Welcome to the FIRST

The newsletter of Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church
 
April 2017




WE just came back from a week in Rome with Planning Committee Members of CTEWC.  They were Kristin Heyer, Toni Ross and I from BC; Linda Hogan from Dublin, Antonio Autiero from Berlin, Roman Globokar from Slovenia and Emilce Cuda from Buenos Aires (4 of our board could not come, Agnes Brazal, Elias Omondi Opongo, Shaji George Kochuthara and Andrea Vicini).
 
Because we are hosting our third International Conference of CTEWC in 2018 in Sarajevo, we decided to build bridges with many Roman/Vatican institutions.  We had lengthy meetings with the leaders of three universities (Gregorian, Alfonsianum, and Urbanium), the Cardinal Prefects of 6 Congregations (Cadinals Turkson, Ravasi, Feloni, Farrell, Versaldi, and Archbishop Carballo), Father General Arturo Sosa of the Society of Jesus, and finally, on St. Patrick's, with Pope Francis.
 
Pope Francis met with us for 50 minutes and the discussion was singularly on the work of CTEWC in collaboration with others (For more on CTEWC see www.catholicethics.com).
 
We had the good fortune to be the only ones meeting with him (the people greeting us left). Here are a few pictures. It was a blessed week.  
 
Kristin Heyer has a brief reflection on the meeting below.  Next issue we will report on the meetings with the cardinals.  But, if you want to see more pictures with Pope Francis,  click here .
 
After Kristin's essay, please see the link to the e-book, Hacia una Ética de participación y esperanza. This is the BOGOTA book, edited by Emilce Cuda after the conference in Bogota in 2016.
 
Then there are great Forum essays, from Alexandre Martins, Tom Shannon, Maru Jo Iozzio, Augusto Zampini, Mary Mee-Yin Yuen, Teresia Hinga, Claudia Leal Luna, and a lovely tribute by Konrad Glombik to the late Alojzy Marcol.
 
Finally, Reports from North America and Asia along with a call for papers for Asian Horizons
 
Best
 
Jim




Reflections on Our Papal Audience
By Kristin Heyer
At the end of our week of formal meetings in Rome, the CTEWC planning committee made our way to the private papal library in the Apostolic Palace: past Swiss guards, up marble staircases surrounded by intricate frescoes, and keenly aware of others who had awaited such audiences throughout history. Yet from the outset, our meeting with Pope Francis was marked by warm welcome, unexpected jokes about whiskey dispensations for St. Patrick's Day, and shared poignant memories. When Jim Keenan explained to Pope Francis that several of our planning committee members could not be present (Agnes Brazal, Shaji George Kochuthara, Elias Omondi Opongo and Andrea Vicini) he offered Lúcás Chan's memorial card, noting his role on the planning committee and recent death. Several of us were moved to tears at this point, reflecting on Lúcás' presence and absence, and Pope Francis' response that this was "a beautiful gesture" set a personal, intimate tone for the remainder of the private audience. Hence whereas I thought the meeting would be brief and somewhat pro forma, it was dynamic and interactive-and lasted nearly an hour with only a translator present. Throughout our extended time together, Pope Francis remained very animated, interjecting between each person's presentation with questions, candid commentary, and interest in and appreciation for our work.
 
Our members presented each of the books from our Orbis series to Pope Francis as an occasion to communicate our priorities and efforts: the origins and impact of the scholarship program for African women , for example, or the book series' mode of pairing of coeditors from different geographical contexts and enlisting contributors from every region to shape robustly international contributions to the field of Catholic theological ethics. In discussing our regional conferences, we emphasized our method of prioritizing personal encounter to the exchange of ideas in order to foster harmony in diversity. We underscored our attempts to serve and empower those isolated or on various peripheries of the field by reprinting books in our series at lower costs and connecting one another via our website and The First .
 
We also shared with the pope ways in which we have engaged our membership to disseminate and promote the reception of Amoris Laetitia across various contexts, and how our own Just Sustainability volume anticipated some of the key themes and approaches of his subsequent Laudato Si'. When we spoke of CTEWC's endeavors, whether indicating our attentiveness to context or our desire to build bridges, Pope Francis frequently made theological connections-to the work of salvation history or the inner workings of the Trinity, for example-which indicated the value he perceived in the work and hopes we conveyed. His comments throughout the morning struck me as reflective of his deep commitments, insight and receptivity.
 
