martedì 30 gennaio 2018



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         1.The joy of truth (Veritatis Gaudium) expresses the restlessness of the human heart until it encounters and dwells within God’s Light, and shares that Light with all people.[1] For truth is not an abstract idea, but is Jesus himself, the Word of God in whom is the Life that is the Light of man (cf. Jn 1:4), the Son of God who is also the Son of Man. He alone, “in revealing the mystery of the Father and of his love, fully reveals humanity to itself and brings to light its very high calling”.[2]
When we encounter the Living One (cf. Rev 1:18) and the firstborn among many brothers (cf. Rom 8:29), our hearts experience, even now, amid the vicissitudes of history, the unfading light and joy born of our union with God and our unity with our brothers and sisters in the common home of creation. One day we will experience that endless joy in full communion with God. In Jesus’ prayer to the Father – “that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us” (Jn 17:21) – we find the secret of the joy that Jesus wishes to share in its fullness (cf. Jn 15:11). It is the joy that comes from the Father through the gift of the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of truth and of love, freedom, justice and unity.
           This is the joy that the Church is impelled by Jesus to bear witness to and to proclaim in her mission, unceasingly and with ever renewed vigour. The People of God makes its pilgrim way along the paths of history, accompanying in solidarity the men and women of all peoples and cultures, in order to shed the light of the Gospel upon humanity’s journey towards the new civilization of love. Closely linked to the Church’s evangelizing mission, which flows from her very identity as completely committed to promoting the authentic and integral growth of the human family towards its definitive fullness in God, is the vast multidisciplinary system of ecclesiastical studies. This system has developed over the centuries from the wisdom of the People of God, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and in dialogue with, and discernment of, the signs of the times and diverse cultural expressions.
          It is not surprising then that the Second Vatican Council, in its decisive and prophetic effort to renew the Church’s life for a more effective mission in this moment of history, in its Decree Optatam Totius called for a faithful and creative review of ecclesiastical studies (cf. Nos. 13-22). That review, after careful study and prudent testing, led to the Apostolic Constitution Sapientia Christiana, promulgated by Saint John Paul II on 15 April 1979. The Constitution further encouraged and refined the Church’s efforts to support “Ecclesiastical Faculties and Universities, which is to say those concerned particularly with Christian revelation and questions connected therewith and which are therefore more closely connected with her mission of evangelization”, as well as with other disciplines which, “although lacking a special link with Christian revelation, can still help considerably in the work of evangelizing”.[3]
           Almost forty years later, in fidelity to the spirit and directives of Vatican II and for its own timely application, the Apostolic Constitution urgently needs to be brought up to date. While remaining fully valid in its prophetic vision and its clarity of expression, the Constitution ought to include the norms and dispositions issued since its promulgation, and to take into account developments in the area of academic studies in these past decades. There is also a need to acknowledge the changed social-cultural context worldwide and to implement initiatives on the international level to which the Holy See has adhered.
This, then, is a good occasion to promote with thoughtful and prophetic determination the renewal of ecclesiastical studies at every level, as part of the new phase of the Church’s mission, marked by witness to the joy born of encountering Jesus and proclaiming his Gospel, that I set before the whole People of God as a programme in Evangelii Gaudium.
           2.The Apostolic Constitution Sapientia Christiana represented in every respect the mature fruit of the great work of reforming ecclesiastical studies initiated by the Second Vatican Council. In particular, it consolidated the progress made in this crucial area of the Church’s mission under the wise and prudent guidance of Blessed Paul VI, while at the same time heralding the contribution, in continuity with the past, which would be made by the magisterium of Saint John Paul II.
As I have had occasion to note, “one of the main contributions of the Second Vatican Council was precisely seeking a way to overcome this divorce between theology and pastoral care, between faith and life. I dare say that the Council has revolutionized to some extent the status of theology – the believer’s way of doing and thinking”.[4] It is precisely in this light that Optatum Totius strongly proposes that ecclesiastical studies “be more suitably aligned and… work harmoniously towards opening more and more the minds of the students to the mystery of Christ. For it is this mystery which affects the whole history of the human race, [and] continually influences the Church”.[5] 
          In order to achieve this, the conciliar Decree urges joining meditation with the study of sacred Scripture, “the soul of all theology”,[6] together with assiduous and conscious participation in the sacred Liturgy, the “primary and indispensable source of the truly Christian spirit”,[7] and the systematic study of the living Tradition of the Church in dialogue with all people of our time, listening attentively to their concerns, their sufferings and their needs.[8] Consequently, Optatam Totius stresses, “pastoral concern… ought to permeate thoroughly the entire training of the students”,[9] so that they become accustomed to “transcending the limits of their own diocese, nation, or rite, and to helping the needs of the whole Church, [and] prepared in spirit to preach the Gospel everywhere”.[10] .......
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sabato 27 gennaio 2018

