Welcome to the FIRST

The newsletter of Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church
December 2016

Dear Friends,

I am happy to announce that our entire website has been updated and redone by the incredible Rebecca Reilly.  Please see how all seventy of the people on our various committees are identified with photos and bios and how all previous newsletters are available, and photos of conferences are replete.  Look at all the articles catalogued and how we are building up our forum authors page!

Like it?  THEN JOIN OUR MAP!!!  Here it takes 2 minutes.  There are now over 100 networkers in Catholic Theological Ethics on our website.  Just go here and sign in:  http://www.catholicethics.com/network

Thank you, Becky for bringing us to a new level of professionalism.

By the way, do you know that 50% of you respond to our posting.  That in any given issue, 25% click, open and review postings of calls for papers?  With 1000 recipients, getting 250 people actually reading a posting means we are networking.  

So put yourself on the map!

Other items... See Jan Jans' letter from Manila (with his sensational photos.  Jan was in our Visiting Scholars program.  Visit our website for more info:  http://www.catholicethics.com/top-stories/catholic-theological-ethics-in-the-world-church-visiting-professorship-program

Finally in addition to our Reports from Latin and North America we have some great FORUM contributions.  Jutta Battenberg from Mexico has an essay on the apostolic letter, "Misericordia et Misera,"; Petr Stica from Germany uses the election of Donald Trump to launch into a reflection on the "Crisis of democracy"; Mary M. Doyle Roche, from US, writes "The Nightmare before Christmas" about concerns for undocumented students at US universities in light of the Trump election; Osamu Takeuchi from Japan writes a lovely reflection on "A Carpenter in the Reign of God," about a Japanese carpenter.

All the best

Featured Forum Articles:

Mary Doyle Roche,  "The Nightmare Before Christmas"
European Report
By: Roman Globokar
Report from a conference on Amoris Laetitia in Opole, Poland
The conference with the title "Amoris Laetitia: evolution or revolution in the teaching of Catholic Church on marriage" was held on 24 November 2016 in Opole, Poland. The lecturers came from different European countries and presented the reception of this apostolic letter in their environment: Eberhard Schockenhoff (Germany), Anna Abram (UK), Sigrid Müller (Austria), Ireneusz Mroczkowski (Poland), Marian Machinek (Poland), Gusztáv Kovács (Hungary), Roman Globokar (Slovenia) and the organizer Konrad Glombik from the University of Opole, Poland. The differences in understanding and interpretation of the letter were very obvious. Some of the lecturers insisted on the fact that the teaching remains unchanged, whereas the others pointed to the change of paradigm in the moral teaching of the Church. The participants were unanimous that the Church should be open for everyone, however, the points of disputes were the full inclusion of divorced and remarried in the sacramental life. For moral theologians, the content of the letter Amoris Laetitia is in line with the development of the moral theology after the Vatican II: a shift from the normative ethics to the dignity of personal conscience. 
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Latin American Report
By: Marcio Fabri

Se lanzó el Observatorio Pastoral del CELAM. Es un centro interdisciplinar de recolección de información y análisis social, orientado a aportar elementos para una reflexión pastoral sobre las nuevas realidades socio-culturales de América Latina y de El Caribe. Sus criterios son:

