December 2014

Welcome to the FIRST

The newsletter of Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church

Dear Colleagues,


It is the Feast of St. Francis Xavier who helped bridge the people of the west and the east, in many ways, our feast.


Our Newsletter is Chock full!


First Krakow!  THANK YOU Konrad Glombik and Roman Globokar for a truly great conference!!!!


See here my blog on Krakow that appeared on


And see here pictures by Lucas Chan and by Konrad Glombik


WE will be posting reports on Krakow as they come.


Second, The Synods!.  We want to celebrate the INTERSESSION between the two synods.  SOooooo.  This is a call for synod reflections.


We will post any essay you want to write or have written here each month on this site.


The first of them are two expressly written for us from Joseph Selling and Tina Beattie.  They will be available on our website here at SYNOD ESSAYS!  We received a third from Celso Perez, an essay of his that addresses the synod in an appeal to end violence against all gay people, that was published last week in AMERICA.


Along with that is the FORUM! With very powerful essays.  Besides Tina Beattie's essay, Azetsop Jacquineau has written on Injustice and Ebola and Jutta Battenberg Galindo on Gender violence.


Finally one of us has a great appointment!, Congratulations to Bishop Peter Comensoli of Australia,  a then moral theologian from Australia who participated in our Trento Conference, has just been appointed Bishop of Broken Bay, a diocese including the northern suburbs of Sydney and some other areas to the north of Sydney.


Next month an update on our Visiting Professors Program and hopefully LOTS to REPORT ON THE INTERSESSION!



Borders and Ethics: Krakow and Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church

By: James Keenan

  Pictured Above: The panel on changing norms: Mroczkowski from Poland, Clague from Scotland, Globokar from Slovenia, Kovacs from Hungary and Davila from Puerto Rico. 



"I drove 9 hours from Ljubljana to Krakow, from Slovenia, through Austria, Slovakia, Hungary and then into Poland.  I travelled through five countries and I was stopped at no border.  We are now a Europe without borders.  Are we European theological ethicists without borders?

With these words, Slovenian Theological Ethicist Roman Globokar opened the conference on "Faith and Morals: Contemporary Challenges: Reorientation of Values; Change of Moral Norms?" last Friday in Krakow. 


His words were at once challenging and welcoming.  For many years European Catholic theological ethicists met in their own countries or within their own language group, but last year the leaders of Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church (CTEWC at invited a small representative group of ethicists from across Europe to Berlin to discuss the possibility of reaching beyond the normal and of deepening and strengthening a connection among ethicists in both Eastern and Western Europe.


CTEWC is a growing network of over 1000 Catholic theological ethicists around the world that aims to support and sustain connections among ethicists, especially those in the global south.


In Eastern Europe there are usually only a few theological ethicists in any particular country.  We know for instance of only one in Bosnia Herzegovina, one in Latvia, 3 in Slovenia, etc.  Many are isolated and getting connected is what many Eastern Europeans want from CTEWC.  Still, Poland has at least 150 Catholic theological ethicists, who rarely look to get connected to other Eastern or Western Europeans.  But the same came be said of the French, the Germans, or the Italians.


In Berlin, Globokar and a leading Polish ethicist, Konrad Glombik suggested that we host a meeting in Krakow.  We invited 15 ethicists from Poland, 15 from the rest of Eastern Europe and 15 from Western Europe.  We had three panels: contemporary challenges from each regional perspective; strategies for sustaining the development of values; and entertaining the possibility of changing moral norms.  Each panel had a speaker known from one of the three regions.  Each panel also had a fourth person, members from the Planning Committee of CTEWC who each served as a respondent from beyond Europe.


The participants came from Ukraine, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Germany, France, Italy, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bosnia, Czech Republic, Spain, England, Belgium, Scotland, together with respondents from Puerto Rico, Hong Kong, US, and Kenya.   The meeting was not only a success for the one Bosnian, the one Hungarian, the one Slovenian and the one Slovakian.  It was a success for all the Europeans who realized that in a global world, we need to pay more attention to communication than to borders.  And for the rest of us, in marked another indication that CTEWC is moving in the right direction.

