December 2013

Welcome to the FIRST

The newsletter of Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church

Jillian Maxey.  After three years as our web designer, Jillian Maxey is leaving us to finish her dissertation.  This is certainly understandable as she wants to finish her degree so as to get a position teaching.  Her leaving us is a great loss!



The Map. I know that we are all grateful to Jillian for what she has done for us, so IF YOU WANT TO SHOW YOUR GRATITUDE, PUT YOURSELF ON THE MAP SHE DESIGNED FOR US. 


Click here, fill-out the easy form and send it in to her.  We now have 61 names and bios posted.  Let's double that as a sign of gratitude!!!!  This is her last project with us and the map is really useful.......



The Synod.   Just as we posted articles and news on the election of Pope Francis and on the Fiftieth anniversary of Vatican II, we want to support one another in our work for the upcoming synod.  Please send any material on the synod to our new web designer, Claudio Quintana ( and he will post it. 



The Forum.  We have six contributions.  Four are on the Synod: Jillian Maxey from the US, Malaysia's Sharon Bong, Sr. Solange Ngah from Cameroon, and Italy's Martin Lintner speaking as the President of the European Society for Catholic Theology; there is also one by Canada's Carolyn Chau (Welcome newcomer Carolyn!) on the Quebec Charter of Values and another by Argentinian Pablo Blanco on the environment.



The Ecclesia of Women in Asia. The Video conference of The Ecclesia of Women in Asia appeared on November 15 on four continents!  Read the report by organizers of the video conference: Agnes Brazal, Gina Wolfe, and Andrea Vicini.  THANK YOU FOR A GREAT VIDEO CONFERENCE!



Laurenti Magesa.  Kudos to Laurenti Magesa for his new book with Orbis Press, What Is Not Sacred? African Spirituality.


Finally, JANUARY FIRST.  In order to get Claudio on board and Jillian back to her dissertation, there will be NO January First this coming year.


All the Best,




Top Stories
Explore the New CTEWC Map

This is an interactive feature that shows where different members of the community are around the globe. 

We have a growing number of people participating.  Visit the map, click on a particular location to see a person's profile or sort by research interest or country and the map changes, as does the list of people just under the map.  The list is also a great way to go right to a person's profile if you know who you are looking for.  

And, of course, add yourself to the map by visiting:  

(Note: you'll receive confirmation that your profile is submitted, but Jillian has to actually add it to the map, so it won't appear instantaneously.)  Contact Jillian ( with any questions.

Let us know what you think!

CTEWC Forum: Italy, Cameroon, Malaysia, USA, Canada and Argentina

Martin Lintner (Italy) and The Presidium of the European Society for Catholic Theology (Europe), Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in the European Context

Solange Ngah (Cameroon), Changes in Family Life and the Challenges of Contemporary Culture

Sharon Bong (Malaysia), The Gospel of Families

Jillian Maxey (USA), From the Trenches: A Reflection on the Preparatory Document on the Synod on Marriage and Family

Carolyn Chau (Canada), Secularism and Religious Freedom in Canada: The Quebec Charter of Values

Pablo A. Blanco Gonzalez (Argentina), Who Cares?  



News from Asia

Read the report on the Ecclesia of Women in Asia (EWA) Video Conference (Nov 2013)




Women's Theological Voices: a Conversation across Four Continents   


A Global Interaction    


On November 15, 2013, CTEWC hosted a videoconference session of the sixth biennial conference of the association of Catholic women theologians Ecclesia of Women in Asia (EWA) held in Bangalore, India. EWA promotes contextual feminist theologies from the perspective of those who are excluded and in dialogue with other disciplines and religions. The theme of the EWA conference was "Liberating Power: Asian Feminist Theological Perspectives."

Seven institutions from three other continents joined the videoconference: from Africa, Saint Augustine College in Johannesburg; from Europe, the University of Glasgow in Scotland and the Irish School of Ecumenics at Trinity College in Dublin; from North America, the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Santa Clara University in California, Fordham University in New York, and Boston College in Boston.


Photo (L to R): Agnes Brazal (Philippines), Jeane Caña Peracullo (Philippines), Gina Wolfe (USA), Sharon A. Bong (Malaysia), Kristine Meneses (Philippines)

Read the full report prepared by the planning committee and the report compiled by Lucas Chan, Asian Regional Chair.



More information.




The Association of the Moral Theologians of India (ATMI) celebrated its silver jubilee


ATMI celebrated it silver jubilee during their annual meeting on October 25-26, 2013, at St. Vincent's Retreat Center, Gopalpur-On-Sea, Berhampur, Orissa.  

