I am very pleased to introduce a new series here at CMT.com that will address the role of the Catholic moral theologian in church and society.  This may sound like a dry, abstract topic, but it’s not.  To think about this issue is to consider what questions should be the focus of theological research and writing, what audiences moral theologians should engage (the Magisterium? Everyday Catholics?   All people of good will?) and how they should be engaged (Through academic writing?  In blogs?  By building up grassroots organizations?).  None of those questions is uncontested.

In this series we will hear from six Catholic moral theologians from six different continents: Robert Gascoigne (Australia), Alexandre Martins (South America), Roman Globokar (Europe), Veronica Rop (Africa), David Cloutier (North America), and Agnes Brazal (Asia).  Each of them will address our topic from a perspective rooted in their own context.  This approach will help us to see the diversity of ways in which Catholic moral theologians around the world understand their role today.  At the same time, bringing these voices together in a series will provide an occasion to uncover shared priorities and concerns as well as opportunities for partnership and dialogue.

This series was produced with the support of an organization known as Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church.  The group held its first “Cross-cultural Conference on Catholic Theological Ethics” in 2006 in the Italian city of Padua which drew over 400 theologians from 67 countries.  A second conference was held in Trento, Italy where over 600 theologians from 75 countries (including many of the regular contributors to this blog) participated (July 24-27, 2010).  More recently, CTWEC has sought to go beyond sponsoring conferences to find new ways to carry out its mission “to appreciate the challenge of pluralism; to dialogue from and beyond local culture; and, to interconnect within a world church not dominated solely by a northern paradigm.”

It is my hope that this series will further the mission of CTEWC, but also serve as an important new way for this blog to carry out its own mission “to aid one another in our common search for wisdom, and to help one another live lives of discipleship, all in service to the reign of God.” Hosting an international series like this is a new way for CMT.com “to place the fruits of our training at the service of the Church, as well as the academy and the world.”  I am blessed to be involved in both of these dynamic organizations.

A new post in this series will appear on Tuesday (7/23), Wednesday (7/24), and Thursday (7/25) of this week.  It will resume next Monday (7/30) and will conclude on Thursday, August 1st, the Memorial of St. Alphonsus Liguori, patron of moral theologians.

Posts in this series:

Robert Gascoigne, An Australian Perspective on the Role of the Catholic Moral Theologian in Church and Society

Alexandre Martins, M.I., A Latin American Perspective

Roman Globokar, A European Perspective

Veronica Rop, An African Woman’s Perspective

David Cloutier, A North American Perspective

Agnes Brazal, A Philippine Perspective

Christopher Vogt (USA), Can we Think and Act both Locally and Globally?  Concluding Reflections