Synod Feature:

How the Synod Missed the Mark

By Joseph Selling



It will undoubtedly take some time to assess the work of the 2014 Synod of Bishops. In order to promote the openness of episcopal debate, there was very little information made available during the actual event. Even its public documents, the midterm relatio and the final 'message', went through doubts about proper translation and created a certain confusion because of the tension between the content of the texts and the reports that many bishops refused to approve them.


The little reporting that did emerge during and immediately after the Synod gave the impression that there were basically two topics being discussed: the status of divorced and re-married Catholics and the Church's policy with respect to homosexual persons. Neither issue was resolved, but two, somewhat surprising impressions were created...


Read the rest of the article, on CTEWC.

Synod Feature:

Synod on the Family

By: Tina Beattie 

At the time of writing, the Catholic Church is undergoing a momentous process of upheaval and change. A great deal hinges on what happens between two Synods on the Family called by Pope Francis - a preparatory two-week event (an Extraordinary Synod) in October 2014, and the Ordinary Synod on the Family in October 2015.


The 2015 event will make decisions based at least partly on what happens during this year. It will almost certainly result in some changes in the Church's pastoral practice, for example with regard to the treatment of divorced and remarried Catholics and those in same-sex relationships, but it remains to be seen whether this will be backed up by any substantial changes in doctrine...


Read the rest of the article, on CTEWC.

Synod Article:

Zero Tolerance (Featured in America Magazine)

By: Celso Perez

 The recent assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family has brought renewed attention to Catholic approaches to gay and lesbian persons. During the synod, church leaders discussed pastoral and theological perspectives regarding the place of homosexual persons in the church, and church teaching vis-à-vis homosexuality. Given the text of the midterm report and the final report, called a relatio, much of the conversation focused on the extent to which homosexual persons were welcome within the church and in local parishes.


Despite a significant opening in dialogue, the synod discussions made relatively little mention of the violence that sexual and gender minorities regularly face in communities around the world...


Synod Feature: An Interview for Light of Truth

By: Shaji George Kochuthara


An interview conducted for Light of Truth (Sathyadeepam) (A Catholic fortnightly published from the Archdiocese of Ernakulam, Kerala, India), Vol. 5/21 (November 1-15, 2014), Pages 3 and 13.


Change in Language Can Effect Changes

in Doctrinal Approach

Shaji George Kochuthara  CMI, Dharmaram,  Bangalore


CTEWC Forums from Europe, Africa, and Latin America
Tina Beattie, (Europe), Synod on the Family




Jutta Battenberg Galindo, (Latin America), Violencia de Genero:  Un asunto pendiente en la teologi­a moral

Regional News
News from Asia:
By: Lucas Chan



Congratulations to Bishop Peter Comensoli of Australia

Bishop Comensoli, a then moral theologian from Australia who participated in our Trento Conference, has just been appointed Bishop of Broken Bay, a diocese including the northern suburbs of Sydney and some other areas to the north of Sydney.


Scholarships for Doctoral Degree in Theological Ethics

            Since the PhD program of St. Vincent School of Theology, Philippines, has started last year, there are now four doctoral students specializing in theological ethics (2 lay Filipinos, one Indonesian sister, and one Kenyan priest) aside from the six other students doing systematic studies. The doctoral degree requires two years of course work (face-to-face courses for two summers-March to May-and online courses during the regular terms), before the dissertation writing phase.  The program's pool of faculty has recently expanded to include guest moral theologians from other countries like Prof. Charles Irudayam (India) who is teaching this second term and Prof. Patricia Jung (US) in the first term next school year.

Scholarship covering tuition, and for those from outside Manila/Philippines, travel fare, board and lodging (for at least three summers, thesis proposal and thesis defense period) is available to qualified applicants from the global South.  The deadline for scholarship application for admission to the 2015 summer program is January 31, 2015. If interested, please contact Prof. Agnes M. Brazal, SVST Graduate Program Coordinator, for the requirements.


Noticias de América Latina

MT Davila


Felicitamos a Pablo Alberto Blanco, quien comparte la siguiente reseña sobre el libro recientemente publicado sobre el documento Evangelii Gaudium, el cual incluye uno de sus ensayos:

"Instauremos el Reino del Padre y su Justicia" comentarios a la exhortación Evangelii Gaudium (reseña)

Se trata de una obra colectiva que analiza la exhortación desde la clave de su realización efectiva en el mundo, invitando a realizar la experiencia de salir al encuentro de nuestros hermanos y alcanzar un estilo de vida y de pensamiento más humano, más noble, más fecundo, que dignifique nuestro paso por esta tierra.

