May 2015

Welcome to the FIRST

The newsletter of Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church

Dear Friends,


As the seasons change, as Pentecost approaches, as the Church and the World look to Pope Francis for his long awaited encyclical on the need for environmental and economic sustainability, we together need to be ever more connected in our work with one another.


If you have any ideas for greater collective sharing please let me know.  


I, for one, find social media a big help.  I found and subsequently posted on Facebook the comments of Pope Francis this week.  Discussing, "the Christian seed of radical equality between men and women" he called for Christians to be more demanding for that radical equality. 


"For example: supporting with conviction the right of equal compensation for equal work," he said.


"Why is it expected that women must earn less than men?" he asked. "No! They have the same rights. The disparity is a pure scandal."


For more on this see,


In this issue, we have a great report by Roman Globokar, about the Europeans many activities.  See too, their upcoming events at the end of this letter.  There is a report by Lucas Chan and MT Davila on Asia and Latin America, respectively.


There are hard-hitting essays in the FORUM.  See South Africa's Peter Knox essay on "Xenophobic Attacks in South Africa," from the Czech Republic Jaroslav Lorman's essay, "The Slavic Church unfortunately involved in same-sex partnership?" Malaysia's Sharon Bong's disturbing, "A Poor Woman's Dignity," Canada's Carolyn Chau's "Current Canadian Culture 'Debates'," and Argentine's Pablo Blanco's "Common Good, Economy, and Politics."


Besides highlighting upcoming events, Kudos to Alain Thomasset and Agnes Brazal for their new manuscripts!






A Report from Europe, by Roman Globokar

Martin Lintner reported about a Colloquium in Memory of Klaus Demmer (1931-2014). Klaus Demmer taught as the first non-Jesuit professor of moral theology at the Gregoriana from 1970 to 2003. During these 33 years, he lived at the Anima, the German college for priests in Rome. Therefore, the rector of the Anima, Franz Xaver Brandmayr, Karl Hunstorfer, a former member of the Anima, and Hans Zollner SJ, Academic Vice Rector of the Greogriana, organized a colloquium in honor of Klaus Demmer that was held at the Gregoriana on 17 April and on next day at the Anima. The meeting at the Gregoriana (held in English and Italian) was opened by a very personal speech of Mrs. Aldegonde Brenninkmeijer (INTAMS, Belgium) and afterwards dedicated to the specific ethical-theological approach of Prof. Demmer: "The dimension of the interdisciplinary dimension of moral theology".  The speakers were Roberto Dell'Oro (Los Angeles), Antonio Autiero (Berlin), Gianni Cioli (Florence). The section at the Anima was dedicated to the connection between moral theology and spirituality in Klaus Demmer. The keynote speakers were Walter Schaupp (Graz), Roman Globokar (Ljubljana), and Karl Hunstorfer (Vienna). The colloquium revealed not only the important and very specific academic moral-theological approach and heritage of Klaus Demmer (as Schaupp said, most probably the widest and most extensive approach in contemporary moral theology), but also how he has left a significant mark on many generations of international students through his personal testimonial of a simple, humble and spiritual lifestyle. As a typical Westphalian, he was a sober, austere and calm person, but at the same time a personality with a deep humanity and a spiritual depth.


To Read the Colloquium, click here. 


Glombik and Schockenhoff, at the Conference


Autiero speaking at the same Conference


Konrad Glombik reported about a conference that took place on 18 March 2015 at the Faculty of Theology of the Opole University. During this conference, the translation of the Eberhard Schockenhoff's book Ethics of life translated by Konrad Glombik was presented. Glombik also sent a contribution about German moral theologian Johannes Gründel, who passed away on 16 March.  Click here to view the contribution.



Johannes Grundel  - 1929-2015


Stephan Goertz reported about a forum that was held on 24 and 25 April on the topic of Sexuality/Sexual Morals in Trier (Germany). This forum is to function as an accompaniment of the work of the synod in the Diocese of Trier (2013-2015). Topics such as "Sexuality and Sin in the Christian Tradition", "Sexuality and the Bible", "Homosexuality", "Youth Sexuality", "Sexuality in Old Age" and "Sex Education" were dealt with in workshops. The speakers were, among others, Erwin Dirscherl (Regensburg), Stephan Goertz (Mainz), Sigrid Müller (Wien), Uwe Sielert (Kiel). For more details:


