The First
The Monthly Newsletter of Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church
June 2020
Featured Forum Articles
African Forum : "Pandemic, Poverty, and Power: A Biosocial Ethics of Global Solidarity" - Stan Chu Ilo

European Forum : " The Right to Housing: Reflections on Ireland’s Homelessness Crisis" - Suzanne Mulligan

North American Forum : "COVID-19 and Higher Education" - Gerald Beyer
Asian Forum : "What Message is COVID-19 Sending Us?" - Osamu Takeuchi

Latin American and Caribbean Forum : "Renta básica universal: no te olvides de los pobres" - Élio Gasda

Junior Scholars Forum : "Inequality, COVID-19, and Humanitarian Ubuntu"
- Anne Celestine Achieng Ondigo

Virtual Table Report
On May 21st, we held our first Zoom VT on Ethical Leadership in Africa: Beyond the COVID-19 Global Health Crisis. 18 members participated from different locations, offering insights and perspectives on the responsibility of the African theologians in these hard times. The hope expressed is that academics should stop talking to one another and move to make our theological reflections more influential and impactful in society. Some important ideas emerged focusing on:

The urgency for African theologians to make their voices heard as a contribution to answering some questions in the current situation. Indeed, the COVID-19 global crisis reveals a deficit in African leadership, not only as far as the politics of health is concerned, but also including the inordinate flooding of false and inaccurate information about the situation in Africa. Conscious of the asymmetries of power in the language, discourse, and location that perpetuate legacies of the colonial medicine in Africa reflected in global health inequalities, African theologians should address this.

The existing positive stories that can uplift the hope against the inherited tendency to always portray Africa in negative lights. There are Catholic Religious in Humanitarian Services during COVID-19 in Africa. There are bishops and Catholic episcopal conferences that are actively involved in pastoral work and policy making to address the current crisis. The concern for us should revolve around the threat posed to essential values and the inalienable dignity of the human person in Africa.

We hope to continue deepening these ideas and gaining more insights in ways in which our network can make a contribution using the new normal of remote conferencing to communicate and share.

African Regional Report
In Memoriam

The passing of an important African theologian, Rev. Prof. Charles Nyamiti
The African continent has lost one of its vibrant pioneers in inculturation theology. Rev. Prof. Charles Nyamiti was born in 1931, in Tanzania; he was ordained a Catholic priest in 1962 before going to Louvain University in Belgium where he earned a PhD in Systematic/dogmatic theology and a certificate in Music Theory and Piano in 1969. Soon after, he moved to study Cultural Anthropology and Music Composition in Vienna and graduated respectively with another PhD and licentiate. Returning to teach at the Kipalapala Senior Seminary in Tanzania, where he met Laurenti Magesa and encouraged him to pursue studies in African theology. He spent most of his university career teaching at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) in Nairobi. Rev. Prof. Nyamiti has died of old age on May 20, 2020. View a video of Prof. Nyamiti teaching .

New Publication

I dara Otu rethinks ecclesiology in the changing context of a wounded and broken world. What does the Catholic Church in Africa look like post-Vatican II? This book creatively illuminates the intrinsic connections between ecclesial communion and social mission in the changing face of the church in Africa. The multiple levels of dialogue in African Catholicism, especially in the reception and contextualization of conciliar teachings, is redefining world Christianity. The author explores how dialogue, synodality, inculturation, leadership, human security, social issues, and social transformation are shaping the identity and mission of the church in Africa. This book also engages recent magisterial teachings and diverse theological voices in developing the praxis for the emergence of particular churches in Africa that are defined by the joys and sorrows of God’s people. The book calls for a Triple-C church, revitalized through Conversion, Communality, and Conversation, as well as fostering integral and sustainable social transformation in Africa’s contested march toward modernity.