La obra recopila la aportación de 22 autores entre ellos Guzmán M. Carriquiry Lecour, secretario del Pontificio Consejo de América Latina, al servicio de la Santa Sede desde hace 40 años, y el rabino Abraham Skorka, rector del Seminario Rabínico Lationamericano en Buenos Aires y amigo personal del Santo Padre.

Los autores de la obra son especialistas eclesiásticos y laicos, entre ellos están: Virginia R. Azcuy, Cecilia G. Blanco de Di Lascio, Pablo Alberto Blanco, Juan E. Bonnin, Roberto Bosca, José Carlos Caamaño, Guzmán M. Carriquiry Lecour, monseñor Jorge Casaretto, padre Diego Fares SJ, presbítero Carlos María Galli, Eugenio Gómez de Mier, Raúl González Fabre, Javier A. González Fraga, Octavio Groppa, Juan J. Llach, Alfonso López Quintás, Elvira Narvaja de Arnoux, Alejandro Preusche, Jorge Alejandro Scampini, padre Juan Carlos Scannone SJ, Jorge R. Seibold y el rabino Abraham Skorka.

Contribución de Pablo A. Blanco

Debemos remitirnos al capítulo XIII - escrito en co-autoría - cuyo título es "EVANGELII GAUDIUM: la alegría de resignificar la Política y lo Político." En este capítulo el eje de la reflexión parte de la pregunta acerca de ¿Qué puede ofrecer a la vida y al pensamiento político, una exhortación apostólica, dirigida a obispos y fieles de la Iglesia católica sobre el gozo de la evangelización?

Relativamente poco, si esperamos de ella directivas sobre el objeto y método de la acción política, que muchas veces el Cardenal Jorge M. Bergoglio ha reconocido como instrumento esencial en la transformación de la sociedad. Mucho, en cambio, si ubicamos la acción política como una expresión inescindible de la vida de todo ser humano, cuya convivencia social lo coloca en la condición de ser Persona en la íntima relación con todo otro Hombre, y cuya felicidad no puede escindirse del derrotero de dignidad de la sociedad entera.

A partir de la condición multidimensional de la vida de todo Hombre surge, en las condiciones providenciales y dramáticas de nuestro tiempo, la posibilidad de reformular el sentido del mensaje cristiano para la construcción de un nuevo estilo político de convivencia global.

Mirado desde allí, Evangelii Gaudium es una potente invitación a revisar el fundamento de nuestro modo de ser y vivir cristiano y por ello un agudo análisis de las razones y condiciones de todo actuar político. Por ello toda la trama de la Exhortación es un llamamiento a iluminar las posibilidades de "más y mejor Política" como ya nos invitaba el Cardenal Jorge M. Bergoglio en sus homilías frente a los muchos desocupados en las calles de Buenos Aires (Argentina), mejor en sus logros, pero mejor en su perspectiva de análisis y mejor, mucho mejor en la dinámica sobrenatural que la Fe, y por ello la gracia, puede aportar a nuestra convivencia en todos sus órdenes.

El capítulo da cuenta también de que los principios del documento del Papa Francisco no quedan simplemente en el plano programático, sino que están aconteciendo acciones transformadoras de la realidad social, que confirman la concreción histórica de los principios sociales del Evangelio - columnas de una nueva sociedad que ya seminalmente existe -. Se trata de personas y comunidades que están aportando opciones novedosas; que están dejando huellas de un camino diferente y posible; de instituciones y organizaciones sociales, pero también de funcionarios y políticos que están provocando alternativas y oportunidades de una vida mejor para todos. A partir de cada una de estas experiencias la vida política recibe la oportunidad de una mejora sustancial de su comprensión del Bien común y de alternativas para lograrlo.

En esas experiencias podemos encontrar claves que liberan, descubrimientos que curan, actitudes que enseñan... mil novedades que dan cuenta de un mundo nuevo que se está construyendo como nos alienta a proclamar el Santo Padre Francisco, desde un nuevo modo de concebir la Política, bajo el signo de la Paz y el Bien Común, con verdadero Espíritu misionero y en alegría.