The meeting began on 25th October, with the Eucharistic celebration presided by Fr. Michael Peters. In his inaugural address, X. D. Selvaraj, a founding member of AMTI, spoke about the aim of AMTI:  to share of the experience of members in teaching Moral Theology, namely, the issues that moral theologians face in different regions where local problems are different; to share the insights  of new findings in light of research, especially the doctoral research of new moral theologians; to help the church in India to deal with different moral issues and  problems; to bring out basic texts for moral theology for teaching in India. Fr George Kodithottam, acting President of the Association, then invited the members to reflect on the commitment and responsibility of the moral theologians to the Church and society.


A good number of papers that covered a variety of issues were presented during the two-day meeting, such as tribal morality, public health, sexual relations, and bioethics. At the end of the meeting, several decisions were made, including publication of a book to mark the Silver Jubilee of the Association, and launching a Blog for AMTI. According to the Association, the theme for the next annual meeting will be "Indian Family: Crisis and Opportunities." It will be held from 24-26th October 2014 at DVK Bangalore.



The Philippines 


A Call to Share Theological Reflections on God and Calamities in the Aftermath of Supertyphoon Haiyan  


The Redemptorists in the Cebu Province in the Philippines, including their Tacloban community which has housed around 3000 survivors of the supertyphoon Haiyan, plan to mobilize all Redemptorist communities in the country to help in a long-term rehabilitation process (in coordination with other organizations). Recorded as the strongest typhoon on earth ever known to have hit landfall, Haiyan's ferocious winds and the tsunami-like waves it spawned have destroyed 70-80 percent of structures in its direct path and caused the death of more than 5000 people.    


Among their various objectives is to "accompany the people as they search for a meaning to the tragedies that they experienced through prayer sessions and liturgical celebrations (including rituals for laying to rest their dead loved ones), and in the process, deepen their faith in a compassionate God (rather than holding on to the notion of a punitive Deity)."  


Since the group is preoccupied with the many details of the long-term rehabilitation plan, they have no time to gather biblical-theological materials and are calling for short articles, essays, reflection pieces (from one to seven pages, single-spaces) that can guide them in the preparation of their modules, prayer sessions and liturgical celebrations, and which respond to any of the following questions: "WHY GOD ALLOW CALAMITIES TO HAPPEN? WHAT KIND OF A GOD CREATED A WORLD WHERE EPIC TRAGEDIES TAKE PLACE? IS OUR GOD A GOD THAT PUNISHES? ARE TRAGEDIES MANIFESTATION OF A VULNERABLE GOD?"  


If you have any material to share on this theme, kindly forward it to Karl Gaspar, or Agnes Brazal, on or before the first week of January, 2014.


Reported by Lucas Chan, Asian Regional Chair



New Publications
Laurenti Magesa's  
new book,
What is Not Sacred? African Spirituality 
has been released by Orbis 

Did Christianity replace traditional African religion with the arrival of European missionaries in past centuries? Or did sub-Saharan African cultures persist in maintaining their religious worldviews even after accepting the salvific message of Christianity? In this compelling book, noted scholar Laurenti Magesa argues that despite missionary Christianity s refusal to acknowledge the worth of traditional African religious culture, the incarnational spirituality of those cultures remains vibrant and visible today, and has much to offer and teach other cultures, both Christian and not. When we admit that, in fact, all is sacred, we are challenged to reevaluate our relationships with each other, with other cultures, with God, and with the environment.

More recent works by CTEWC members


Jame Schaefer and Tobias Winright, Environmental Justice and Climate Change Assessing Pope Benedict XVI's Ecological Vision for the Catholic Church in the United States (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013).    

 With contributions by: Mary Ashley; Michael Baur; John T. Brinkman; David Cloutier; Anselma Dolcich-Ashley; Elizabeth Groppe; Scott G. Hefelfinger; Kevin W. Irwin; Donald Kettler; Christiana Z. Peppard; Jame Schaefer; Bernard Unabali; Jeremiah Vallery; Keith Douglass Warner; Matthew Philipp Whelan and Tobias Winright


Gerald Beyer, "Solidarity by Grace, Nature or Both? The Possibility of Human Solidarity in the Light of Evolutionary Biology and Catholic Moral Theology," The Heythrop Journal Vol. 55, No. 5 (2013): 732-55   


Thomas A. Nairn, OFM, Thomas A. Shannon, Joseph Chinnici, OFM, Kenan Osborne, OFM, and Mary Beth Ingham,CSJ, The Franciscan Moral Vision: Responding to God's Love (Franciscan Institute Publications. St. Bonaventure University, NY).

Dr Vimal Tirimanna, CSsR's review of: Shaji George Kochuthara, ed., 
Moral Theology in India Today. The DVK National Workshop on Moral Theology, Bangalore: Dharmaram Publications, 2013. 

Shaji George Kochuthara's review of: Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator, SJ, ed., 
Practising Reconciliation, Doing Justice, Building Peace. Conversations on Catholic Theological Ethics in Africa, Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 2013. 


Both book reviews can be downloaded here




In This Issue
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Jim Keenan S.J.



Jillian Maxey



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