Julie Clague reported about a number of initiatives that have been undertaken to assist those wishing to discuss matters of relevance to the forthcoming Synod 2015. Tina Beattie and others set up a website called 'Catholic Women Speak', as a forum for women's conversations about the Church in the lead-up to the 2015 Synod on the Family: This includes a Facebook group with more than 550 members, who have been discussing issues such as natural family planning. The same webpage contains a questionnaire on Catholic women and family life, which has given rise to a number of responses from women across the globe, many of which are posted on the site. The Catholic Network on Population, Parenthood and Development also set up a webpage to help those wishing to respond to the questionnaire in the preparatory document for the Synod. This includes a theological analysis and discussion of the Lineamenta questions by Prof. Joseph Selling:




CTEWC Forums from Latin America, Asia, Europe, Africa, and North America
News from Asia:

News from Asia, by Lucas Chan


Book on Migration released


Intercultural Church: Bridge of Solidarity in the Migration Context


"This volume is among the first to reflect on the contemporary phenomenon of migration from an ecclesiological perspective. It sets the context of migration and cultural encounters within a global capitalist economy. Expounding on the concept of interculturality through the use of several theoretical frameworks, such as those of Stuart Hall and Pierre Bourdieu, the authors locate cultural practices in the context of power."


News from Latin America:


Brasil - Ronaldo Zacharias shares his most recent book: Introdução à Ética Teológica, edited by Maria Inês de Castro Millen, José Antonio Transferetti, and Zacharias. A chapter outline follows:



Ronaldo Zacharias


Cap. I - TRINDADE: quem ama vive voltado pra o outro

Maria Inês de Castro Millen


Cap. II - LIBERDADE: do limite à possibilidade de existir em referência ao outro

Maria Inês de Castro Millen


Cap. III - OPÇÃO FUNDAMENTAL: uma escolha carregada de vida

José Antonio Trasferetti


Cap. IV - CONSCIÊNCIA: da interioridade à reciprocidade

Maria Inês de Castro Millen


Cap. V - PROJETO DE VIDA: da alteridade à solidariedade

José Antonio Trasferetti


Cap. VI - VALORES E NORMAS: do cumprimento formal à expressão da interioridade

Ronaldo Zacharias


Cap. VII - DIREITOS HUMANOS: para além da mera retórica ingênua e estéril

Ronaldo Zacharias


Cap. VIII - PECADO: a banalidade do mal como realidade inegável

José Antonio Trasferetti


Cap. IX - MAGISTÉRIO: para além da autoridade de quem fala

Ronaldo Zacharias


Outras informações:



Colombia - María Isabel Gil-Espinosa shares the publication of a synopsis of her thesis: Gil Espinosa, María Isabel. Conciencia de pecado y de culpa. En: Studium Theologicum Xaverianum año 5 N° 10 (2014) 7-60. She expects he publication of the full thesis later this year.


Puerto Rico - MT Dávila shares her promotion to tenured associate professor of Chrsitian ethics, at her institution, Andover Newton Theological School (ANTS). An American Baptist/USA and UCC (United Church of Christ) seminary, ANTS is the oldest seminary in the United States. MT is the only Roman Catholic in the faculty, and admits that the ecumenical and interfaith environment (in collaboration with Hebrew College) has been the best experience of her academic career.


Noticias de América Latina:


Brasil - Ronaldo Zacharias comparte los datos de su libro mas reciente: Introdução à Ética Teológica, editado por Maria Inês de Castro Millen, José Antonio Transferetti, y Zacharias. Los capítulos son los siguientes:



Ronaldo Zacharias


Cap. I - TRINDADE: quem ama vive voltado pra o outro

Maria Inês de Castro Millen


Cap. II - LIBERDADE: do limite à possibilidade de existir em referência ao outro

Maria Inês de Castro Millen


Cap. III - OPÇÃO FUNDAMENTAL: uma escolha carregada de vida

José Antonio Trasferetti


Cap. IV - CONSCIÊNCIA: da interioridade à reciprocidade

Maria Inês de Castro Millen


Cap. V - PROJETO DE VIDA: da alteridade à solidariedade

José Antonio Trasferetti


Cap. VI - VALORES E NORMAS: do cumprimento formal à expressão da interioridade

Ronaldo Zacharias


Cap. VII - DIREITOS HUMANOS: para além da mera retórica ingênua e estéril

Ronaldo Zacharias


Cap. VIII - PECADO: a banalidade do mal como realidade inegável

José Antonio Trasferetti


Cap. IX - MAGISTÉRIO: para além da autoridade de quem fala

Ronaldo Zacharias


Outras informações:



Colombia - María Isabel Gil-Espinosa comparte la publicación del resumen de su tesis: Gil Espinosa, María Isabel. Conciencia de pecado y de culpa. En: Studium Theologicum Xaverianum año 5 N° 10 (2014) 7-60. Se espera la publicación de la tesis completa mas tarde en el año.