Gustavo Irrazábal comparte dos publicaciones a la luz del Sínodo de la Familia: "Divorciados en nueva unión: entre la ley y la gracia", Criterio 2409 (noviembre 2014) 24-28  Accesible en línea:; y  "Un sínodo en verdad extraordinario" (para Criterio 2410 (diciembre 2014). Éste último se encuentra completo en la sección de publicaciones sobre el sínodo por miembros de la red de CTEWC.

Emilce Cuda nos relata cambios muy importantes en la educación teológica en Argentina. Cuda relata que luego de muchos años la teología vuelve a la UBA (Universidad de Buenos Aires/Facultad de Filosofía y Letras/Carrera de Filosofía). La UBA es la universidad pública en Argentina, y es de destacar que la teología no tiene espacio en la universidad pública nacional de ese país desde hace mucho tiempo, por cuestiones idológico-políticas, lo cual resultó en un desconocimiento de conceptos elementales para el abordaje de otras disciplinas. Luego de muchas décadas, gracias al esfuerzo de algunos teólogos católicos argentinos y a la apertura de la actual dirigencia de la carrera de fiolsofía de la UBA, se ha aprobado por unanimidad un seminario de grado sobre teología denominado "Implicancias filosóficas de conceptos teológicos, y sus manifestaciones en América Latina y Argentina". El mismo estará a cargo de los doctores pontificios en teología: Emilce Cuda, José Carlos Caamaño y Omar Albado. Es un intento de acercar la teología a espacios académicos de otras disciplinas donde la teología es casi desconocida -a diferencia de otros países del mundo donde la teología, como una disciplina más, tiene sus propios departamentos y/o programas de investigación. Tanto los profesores de la Facultad de Teología de la UCA, como de la Facultad de Filosofía de la UBA, son  entusiastas con esta novedosa propuesta, viendo en ello un paso adelante en el reconocimiento público de una disciplina postergada en esos ámbitos locales.


Elio Gasda, SJ, comparte la publicación de su mas reciente libro: CRISTIANISMO  e ECONOMIA. Repensar o trabalho além do capitalismo. São Paulo: Paulinas, 2104. 311p.

News from Latin America



Congratulations to Pablo Alberto Blanco,who shares the following review of the recently published volume on Evangelii Gaudium, which includes one of his essays:

"Instauremos el Reino del Padre y su Justicia" comentarios a la exhortación Evangelii Gaudium (review)

This is a collection that analyzes the exhortation from the key of its effective realization in the world, the invitation to the experience of going out to meet our brothers and sisters in the world and strive for a more humane, noble and fruitful lifestyle and thought, that dignifies our time on this earth.

The book collects the contribution of 22 authors including M. Guzmán Carriquiry Lecour, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Latin America, and Rabbi Abraham Skorka, rector of the Latin American Rabbinical Seminary in Buenos Aires and personal friend of the Holy Father.

The authors of the work are ecclesiastical and lay experts, among them: Virginia R. Azcuy, Cecilia G. White Di Lascio, Pablo Alberto Blanco, Juan E. Bonnin, Roberto Bosca, José Carlos Caamaño, Guzman M. Carriquiry Lecour, Archbishop Jorge Casaretto, Father Diego Fares SJ, priest Carlos Maria Galli, Eugenio Gómez de Mier, Raúl González Fabre, A. Javier González Fraga, Octavio Groppa, Juan J. Llach, Alfonso Lopez Quintas, Elvira Narvaja Arnoux, Alejandro Preusche, Jorge Alejandro Scampini, Father Juan Carlos Scannone SJ, Jorge R. Seibold and Rabbi Abraham Skorka.

Contribution by Pablo A. Blanco

We refer back to Chapter XIII - written in co-authorship - entitled:"EVANGELII GAUDIUM the joy of resignifying Policy and Politics." In this chapter the axis of reflection is the question " what can an apostolic exhortation addressed to bishops and faithful of the Catholic Church on the joy of evangelization give to political life and thought?