* Estudio. El Observatorio es un espacio de estudio sobre temas sociales, culturales, económicos, políticos y religiosos, que sistematiza y analiza información relevante para las Conferencias Episcopales, destacando sus implicaciones pastorales. 
* Comunión. El Observatorio debe mantener relaciones permanentes con los Departamentos y los otros Centros del CELAM; organizar los Programas de acuerdo con las necesidades más sentidas de la región, expresadas principalmente en Aparecida y en los informes de las Conferencias Episcopales; y contar, en cada Programa, con la asesoría del Equipo de Apoyo de los Departamentos comprometidos en la respectiva tarea. 
* Corresponsabilidad. El Observatorio Pastoral debe contar con el apoyo subsidiario de los Centros e Institutos de estudio y análisis de realidad de las Conferencias Episcopales y de los Centros de Investigación de las Universidades Católicas y de inspiración cristiana.
* Pastoral. Es necesario cuidar el sentido pastoral y eclesial tanto del Observatorio en sí mismo como de las personas y servicios que se ofrezca, a fin de prestar un apoyo adecuado a la tarea del CELAM, especialmente, a la misión continental.
Teólogos, eticistas y economistas, se reunieron para reflexionar sobre la situación económico-financiera mundial. La Comisión Episcopal de Pastoral Social de la República Argentina, el Secretariado para América Latina y el Caribe de la Pastoral Social Caritas (SELACC), el Programa Internacional sobre Democracia, Sociedad y Nuevas Economías de la Universidad de Buenos Aires (PIDESONE), el Centro Regional Ecuménico (CREAS), y la Red Mundial de Ética (GLOBETHICS) han realizado el evento: "DIALOGO DE ALTO NIVEL SOBRE ARQUITECTURA FINANCIERA INTERNACIONAL: ETICA Y ECONOMIA". Se realizó en la "SEDE CEA" (Auditorio Conferencia Episcopal Argentina- Suipacha 1032- CABA). Hubo invitados de distintos países de América Latina, el Caribe y Norteamérica, como así también académicos, representantes de gobiernos y organismos internacionales.

EL 16-18 de noviembre pasado se realizo en S.José de Costa Rica un excelente congresso de la Red Latinoamericana y Caribeña de Bioética con 250 participantes y aportes sobre cada uno de los principios de la Declaracion universal sobre Bioética y Derechos Humanos (UNESCO 2005). La REDBIOETICA
es un programa mantenido por Unesco en Latinoamerica. Está muy comprometida por la ética y los Derechos humanos. Estamos ahora actuando en un proyecto para compartir con países de África esta promocion de la RED en su Continente. La REDBIOETICA es laica y abierta a membresía de quienes se propone a defender y impulsar la ética en nuestros tiempos. Una buena Revista garantiza publicações científicas periódicas on line. Informaciones y direcionem electronicas si consiguen muy fácil por google.
North American Report
By: Tobias Winright
Mark your calendars! The North American Regional Committee of the CTEWC will host a session at the Annual Convention of the Catholic Theological Society of America which will be in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on June 8-11, 2017.  Thanks to the earnest efforts of committee members Christopher Vogt, William O'Neill, and co-chair Anna Floerke Scheid, who put together and submitted an excellent Selected Session Proposal, we hope you'll join us for two papers and open discussion about "Ecological Conversion, Spirituality, and Solidarity." Christopher Vogt will present a paper on "Ecological Conversion: A Call for Personal and Social Transformation," and William O'Neill will present a paper on "The Ethics of Our Climate: Conversion and Ecology." Our moderator will be Nichole Flores. We proposed this session so that theological ethicists in North America can prepare for the 2018 CTEWC international conference in Sarajevo by considering questions of personal, intellectual, and social transformation in light of the CTSA's 2017 convention theme.
Save The Date: 


Event date:  Friday 20th January, 9:00am
Location:  Heythrop College, University of London, Kensington Square, London W8 5HN
An International Day Conference at Heythrop College, University of London
In his ground-breaking new publication, Reframing Theological Ethics (Oxford University Press, 2016), Joseph Selling offers an ethical method that reorients Catholic understandings of theological ethics.  Catholic moral theology, he says, has been based on an approach which over-emphasises the role of normative ethics, thus confining moral responsibility to questions about whether a person is following or disobeying moral rules.
This important conference offers Catholic theological ethicists an opportunity to engage with Professor Selling's work through such themes as 'human motivation', 'intention' and 'virtue', and also through Thomistic and New Testament approaches.  We are delighted to have such distinguished speakers as Joseph Selling himself, Lisa Sowle Cahill, Edward Vacek, SJ, Nicholas Austin SJ, and Mathew Illathuparampil.
Conference Fee (including lunch and refreshment) 
Standard:  £ 25 
Students:   £ 5 
Unwaged:  £ 10 
Heythrop Students and Staff: free
If you require accommodation, please contact Campus Services on 020 7795 4163 or email  conferences@heythrop.ac.uk for further information.