Opportunity for Women in Peacebuilding

Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice (IPJ) 2021 Women PeaceMakers Fellowship (Deadline June 1): The Women PeaceMakers fellowship offers a unique opportunity for local women peacebuilders to engage in a cycle of learning, practice, research and strengthening of peacebuilding partnerships through participation in a 12-month fellowship. By co-developing evidence-based and data-driven solutions, through this fellowship the women and organizations at the center of our most serious peacebuilding challenges demonstrate why they are best positioned to influence positive change. The Women PeaceMaker program is based at the University of San Diego’s Kroc School of Peace Studies.  Learn more about this fellowship .


A petition is circulating (from Augustine Richard Kakeeto) inviting members to sign a petition to the Minister of Health. As businesses begin to reopen, there are dispositions that the Church can also take to observe the distance requirements and other safety measures. We need to be proactive for the Church, as the people of God are starving from the Most Holy Communion deprivation. The petition invites for reopening of Churches and Temples.
Asian Regional Report

Call for Papers

Asian Horizons issues a call for papers on the topic of " Democracy: Challenges Today and Theological Responses" for their December 2020 issue. Papers should be submitted by 15 October 2020.

Many nations follow the democratic system. Compared to other systems, democracy can be said to be a popular and successful political idea and system; we do not have a better alternative for democracy. However, we are witnessing that politicization of democracy is resulting in its degeneration, denial of justice, favouritism, nepotism, uncontrolled corruption and corrosion of values. Democratically elected governments themselves often become the greatest violator of human rights. The legal system is not an exception. As a result, in many countries, democracy is no more the rule by the people, but the rule by a few politicians, often motivated by power and economic gain. In the last few decades, the way majoritarianism, populism, right-wing politics, fundamentalism, politics of identity, etc., are disrupting and degenerating the democratic system, causing destabilization within countries and at a global level, gives the impression that democracy has degraded into mobocracy and monocracy. Political leadership in many countries has failed to tackle these; rather, many in leadership are promoting such tendencies and are making strategies accordingly either to come to power or to retain it.

Reflection on COVID-19

European Regional Report
Recent Publications

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of John Paul II’s birthday, this volume aims at exploring and analysing the theological implications of his pontificate. Without questioning his historical significance or diminishing his accomplishments (e.g. in the area of ecumenism), the authors of this book particularly pursue the question whether John Paul II has also left behind some theological mortgage that still strains current debates. The contributions are written by Daniel Deckers, Stephan Goertz, Gerhard Kruip, Johanna Rahner, Eberhard Schockenhoff and Magnus Striet.
For further information click here .

Mercy and forgiveness are, according to Amoris Laetitia 27, “fruit” of love. In concrete terms, however, it is not always clear which kind of action corresponds to the correctly understood mercy. Werner Wolbert, therefore, warns about the possibility of trivialization of injustice in the name of mercy and focuses, in the course of this, especially on ethical questions in the area of sexual as well as political ethics.
For further information click here.

In moral theology and social ethics, the importance of integrating results of natural, human and social sciences and philosophy seems to be broadly accepted. But what about their role in Church teaching? Edeltraud Koller analyses the relevance of non-theological disciplines 
for the moral doctrine of the Catholic Church and explores the methods of their integration and application. In the course of this, the relationship between theology and the magisterium, theology and non-theological disciplines as well as the magisterium and academia 
are scrutinised.
For further information click here.