Relatively little,  if we expect from it directives on the subject and method of political action, often recognized by Cardinal Jorge M. Bergoglio as an essential tool in transforming society. Much, however, if we place political action as an inseparable expression of the life of every human being whose social life places it in the condition of being a person in an intimate relationship with any other Person, and whose happiness can not be separated from the destiny of the dignity of the whole society.

From the multidimensional condition of the life of every man arises in the providential and dramatic conditions of our time, the possibility of reformulating the meaning of the Christian message for the construction of a new political style of global coexistence.

From this perspective, Evangelii Gaudium is a powerful invitation to review the foundation of our way of living and being Christian, and therefore a sharp analysis of the reasons and conditions of any political act. Therefore the whole plot of the exhortation is a call to highlight the possibilities of "more and better policy" as then Cardinal Jorge M. Bergoglio already invited us in his homilies in the face of the many jobless in the streets of Buenos Aires (Argentina), better in their accomplishments, but better in their perspective of analysis and better, much better in the supernatural dynamic that faith, and therefore grace, can bring to our coexistence in all its dimensions.

The chapter realizes that the origins of the document of Pope Francis does not just stay at the programmatic level, but that actions transformative of social reality are happening, which confirm the historical realization of the social principles of the Gospel - expressions of a new society that already seminally exists -. This is about people and communities already providing new options; leaving traces that witness that a different path is possible; about institutions and social organizations, but also of officials and politicians, who are causing alternatives and opportunities for a better life for all. Grounded on each one of these experiences politics is given the opportunity to substantially improve their understanding of the common good and alternatives to be achieve.

In these experiences we can find clues that liberate, discoveries that heal, attitudes that teach ... a thousand innovations that bring us to the realization that a new world is being built, as the Holy Father Francisco, encourages us, a new way of thinking about policy, under the sign of peace and the common good, with true missionary spirit and joy.

Gustavo Irrazábal shares two publications in light of the Synod of the Family: "Divorced new union: between law and grace," Criteria 2409 (November 2014) 24-28 accessible línea:; and  "A truly extraordinary synod" (for Criterion 2410 (December 2014). The latter is complete in the publications section of the synod members CTEWC network.

Emilce Cuda shares that major changes are being instituted in theological education in Argentina. Cuda reports that after many years theology returns to the UBA (University of Buenos Aires / Faculty of Arts / Career of Philosophy). The UBA is the public university in Argentina, and it is noteworthy that theology has not had space in the national public university in the country for some time, due to idológico-political issues, which resulted in a lack of elementary to approach other disciplines concepts. After many decades, and thanks to the efforts of some Argentine Catholic theologians and the opening of the current leadership of the philosophy degree of the UBA, they unanimously adopted a degree in theology called "philosophical implications of theological concepts, and its manifestations in Latin America and Argentina". Pontificial doctors of theology: Emilce Cuda, José Carlos Caamaño and Omar Albado, will be responsible for the program. This is an attempt to bring theology to academic spaces of other disciplines where theology is barely known, unlike other countries where theology as a discipline has its own departments and / or research programs. Both teachers of the Faculty of Theology of the UCA, and the Faculty of Philosophy of the UBA, are enthusiastic about this new proposal, seeing in it a step forward in the public recognition of a deferred discipline in those local areas.


Elio Gasda, SJ, shares the publication of his latest book, Christianity and Economy. Repensar do trabalho alémcapitalism.São Paulo. Pauline, 2104. 311p

Member Publication: Klaus Demmer

Member Article Publications: Elio Gasda
Livro Publicado em 2014: GASDA, Elio. Cristianismo e Economia. Repensar o trabalho além do Capitalismo. 1. ed. São Paulo: Paulinas, 2014. 311p.
Call for Papers:

 Asian Horizons, Dharmaram Journal of Theology

Vol. 9, No. 1, March 2015

Call for Papers


After 50 Years: Ongoing Renewal of Moral Theology


Please send your articles (4500-5000 words, including the footnotes) at the latest by 1 February 2015. Kindly include the abstract of the article in 150-200 words and a short resumè of the author in 100-150 words.

'Globalisation and Global Justice' Societas Ethica's 52nd Annual Conference. Linköping, Sweden August 20th-23rd, 2015

 The deadline is March 31, 2015. Papers can be presented either in English, German, or French. Please send in the following two documents as Word attachments to

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Jim Keenan S.J.



Claudio Quintana



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