St Mary’s Academic Presents at Catholic School Leaders in a Globalised 21st Century Conference

Dr John Lydon, Programme Director of the MA in Catholic School Leadership, recently presented at an international conference hosted by Australian Catholic University (ACU) in Melbourne. Evocatively titled Inspiring Leaders in a Globalised 21st Century, the purpose of the conference was to engage with international and national leaders and researchers to discuss and debate the nature, practice and formation of contemporary Catholic school leadership while identifying new global trends. This was to achieve the objective of developing a critical and integrated understanding of school leadership in a globalised world.
The first day of the conference included keynote addresses, panel discussions and a Q & A session with international speakers drawn from the England, Scotland, Ireland, the United States and Australia. Dr Lydon was joined by fellow speakers Professor Gerald Cattaro (Fordham University, New York); Sr M. Paul McCaughey, O.P., (DePaul University, Chicago); Professor Michael Sampson (St John’s University, New York); Dr Gareth Byrne (Dublin City University); Professor Teresa O’Doherty (Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick); Dr Roisin Coll (University of Glasgow); Dr Paul Sharkey (Director of Catholic Education Services, Melbourne); Dr Doug Ashleigh (Catholic Education Office, Brisbane) and Dr Michael Bezzina (Sydney Catholic Schools). Reflections on the first day reveal a critical need for an integrated understanding of global change and the implications for learning and leadership in Catholic contexts.
The second day of the conference began with a Mass at the St Mary of the Cross Chapel on the ACU, Melbourne Campus. It was followed by exciting and innovative discussions concerning a proposed Global Masters in Catholic Leadership aimed at providing a unique experience for students wishing to combine study locally and internationally. Underpinning the Global Masters project is the idea that universities such as St Mary’s University and ACU are part of a global Catholic network of universities (the International Federation of Catholic Universities).
The Global Masters would be aimed at professionals who want to learn and lead as citizens of the world. It is designed to provide leaders in Catholic education settings with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the globalised 21st Century. It would also provide students with an undoubtedly differentiated experience. With an international focus, a global Masters would provide students with opportunities to engage with international issues and develop a global perspective through a Catholic lens, while developing critical thinking skills from their exposure to international experience.
St Mary’s would partner with ACU as it delivers a similar Masters in Catholic School Leadership. International students would not only benefit from a shared curriculum but also an enriching research environment at St Mary’s. Students would be able to be part of the Centre for Research and Development in Catholic Education (CRCDE) where Dr Lydon is Deputy Director. This centre also hosts the international Studies in Catholic Education journal of which Dr Lydon is Associate Editor and where students could potentially publish their research. There is also the possibility of flexible options of summer schools, internships and linking in with ACU’s Rome Study Centre. All of this fits in with St Mary’s University values and strategic plan Vision 2025 which aims to increase international postgraduate student numbers, international university partnership agreements and its profile internationally as London’s Catholic University.
Dr Lydon said ‘participants of the conference were most appreciative of the opportunity to engage and learn more about what is happening with regard to Catholic leadership and Catholic schools internationally and identifying commonalities. Therefore, the conference was very enriching indeed from comparative research and practice perspectives’. In addition, he added that ‘committed discussions around a global masters are not only critical to meeting the needs of the Catholic education sector, but such a degree pathway would provide St Mary’s University with the flexibility and responsiveness to an increasingly competitive global postgraduate market. This degree is designed to meet the need of ethical leadership to be applied in ever complex international environments and mobile transitional communities’.
Pictured from left to right:
Professor Br. David Hall, Dean LaSalle Academy for Faith Formation and Religious Education (ACU); Professor Geraldine Castleton, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Education and Arts (ACU); Dr Roisin Coll (Head of St Andrew’s Foundation, University of Glasgow); Sr. Mary Paul McCaughey OP, (De Paul University Chicago); Dr John Lydon (St Mary’s University London); Professor Gerald Cattaro (Fordham University, New York); Professor Michael Sampson (St John’s University, New York); Professor Teresa O’Doherty (Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick); Dr Gareth Byrne (Dublin City University); Professor Christopher Branson (Professor of Education Leadership, ACU) and Professor Peta Goldburg, Faculty of Education and Arts (ACU).

