in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The agenda for this trip will focus on cementing details to begin the scholarships in Latin America, and meet with our brazilian colleagues, who meet May 16-19 for the Congress on Bioethics. This summer (Northern summer), we will establish a committee to plan the Congress on Ethics in 2016.

Pablo Blanco, member of the planning committee for Latin America, was named to the faculty chair in "Moral Theology and Social Doctrine of the Church " at the Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina (UCA). Pablo also shares some of his recent projects:

1 -    Submission of the Handbook on Social Doctrine of the Church in Latin American Universities.
A handbook for universities in Latin America ,with keys to act in partnership on the basis of the Social Doctrine of the Church, was presented at a meeting organized by CELAM (Latin American Episcopal Council), Paul VI Foundation, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. The symposium was attended, among others, Bishop Mario Toso SDB, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Father Angel Galindo, rector of the Pontifical University of Salamanca, and Father Fernando Fuentes, Paul VI Foundation .
The Center for the Study of the Social Doctrine of the Church (CEDSI) of Argentina, was also present. More about this symposium on the following pages. 15

2 -    Report on Radio Maria
Following the presidential elections held last year in Argentina, I was interviewed by Radio Maria Argentina. In this program I covered the basics of political participation from the guiding principles of the Social Doctrine of the Church (the audio is available, I can provide if you wish).

3 -    "Regional Educational Day" I participated in this conference entitled "Problems and challenges of education", in the presence of
teachers, principals and directors of the countries of Argentina, Ecuador, Chile and Uruguay.

From Argentina we also received news of Juan Francisco Tomás, “On Wednesday April 4 I turned in my doctoral thesis, directed by Dr. Humberto M. Yanez, SJ, for the Faculty of Theology at the University of Salvador, San Miguel area (Buenos Aires) entitled: "Epistemology and Method of Moral Theology in light of the plural and secular dialogue with the theological bioethics of Javier Gafo." I am waiting for the date for the defense, I believe it will be for August / 2012." Congratulations, Juan Francisco!

Claudia Leal informs us that she is soon to finish her doctorate in Rome (at the Alphonsianum). Beginning in August she will join the faculty of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. Congratulations Claudia!

Several members of the CTEWC community have new books to share:
50 Years Receiving Vatican II A Personal Odyssey  
By: Kevin Kelly

Repenser les Relations Europe-Afrique avec Marc Sangnier et Emmanuel Mounier
By: Abbé Roger Rubuguzo Mpongo.

In the Service of Charity and Truth: Essays in Honour of Lucius Ugorji
By: Njoku, Uzochukwu Jude / Anyanwu, Simon O. (eds). cmp.ccc.seitenstruktur.detailseiten&seitentyp =produkt&pk=65428&cid=564&concordeid=2

Peter Singer and Christian Ethics: Beyond Polarization
By: Charles C. Camosy /isbn/item6662954/?site_locale=en_GB

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