Critique is common these days—and, in turn, is often subjected to criticism too. Against this background, this volume is an attempt to explore a Christian, social–ethical form of critique. Its aim is to critique the irrationality embedded in the structures of society with the practical purpose of creating more rational social institutions. There is no social critique, understood as a practice of reason, without a critique of domination, exclusion and subalternity. In that vein, any allegedly neutral practice or idea of reason also needs to be criticised.
For further information click here.
Latin American Regional Report
El Prof. Pablo A. Blanco (CTEWC Latinoamérica) participó de la  conferencia online  denominada  "LAUDATO SI, DESDE LAS RAÍCES A LA IRRADIACIÓN" . Esta conferencia se realizó dentro del marco celebratorio mundial de la "Semana Laudato Sí" en Argentina, en ocasión de los 5 años de la Encíclica. Partiendo de la pregunta acerca de sus raíces y orígenes, el Profesor Blanco recorrió los principales documentos magisteriales que desde Rerum Novarum a Laudato Sí constituyen fuente y fundamento para entender el documento del Papa Francisco sobre el Cuidado de la Casa Común.
La conferencia fue organizada por la reconocida editorial  Ciudad Nueva  y contó además con la participación de la Dra. Mariela Borgnia, Docente e investigadora de la  Universidad Nacional de Luján  y la Dra. María Alejandra Herrero, Investigadora UBA y Miembro del Centro Latinoamericano de Aprendizaje y Servicio Solidario (CLAYSS). Enlace a la conferencia.

El Grupo Farrell, un espacio interdisciplinario sobre el Pensamiento Social de la Iglesia, publicó su nuevo libro, titulado:  Actualidad de Medellín. Una relectura para el presente y el futuro de los pueblos latinoamericanos  (Editorial Ciccus, 2020). El libro cuenta con una dedicatoria al P. Juan Carlos Scannone, SJ, quien fuera fundador y permanente animador de este Grupo que funciona en Argentina, desde hace más de 30 años. Entre los autores de la obra recientemente publicada, están Emilce Cuda y Aníbal Torres , miembros además de CTEWC. En la página web del Grupo Farrell se puede consultar el índice del libro y descargar una versión digital parcial del mismo. 

Por medio de la Profesora Maria Clara Bingemer presentamos eventos realizados pela Cátedra Martini, así como su sitio web y su página de Facebook Memórias e Histórias da PUC-Rio durante a ditadura militar.

El Dr. Agustín Ortega nos comparte su artículo publicado en la revista de educación, “ Ruta Maestra.
No dia 14 de maio de 2020, líderes da CTEWC - América Latina e Caribe, se reuniram para partilhar sobre a situação da pandemia do coronavírus em seus países e discutir projetos comuns na região relacionados à ética teológica. A reunião foi muito amistosa em um clima de fraternidade e solidariedade. Novo projetos foram pensados e discutidos. Em breve, novas iniciativas serão anunciadas.

Estiveram presentes na reunião, Jutta Battenberg do México, Veronica Anguita do Chile, Pablo A. Blanco Gonzalez e Anibal German Torres da Argentina, María Isabel e Carlos Briceño da Colômbia, Edwin Vasquez do Perú e Ronaldo Zacharias e Alexandre Martins do Brasil. Ainda tiveram saudações de Kristin Heyer, Andrea Vicini e Shaji G. Kochuthara, da comissão central do CTEWC, no início do encontro.
North American Regional Report
New Resources

The North American Regional Committee wants to draw your attention to several new resources from CTEWC members.  David Hollenbach, S.J. discusses his new book Humanity in Crisis: Ethical and Religious Response to Refugees  in a webinar with the Berkley Center at Georgetown .

David also applied his work on refugees to ongoing discussions of COVID-19 in a recent issue of America magazine: " Who suffers most during the coronavirus pandemic? "

Gerald Beyer writes that he and four colleagues from around the world worked together to produce a “Theological Roundtable” in Horizons to discuss the 25 th anniversaries of the genocides in Rwanda and Bosnia and Herzegovina. You can find open access to these contributions from Victoria Barnett, Zorica Maros , Elisee Rutagambwa, S.J., and Michael Sells.

Call for Papers

Finally, Ray Ward announces a call for article and reflection submissions for Praxis: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Faith and Justice . Specifically, for its  2020 thematic issue on the topic of “Faithful Politics”  with guest editor Steven Millies. 
For more information see the call for papers below, and notes for authors click here

Submissions should be sent to  by June 12, 2020. Authors with questions about possible topics, deadlines, or the review process should contact Ray directly: .