The sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church has been exacerbated in the minds of many by the dismal response of church leadership. Uncovered along with the abuse of power were decisions that were not only made in secrecy, but which also magnified the powerlessness of the people of the church to have any say in its governance. Accordingly, many have left the church, many have withheld funding—others have vowed to work for change, as witnessed by the phenomenal growth of Voice of the Faithful. Common Calling is indeed a call—for change, for inclusion, and a place at the table for the laity when it comes to the governance of the church.
By first providing compelling historical precedents of the roles and status of the laity as it functioned during the first millennium, Common Calling compares and contrasts those to the place of the laity today. It is this crossroad—between the past and the possible future of the Catholic Church—where the distinguished contributors to this volume gather in the hope and expectation of change. They examine the distinction between laity and clergy in regard to the power of church governance, and explore the theological interpretation of clergy-laity relations and governance in the teachings of the Second Vatican Council. They look at how church officials interpret the role of the laity today and address the weaknesses in that model. Finally, they speak clearly in outlining the ways governance may be improved, and how—by emphasizing dialogue, participation, gender equality, and loyalty—the role of the laity can be enhanced.
Speaking as active believers and academic specialists, all of the contributors assert that the church must evolve in the 21st century. They represent a variety of disciplines, including systematic theology, sacramental theology, canon law, political science, moral theology, pastoral theology, and management. The book also includes an essay by James Post, cofounder of the Catholic lay movement Voice of the Faithful, the organization that was in part responsible for the resignation of Boston's Cardinal Bernard Law. Common Calling looks to a future of transparency in the Catholic Church that, with an invested laity, will help to prevent any further abuse—especially the abuse of power.
The Ethics of Aquinas
Stephen J. Pope, Editor Georgetown University Press, 2002 Library of Congress B765.T53S8164 2002 | Dewey Decimal 241.042092
In this comprehensive anthology, twenty-seven outstanding scholars from North America and Europe address every major aspect of Thomas Aquinas's understanding of morality and comment on his remarkable legacy. While there has been a revival of interest in recent years in the ethics of St. Thomas, no single work has yet fully examined the basic moral arguments and content of Aquinas' major moral work, the Second Part of the Summa Theologiae. This work fills that lacuna.
The first chapters of The Ethics of Aquinas introduce readers to the sources, methods, and major themes of Aquinas's ethics. The second part of the book provides an extended discussion of ideas in the Second Part of the Summa Theologiae, in which contributors present cogent interpretations of the structure, major arguments, and themes of each of the treatises. The third and final part examines aspects of Thomistic ethics in the twentieth century and beyond.
These essays reflect a diverse group of scholars representing a variety of intellectual perspectives. Contributors span numerous fields of study, including intellectual history, medieval studies, moral philosophy, religious ethics, and moral theology. This remarkable variety underscores how interpretations of Thomas's ethics continue to develop and evolve—and stimulate fervent discussion within the academy and the church.
This volume is aimed at scholars, students, clergy, and all those who continue to find Aquinas a rich source of moral insight.
In this book, Stephen J. Pope argues that contemporary scientifically-based theories of the evolution of altruism provide important insights into one of the fundamental moral problems of Christian ethics, the natural basis of love and its ordering. He explores the contributions evolutionary theory makes to our understanding of the biological foundations of kin preference and reciprocal care, the limits of love, and the need for an ordering of love—issues relevant to any ethic that accords a central role to the deeply natural affections found in friendship, marriage, and the family. He proposes that understanding human nature in its broader evolutionary context brings to ethics a needed balance between the personal and biological dimensions of human nature.
In the context of Catholic ethics, Pope points out functional similarities between Thomas Aquinas's use of then-available scientific theories in his interpretation of the natural basis of primary relationships and Pope's own efforts to avoid the deficiencies that characterize contemporary Catholic interpretations of love based on personalism and existentialism. He concludes with a call for a multidimensional interpretation of love, one that incorporates scientifically-based theories about human nature together with an appreciation of the significance of motives, intentions, and freedom, for the ordering of human affections and moral responsibility. This book will be of interest to moral theologians, especially those concerned with the topics of love, justice, and natural law ethics.