Call for Papers: 
Call for Papers: 2017 Salzburg Conference in Interdisciplinary Poverty
Research Focus Theme: Religion and Poverty University of Salzburg, 21 & 22 September 2017 Deadline for submissions: 31 March 2017

The Centre for Ethics and Poverty Research of the University of Salzburg happily announces the call for papers for its 2017 Salzburg Conference in Interdisciplinary Poverty Research. The focus theme of the conference will be religion and poverty. The Keynote Speakers in 2017 will be Paul Cloke, Professor of Human Geography at the University of Exeter, Adam Dinham, Professor of Faith & Public Policy and Director of the Faiths and Civil Society Unit, Goldsmiths, University of London, and Emma Tomalin, Professor of Religion and Public Life at the University of Leeds, where she is director of the Centre for Religion and Public Life. Possible topics for the focus theme sessions are, among others, the relation of religion and poverty and inequality in different states and world regions, religion as a factor in development, faith-based organisations and poverty alleviation, extent and causes of poverty and social exclusion of religious groups and minorities, religious perspectives on poverty, and theological responses to poverty and inequality. Please submit abstracts for single papers and panels via the submission form on the conference homepage. The deadline for submitting abstracts for single papers and panels is 31 March 2017. Decisions will be communicated until 30 April 2017.
Call for Papers: 

Asian Horizons, Dharmaram Journal of Theology
Vol. 11, No. 5, March 2017
Call for Papers
Amoris Laetitia
Amoris Laetitia (AL), published following the two Synods on the family - the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops 2014 and the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops 2015 - has evoked a lot of discussion not only in the academic circles, but also among the pastors and the faithful in general. Expectations of changes, in particular about some of the debated issues were high. But, has AL has changed anything in the moral teaching of the Church? Even months after its publication, the debate is going on and the interpretations given by different bishops and theologians differ. Similarly, AL has put forward challenging questions regarding the approaches in moral theology and pastoral practice. The application of the Natural Law, Discernment of Conscience, Law of Gradualness, etc. are some of them.
March 2017 issue of Asian Horizons attempts to contribute to the ongoing discussion on Amoris Laetitia .
Suggested Topics (only recommendations, not exhaustive):
- Experience and Challenges of Families
- Christian Vision of the Family according to Amoris Laetitia
- Marriage Preparation Programme: A Critical Evaluation
- Responsible Parenthood and Parenting
- Conscience and Formation of Conscience in Light of Amoris Laetitia
- Continuity and Discontinuity of the Tradition in Amoris Laetitia
- Is there any Change in of the Church Teaching in Amoris Laetitia ?
- The Spirituality of the Family
- Irregular Situations and Pastoral Care of the Family
- Principles for Pastoral Care of Couples in Difficult and Irregular Situations
- Communion for the Divorced and Remarried Couples
- Accompanying, Discerning and Integrating Weakness
- Amoris Laetitia: Psychological Perspectives
- Amoris Laetitia: Feminist Perspectives
- Natural Law in Amoris Laetitia
- Theological and Pastoral Approach of Pope Francis
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 31 January 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. Kindly 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

Application Posting:
Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, NJ

The Center invites applications for its resident program in Princeton, NJ, during the 2017-18 academic year, when it will convene an international community of research scholars in its interdisciplinary  Inquiry on Religion & Migration

Applicants offer a research proposal on any aspect of the topic. Scholars in the program, (a) work full-time on their projects in the optimal research environment at the Center, and (b) contribute to a regular colloquium on work in progress. The collaborative thinking of the resident research community is enhanced by a symposia series with leading thinkers on the topic, including Peter Phan, David Hollenbach, and Saskia Sassen.

The Call for Applications with further information on the inquiry topic and resident program can be found on the Center's website at:

The Inquiry on Religion & Migration is the first of four inquiries in the Center's Global Concerns Project, 2017-21.  Later inquiries will consider religion and inequality, religion and violence, and religion and the environment. For more information, go to:

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.



Rebecca Reilly