giovedì 25 gennaio 2018


24 January 2018

“The truth will set you free” (Jn 8:32).
Fake news and journalism for peace
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Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Communication is part of God’s plan for us and an essential way to experience fellowship. Made in the image and likeness of our Creator, we are able to express and share all that is true, good, and beautiful. We are able to describe our own experiences and the world around us, and thus to create historical memory and the understanding of events. But when we yield to our own pride and selfishness, we can also distort the way we use our ability to communicate. This can be seen from the earliest times, in the biblical stories of Cain and Abel and the Tower of Babel (cf. Gen 4:4-16; 11:1-9). The capacity to twist the truth is symptomatic of our condition, both as individuals and communities. On the other hand, when we are faithful to God’s plan, communication becomes an effective expression of our responsible search for truth and our pursuit of goodness.
In today’s fast-changing world of communications and digital systems, we are witnessing the spread of what has come to be known as “fake news”. This calls for reflection, which is why I have decided to return in this World Communications Day Message to the issue of truth, which was raised time and time again by my predecessors, beginning with Pope Paul VI, whose 1972 Message took as its theme: “Social Communications at the Service of Truth”. In this way, I would like to contribute to our shared commitment to stemming the spread of fake news and to rediscovering the dignity of journalism and the personal responsibility of journalists to communicate the truth.
1. What is “fake” about fake news?
The term “fake news” has been the object of great discussion and debate. In general, it refers to the spreading of disinformation on line or in the traditional media. It has to do with false information based on non-existent or distorted data meant to deceive and manipulate the reader. Spreading fake news can serve to advance specific goals, influence political decisions, and serve economic interests.
The effectiveness of fake news is primarily due to its ability to mimic real news, to seem plausible. Secondly, this false but believable news is “captious”, inasmuch as it grasps people’s attention by appealing to stereotypes and common social prejudices, and exploiting instantaneous emotions like anxiety, contempt, anger and frustration. The ability to spread such fake news often relies on a manipulative use of the social networks and the way they function. Untrue stories can spread so quickly that even authoritative denials fail to contain the damage.
The difficulty of unmasking and eliminating fake news is due also to the fact that many people interact in homogeneous digital environments impervious to differing perspectives and opinions. Disinformation thus thrives on the absence of healthy confrontation with other sources of information that could effectively challenge prejudices and generate constructive dialogue; instead, it risks turning people into unwilling accomplices in spreading biased and baseless ideas. The tragedy of disinformation is that it discredits others, presenting them as enemies, to the point of demonizing them and fomenting conflict. Fake news is a sign of intolerant and hypersensitive attitudes, and leads only to the spread of arrogance and hatred. That is the end result of untruth.
2. How can we recognize fake news?
None of us can feel exempted from the duty of countering these falsehoods. This is no easy task, since disinformation is often based on deliberately evasive and subtly misleading rhetoric and at times the use of sophisticated psychological mechanisms. Praiseworthy efforts are being made to create educational programmes aimed at helping people to interpret and assess information provided by the media, and teaching them to take an active part in unmasking falsehoods, rather than unwittingly contributing to the spread of disinformation. Praiseworthy too are those institutional and legal initiatives aimed at developing regulations for curbing the phenomenon, to say nothing of the work being done by tech and media companies in coming up with new criteria for verifying the personal identities concealed behind millions of digital profiles.
Yet preventing and identifying the way disinformation works also calls for a profound and careful process of discernment. We need to unmask what could be called the "snake-tactics" used by those who disguise themselves in order to strike at any time and place. This was the strategy employed by the "crafty serpent" in the Book of Genesis, who, at the dawn of humanity, created the first fake news (cf. Gen 3:1-15), which began the tragic history of human sin, beginning with the first fratricide (cf. Gen 4) and issuing in the countless other evils committed against God, neighbour, society and creation. The strategy of this skilled "Father of Lies" (Jn 8:44) is precisely mimicry, that sly and dangerous form of seduction that worms its way into the heart with false and alluring arguments.....