I found the meeting confirming of CTEWC's projects and trajectory, particularly as we look ahead to our 2018 conference in Sarajevo. On a broader vocational level, given various challenges facing our ongoing work for the church, academy and wider world, I was particularly moved when he concluded our time together by saying "thank you for your work, and thank you for your courage."  
Photo Gallery
Bogota Conference Book
Following the Bogota Conference in 2016, Emilce Cuda edited the following book of various articles.

Click this link to download the book :  Hacia una Ética de participación y esperanza
Featured Forum Articles:





A Tribute to Alojzy Marcol
By Konrad Globak
Asia Report
By Mary Mee-Yin Yuen
Report on International Conference on Teaching Catholic Social Ethics and Civic Education
17-18 March 2017
 
 
Scholars from Hong Kong, India, Macau/Switzerland, Malaysia, Australia, USA and Britain who are interested in Catholic social ethics, religious and moral education and civic education gathered in the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) on 17-18 March, 2017 to attend the International Conference on Teaching Catholic Social Ethics and Civic Education.  The conference was organized by the Centre for Catholic Studies, Department of  Cultural and Religious Studies, CUHK.
 
The goals of this conference are twofold: 1) to discuss the research results of teaching Catholic social ethics and religious moral education in Hong Kong Catholic schools; 2) to exchange viewpoints and sharing experiences of teaching Catholic social ethics and civic education or citizenship education at various levels in different countries.
 
Rev. Joseph Chi-Shing Ha, the auxilliary bishop of the Hong Kong Catholic Diocese, affirmed the support of the Catholic Church of Hong Kong in promoting Catholic social teaching and emphasized the urgency of promoting moral values in Catholic schools when delivering the welcoming speech in the conference.
 
During the one and a half day conference, there were thirteen paper presentations in five panels, including methods of teaching social ethics and civic education, teaching social ethics and religious moral education in Catholic primary and secondary schools, identities and citizenship education, professional ethics and gender ethics in education. About 50 participants who are mostly Catholic educators joined the discussion. The conference was a good opportunity for scholars who are interested in finding an effective pedagogy in teaching Catholic social ethics, civic education and religious moral education to young people and children to exchange viewpoints and to share experiences.
 
Most presenters and participants of the conference found that it was a fruitful and meaningful discussion as this was an important topic in the present social situation. We need to find effective means to deliver the rich moral resources to the students of Catholic schools and members of the Christian community. Through sharing experiences from different contexts, participants of the conference could enrich and inspire each other.
 
The Centre for Catholic Studies plans to publish the papers into a book later this year after the presenters revise their papers.
 
 
Mary Mee-Yin Yuen
Coordinator of the conference
Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)





North America Report
By: Anna Floerke Scheid and Tobias Winright
Catholic theological ethicists in the U.S. have faced a wave of new challenges since the inauguration of President Trump.  In response to the President's executive order banning travel from several predominantly Muslim countries, and halting flow of refugees into the U.S., as well as his administration's efforts to increase the deportation of undocumented immigrants, many Catholic ethicists have participated in resistance efforts.  In addition to calling and writing our representatives in government and telling them to oppose the measures, many of us have performed acts of nonviolent direct action in protest of these unjust policies.  In holding fast to the gospel mandate to "welcome the stranger" and maintain a preferential option for the poor and vulnerable, we've joined with our fellow citizens in occupying international airport terminals, and marching in demonstrations.  We have also been using our skills as scholars to give lectures, and write letters to editors, blogs, and articles that bring Catholic social thought to bear on this surge in unethical public policies.  We've been encouraged by the leadership of Society of Christian Ethics (SCE), which is a major, ecumenical, professional organization for North American Christian ethicists.  SCE released a public statement that argues against "dimensions of the [Trump administration's executive] order we find morally disturbing" with special attention to the order's potential effects on refugees.  You can find the SCE's full statement here.