Puerto Rico - MT Dávila comparte las noticias de su ascenso a la posición de profesora asociada de ética Cristiana, con permanencia, en su institución, Andover Newton Theological School (ANTS). Asociado a las iglesias Bautista (American Baptist/USA) y Congregacional (United Church of Christ), ANTS es el seminario más antiguo en los Estados Unidos. MT es la única Católica en la facultad, y confiesa que el ambiente ecuménico e interreligioso (están en colaboración con Hebrew College, seminario judío) ha sido la mejor experiencia de su vida académica.



Upcoming Conference from the Association of Teachers of Moral Theology

The Association of Teachers of Moral Theology will meet in Leeds UK, 15-17 May 2015. The papers will be presented by Augusto Zampini Davis (Biblical Stories with Economic Content), Meghan Clark (Millennium Development Goals and Catholic Social Teaching), Liam Hayes (Research on CAFOD), Peter Harvey (A Sin-Centred Moral Theology and its Consequences).

If you are interested in attending one of the May or November meetings of the association, please contact the secretary, Jan Jans (

Upcoming Conferences on the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes

There are two further invitations to the conferences on the occasion of 50 years of the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes in the next months. In Ljubljana (Slovenia) there will be a conference on Sexual and Family Ethics on 20 May at the Theological Faculty. The title of the conference is: View of Family and Sexuality in the Church after the Second Vatican Council. The main lecturers will be Antonio Autiero (on homosexuality), Philippe Bordeyne (on the approach of graduality), Martin Lintner (on divorced remarried) and Suzana Vuletić (on research among Croatian Catholics in the area of sexual and family ethics). Two workshops will be organized: on family today and on homosexuality. For more information:


There will be also a conference on Catholic Social Teaching in Barcelona (Spain) from 1-3 July: La Iglesia en el mundo: la autonomía de la realidad a la luz de la fe. There are four thematic area: 1/ "El estado actual de la humanidad", 2/ "Antropología teológica", 3/ "La misión de la Iglesia" y 4/ "La aport­ación de la universidad al humanismo". More information:


New Book from Agnes M. Brasal & Emmanuel S. de Guzman




New Book from Alain Thomasset, s.j.




Alain Thomasset, s.j., Les vertus sociales. Justice, solidarité, compassion, hospitalité, espérance, Lessius, Paris, Namur, 2015, 340 p.


On redécouvre aujourd'hui l'importance des vertus dans la vie morale et sociale. Ces prédispositions au bien agir s'éduquent et contribuent à façonner notre manière d'être et de vivre, donc de décider. Pas de démocratie sans esprit de dialogue et souci du bien commun, pas de justice sans un désir du respect de chacun et de sa dignité. La tradition chrétienne a beaucoup à apporter dans la construction de ce vivre ensemble.

Les vertus sociales ici étudiées, à l'aide d'exemple concrets et de leur enracinement dans la Bible, manifestent des visages particuliers de la charité. Ce sont les vertus du Royaume à vivre dès aujourd'hui. D'abord, la vertu de justice, qui oriente toute la vie sociale ; la vertu de solidarité, qui reprend un concept important de nos sociétés laïques ; les vertus de compassion et d'hospitalité, très présentes dans la Bible, dès qu'il s'agit des pauvres ou des étrangers ; enfin, l'espérance, qui apparaît aujourd'hui comme l'une des attitudes les plus nécessaires dans une société en proie à la désillusion et menacée de désespoir.


Alain Thomasset s.j., est professeur de théologie morale au Centre Sèvres - Facultés jésuites de Paris, et titulaire de la Chaire Jean Rodhain. Il est président de l'Association de Théologiens pour l'Étude de la Morale (ATEM). Il travaille en particulier sur l'éthique des vertus et sur les liens entre expérience de foi, engagement dans la société et expression théologique.



Today, we rediscover the importance of virtues in social and moral life. These predispositions to act in a good way need to be educated and help to shape our way of being and living, so our manner to decide. No democracy without dialogue spirit and concern for the common good, no justice without a desire to respect anybody and his or her dignity. The Christian tradition has much to contribute in the construction of this living together.

The social virtues studied on this book, using concrete examples and their roots in the Bible, manifest specific faces of charity. These are the virtues of the Kingdom to be lived today. First, the virtue of justice, to steer all social life; the virtue of solidarity which incorporates a concept of our secular societies; the virtues of compassion and hospitality, very present in the Bible, as soon as it comes to the poor and the foreigners; finally the virtue of hope, that appears today as one of the most necessary attitudes in a society plagued by disillusion and threatened by despair.