martedì 23 gennaio 2018


[23-26 JANUARY 2018]
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To Professor Klaus Schwab
Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum
I am grateful for your invitation to participate in the World Economic Forum 2018 and for your desire to include the perspective of the Catholic Church and the Holy See at the meeting in Davos. I thank you also for your efforts to bring this perspective to the attention of those gathered for this annual Forum, including the distinguished political and governmental authorities present and all those engaged in the fields of business, the economy, work and culture, as they discuss the challenges, concerns, hopes and prospects of the world today and of the future.
The theme chosen for this year’s Forum – Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World – is very timely. I trust that it will assist in guiding your deliberations as you seek better foundations for building inclusive, just and supportive societies, capable of restoring dignity to those who live with great uncertainty and who are unable to dream of a better world.
At the level of global governance, we are increasingly aware that there is a growing fragmentation between States and Institutions. New actors are emerging, as well as new economic competition and regional trade agreements. Even the most recent technologies are transforming economic models and the globalized world itself, which, conditioned by private interests and an ambition for profit at all costs, seem to favour further fragmentation and individualism, rather than to facilitate approaches that are more inclusive.
The recurring financial instabilities have brought new problems and serious challenges that governments must confront, such as the growth of unemployment, the increase in various forms of poverty, the widening of the socio-economic gap and new forms of slavery, often rooted in situations of conflict, migration and various social problems. “Together with this, we encounter certain rather selfish lifestyles, marked by an opulence which is no longer sustainable and frequently indifferent to the world around us, and especially to the poorest of the poor. To our dismay we see technical and economic questions dominating political debate, to the detriment of genuine concern for human beings. Men and women risk being reduced to mere cogs in a machine that treats them as items of consumption to be exploited, with the result that – as is so tragically apparent – whenever a human life no longer proves useful for that machine, it is discarded with few qualms” (Address to the European Parliament, Strasbourg, 25 November 2014).
In this context, it is vital to safeguard the dignity of the human person, in particular by offering to all people real opportunities for integral human development and by implementing economic policies that favour the family. “Economic freedom must not prevail over the practical freedom of man and over his rights, and the market must not be absolute, but honour the exigencies of justice” (Address to the General Confederation of Italian Industry, 27 February 2016). Economic models, therefore, are also required to observe an ethic of sustainable and integral development, based on values that place the human person and his or her rights at the centre. .....

giovedì 18 gennaio 2018


 " Avec les jeunes nous avons vécu la joie de célébrer la fête de Don Bosco au Collège  Imara, les jeunes ont été formés sur l'Ecoute et Accompagnement en s'inspirant de l'Etrenne du Recteur Majeur Artime Fernandez "Seigneur, donne-moi de cette eau". 
Les jeunes  ont répondu à cette rencontre du Père, maître et ami des jeunes et chaque jeune a pris la résolution de se prononcer en disant:  "Je suis Don Bosco aujourd'hui en RD Congo..." 
Nous éduquons les jeunes à être les honnêtes citoyens et des bons chrétiens. 
Père Kabuge Albert-AFC

martedì 16 gennaio 2018


    In this edition of Thinking with the Church
  a conversation with Dr. Leonardo Franchi.

In the Apostolic Constitution, Ex corde ecclesiae, Pope St. John Paul II famously wrote that the Catholic University, “is located in that course of tradition which may be traced back to the very origin of the University as an institution. It has always been recognized as an incomparable centre of creativity and dissemination of knowledge for the good of humanity. By vocation, the Universitas magistrorum et scholarium is dedicated to research, to teaching and to the education of students who freely associate with their teachers in a common love of knowledge. With every other University it shares that gaudium de veritate, so precious to Saint Augustine, which is that joy of searching for, discovering and communicating truth in every field of knowledge. A Catholic University’s privileged task is ‘to unite existentially by intellectual effort two orders of reality that too frequently tend to be placed in opposition as though they were antithetical: the search for truth, and the certainty of already knowing the fount of truth’.”
      That project is threatened today by forces found both within and without the Church: the fragmentation of he unity of knowledge – and of knowing as a cultural project, on the one hand; on the other, a strange twofold movement at once toward anti-intellectualism as the default cultural starting point, and toward the elevation of those with applied scientific know-how to positions of high esteem, approaching the level of a sort of priestly caste.
    Against this tide, a group of scholar-teachers is quietly and diligently working to ensure that Catholic institutions of higher education will be able to carry out their mission, which is of vital importance to the task of evangelization, especially and in a privileged way by being open to all human experience and ready to dialogue with and learn from every culture.
    The advancement of that work is in turn complicated by the increasing pressure on those committed to it to retire to the margins or retreat from the public square entirely........

 Thinking with the Church

lunedì 8 gennaio 2018


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On January 5 hIs holiness Pope Francis had an audience in the Sala Clementina with around 500 participants from the National Congress Italian Catholic Primary Teachers. He addressed them on the need of ongoing professional development for teachers. He spent some time talking about the responsibilities of Catholic teachers whether they work in Catholic schools or in state schools.
At the end of the audience His Holiness greeted personally the UMEC-WUCT delegation made up of the President, Guy Bordeaud’hui, the General Secretary, Giovanni Perrone, Father Alberto Kabuge (Congo), Father Paul Popa and the leaders of schools in Oradea. His Holiness expressed his appreciation for the work carried out by WUCT.
During the work of the Congress the President of the Union greeted all present and thanked AIMC for its ongoing collaboration with WUCT.