Call for Papers: 

Asian Horizons, Dharmaram Journal of Theology
Vol. 11, No. 2, June 2017
Call for Papers
500 YEARS OF REFORMATION
Ecclesia Semper Reformanda is the classical dictum in theology. But unfortunately, the actual plea for reforms in the Church from the part of the members of the Church was most often in history met with repression and elimination of those people who raised their voice for reform. In 1498 the Dominican Friar Savonarola's plea for a reform in the Church of France ended up in his excommunication and burning at stake. In the German Church the fate of the Augustinian friar Martin Luther (1483-1546) was almost the same; he was excommunicated by the Roman Pontiff owing to his 95 theses against the doctrine of indulgence and the aberrations in the Church of his time. His life was actually saved due to the protection and support he received from the German Princes. Today all the Churches, the Ecumenical Movement and almost the entire world are celebrating the 500th anniversary of Protestant Reformation. Recently Pope Francis joined in such an ecumenical celebration at the Lutheran Cathedral at Lund in Sweden.
Asian Horizons would like to join this celebration by dedicating its June 2017 issue to Reformation. We would like to invite articles on the historical as well as theological aspects of Reformation and related issues.
Suggested Topics (only proposals, not exhaustive):
- Historical, theological and ecclesial context of Protestant Reformation  
- Ninety-five Theses of Martin Luther
- The Theological Works of Luther
- Various Protestant Churches and Reform in the Church [can be on any particular Church]
- Ongoing Reformation in India: Church of South India and Church of North India
- Ecumenism in Asia [Can be on any particular Asian country]
- Future of Ecumenism
- The Ecumenical Approach of Pope Francis
- Emerging Trends of Reform in the Church
- Ecclesia Semper Reformanda
- Common Statement on Justification by Faith between Lutherans and Roman Catholic Church in Germany
- Ordained Ministry and Priesthood of all Believers
- Papacy in Ecumenical Dialogue
- Ministry in Ecumenical Dialogue
As usual, we welcome other articles on any area of theological interest and research.
Please send your articles  (4500-5000 words, including the footnotes) at the latest by 10 May 2017. Kindly include the abstract of the article in 150-200 words, 5-7 Keywords and a summary of the CV of the author in 100-150 words.
Other regular items:  "New Scholars": Abstract of doctoral theses (recently defended and not yet published); Reports and Statements of important conferences, Book Reviews.
For submitting the articles and for more details: Shaji George Kochuthara (editor-in-chief): kochuthshaji@gmail.com
N.B. Please forward this to your friends and colleagues.
[Asian Horizons , published from DVK, is a forum for theological reflection in the Asian context marked by economic poverty, cultural diversity and religious plurality. Although the focus is on theological reflection in the context of Asia, we also address theological developments and concerns of the universal Church and try to dialogue with the Church in various contexts. Hence we welcome authors from all over the world. Asian Horizons was launched in 2007 as a biannual. From 2011 it is published as a quarterly. We have an editorial board consisting of members from India, other Asian countries and other continents.]
Asian Horizons, Dharmaram Journal of Theology
Themes: 2016-2017
2016: Vol. 10
March: Ethics, Theology and Technology
June: Asia's Women Theologians
September: Asian Christian Heritage
December: Conscience
2017: Vol. 11
March: Amoris Laetitia
June: Protestant Reformation after 500 Years
September: New Faces of Religious Fundamentalism and Violence
December: Asian Christologies                             

Save The Date: 
Below Here Find the Information for a Conference
With the Congress in Strasboug

Book Release:

Christian and Post-Humanism Ethics

by
Mário Marcelo Coelho


Book Release:

An Ethics of Mercy: On the way to meaningful living and Loving

by Roger Burggraeve

Save The Date: 


Online Courses: 
Online short courses offered by Catherine of Siena College (University of Roehampton) are off to an excellent start, and students from different parts of the globe are signing up and enjoying them. So far, students have been able to take courses on Women and the Catholic Church, Migration Matters, Violence against Women and Spirituality and Social Action. Here is a comment from one of our students:
 
I found V iolence against women: War, the Domestic Sphere and Religion profoundly educative, inspiring and eye-opening. Learning the various course themes from the standpoint of a man and a religious leader, I was awakened to crucial aspects pertaining to violence against women I was oblivious to owing to patriarchal cultural upbringing and espoused religious traditions that were often characterized by marginalization and oppression of women. Evidently coming from highly informed positions of the subject area, the course instructors presented the material in a thought-provoking manner that shaped strong gender-conscious theological convictions in me. I strongly recommend religious leaders of different faiths to take this course.
 
Details of upcoming courses, and information about how to register and apply for a bursary can be found at  http://www.roehampton.ac.uk/Catherine-of-Siena/. Email  catherineofsiena@roehampton.ac.uk for more information.

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Jim Keenan S.J.

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Trevor R. Jones

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(jonesvu@bc.edu)