Alain Thomasset s.j., is Professor of moral theology at the Centre Sèvres - Facultés jésuites de Paris, and holder of the Chair Jean Rodhain. He is president of the ecumenical and francophone association of theologians for the study of morality (ATEM). He works in particular on the ethics of virtues and on the links between experience of faith, commitment in society and theological expression.





Call for Papers: Asian Horizons, June 2015

Asian Horizons, Dharmaram Journal of Theology

Vol. 9, No. 2, June 2015

Call for Papers


After 50 Years: Apostolate of Lay People; Towards Future

On the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of Vatican II Asian Horizons has been dedicating various issues to the theological reflection on Vatican II documents. The last in that series is on the Apostolate of Lay People and on the Church of the Future.

One of the major contributions of Vatican II is its recognition of the role of the laity in the Church -the equal dignity of the laity, their role in the mission of the Church, not merely as collaborators of the clergy, but as faithful having equal right and duty for the apostolate of the Church. A lot has been achieved in this regard; yet we may feel that the role and dignity of the laity need to be recognised further. The Church becomes a community only when everyone has the possibility of participating in it equally. Our mission is a shared mission. June 2015 issue invites papers on Apostolicam Actuositatem, the theology of the laity envisaged by the Council, an appraisal of the progress done so far, and the way forward.

Besides, we also invite papers on the vision of a future Church, in light of the challenges faced, reading the "signs of the times."


Suggested Topics (only recommendations, not exhaustive):

- Apostolicam Actuositatem: Its contribution; Appraisal of Implementation

- Apostolate and Role of the Ministry

- Ministerial Priesthood and Priesthood of the Baptized

- Lay Ministries

- Lay Ministries in a Globalized World

- Lay Ministry and Ordained Ministry: Collaboration to Co-Responsibility

- Lay Women in the Church

- Basic Ecclesial Communities and the Lay Apostolate


- Vision for the Church in the Future

- Models of the Church for the Future

- Changing Patterns of Life and the Church


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 20 May 2015. 

Kindly include the abstract of the article in 150-200 words and a short resumè of the author in 100-150 words.


Other regular items: "New Scholars": Abstract of doctoral theses (recently defended and not yet published); book reviews.

For submitting the articles and for more details: Shaji George Kochuthara (editor-in-chief):

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: 2013-2015

2014: Vol 8

March: After 50 Years: Eastern Churches

June: Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context of Evangelization: Reflections on the Preparatory Document for the Synod on the Family

September: After 50 Years: Dialogue with Religions; Dialogue with Other Churches

December: Migration & Poverty

2015: Vol 9

March: After 50 Years: Ongoing Renewal of Moral Theology

June: After 50 Years: Apostolate of Lay People; Towards Future

September: Ethics, Theology and Technology

December: Asia's Women Theologians





Call for Papers: The Journal of Moral Theology


The Journal of Moral Theology requests papers for an issue of the Journal dedicated to the 50th anniversary of Paul VI's 1967 encyclical Populorum Progressio, to be published in January 2017.  Papers should specifically engage the document and its impact, themes, or continuing significance. Possible aspects to explore include the document's analysis of economic development, its application to contemporary issues, its connection to subsequent encyclicals, it's philosophical argument and reverberations, or how the themes of the document continue to have an impact in a globalized world.

Our aim is to create a well-rounded discussion of the encyclical and build a foundation for further discussion. As Populorum Progressio dealt with development and economic interdependence, we are especially interested in papers from scholars who have first-hand knowledge of economic or development issues in the developing world.

Submissions accepted until February 15, 2016, with earlier submissions preferred. Email papers to Dr. Mari Rapela Heidt at or Dr. Matthew Shadle at Be sure to include relevant contact information. All papers will be subject to peer review, with ample time for revision before publication.

Call for Papers and Posters for Integrity of Creation: Climate Change (An Annual Conference Series) by Friday May 15, 2015.


Conference, Integrity of Creation: Climate Change


Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA

September 30 to October 2, 2015


Duquesne University invites academic Papers & Posters on Climate Change to be presented at this inaugural annual conference. The interdisciplinary conference series provides a scholarly forum to explore topics related to the Integrity of Creation. The deadline for applications is Friday May 15, 2015. There is no fee to register for the conference. For questions contact Glory Smith, at: or 412-396-4504. Please apply on the conference website at:


New Publication
Now available from Lexington Press, Emily Reimer-Barry's Catholic Theology of Marriage in the Era of HIV and AIDS: Marriage for Life.

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Jim Keenan S.J.



Claudio Quintana