El 5 de enero, Francisco recibió en audiencia en la Sala Clementina, los cerca de 500 participantes en el Congreso Nacional de Maestros Católicos italianos, y los llamó un mensaje que pone de relieve la importancia de las asociaciones para el desarrollo profesional de los educadores.
Se centró en las responsabilidades de los maestros católicos, donde sea que trabajen, tanto en la escuela católica como en la escuela estatal.
Después de la audiencia, el Papa quiso saludar personalmente a todos, incluyendo a la misión dell'UMEC-WUCT compuesto por el presidente, Guy Bourdeaud'hui, Secretario General, Giovanni Perrone, por el Padre Alberto Kabuge (Congo), por el padre Paul Popa y los directores de las escuelas de Oradea. Su santidad expresó su aprecio por el trabajo llevado a cabo por la Unión.
Durante las obras del congreso, el presidente de la Unión saludó a los congresistas y agradeció a la AIMC por su constante colaboración con la Unión.

Op 5 januari ontving Zijne Heiligheid, paus Franciscus, in audiëntie, in de Sala Clementina, ongeveer 500 deelnemers aan het Nationale Congres van de Italiaanse Vereniging van Katholieke Leraren en gaf een  boodschap over het belang van verenigingen voor de professionele groei van opvoeders. Hij concentreerde zich op de verantwoordelijkheden van katholieke leraren, waar ze ook werken, zowel op de katholieke school als op de openbare school.
Aan het einde van audiëntie wilde de paus iedereen persoonlijk begroeten, inclusief de UMEC-WUCT-delegatie, bestaande uit de president, Guy Bourdeaud'hui, de algemene secretaris, Giovanni Perrone, pater Alberto Kabuge (Congo), pater Paul Popa en de directeuren van de scholen van Oradea. Zijn heiligheid sprak waardering uit voor het werk dat door de UMEC werd verricht.
Tijdens het congres begroette de president van de UMEC de congresleden en bedankte de AIMC voor hun voortdurende samenwerking.

                                                              PAUS FRANCISCUS

Il 5 gennaio Sua Santità Papa Francesco ha ricevuto in udienza, nella Sala Clementina, i circa 500 partecipanti al Congresso Nazionale dell’Associazione Italiana Maestri Cattolici e ha rivolto loro un messaggio che evidenzia l’importanza delle associazioni per la maturazione professionale degli educatori.

Si è soffermato sulle responsabilità degli insegnanti cattolici, ovunque essi operino, sia nella scuola cattolica sia nella scuola statale.

Al termine dell’udienza, il Papa ha voluto salutare personalmente tutti, compresa la delegazione dell’UMEC-WUCT, composta dal presidente, Guy Bourdeaud’hui, dal segretario generale, Giovanni Perrone, da padre Alberto Kabuge (Congo), da padre Paul Popa e dai direttori delle scuole di Oradea. Sua Santità ha espresso apprezzamento per l’opera svolta dall’Unione.
Nel corso dei lavori congressuali il presidente dell’Unione, ha salutato i congressisti e ringraziato l’AIMC per la costante collaborazione con l’Unione.

                                                           DISCORSO DI PAPA FRANCESCO
În 5 ianuarie, Sanctitatea Sa Papa Francisc a primit în audiență, în Sala Clementină, pe cei circa 500 de participanți la Congresul Național al Asociației Italiene a Profesorilor Catolici. Acestora le-a adresat un mesaj care evidențiază importanța asociațiilor pentru maturizarea profesională a dascălilor.
A insistat asupra responsabilității profesorilor catolici, oriunde s-ar afla aceștia, într-o școală catolică sau într-una de stat.
La încheierea audienței, Sfântul Părinte a salutat personal pe toți cei prezenți, inclusiv membrii delegației Uniunii Mondiale a Profesorilor Catolici – UMEC/WUCT, compusă din președinte, domnul Guy Bourdeaud’hui, de către secretarul general, domnul Giovanni Perrone, de către pr. Albert Kabuge din Congo, pr. Paul Popa și de către directorii școlii din Oradea. Sanctitatea Sa și-a exprimat prețuirea pentru munca desfășurată de către Uniune.
În timpul lucrărilor, președintele Uniunii a salutat participanții la congres și a mulțumit Asociației Italiene a Profesorilor Catolici pentru colaborarea constantă cu Uniunea.