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Week of March 19, 2018

  • Still catching up . . . with the notable work of two of our Advisory Board members. Dr. Gerald Schlabach, co-founder of Bridgefolk, a "Mennonite-Catholic movement for grassroots ecumenical dialogue," has been contributing steadily over the past few years to the debate over the nature and place of "just-war thinking" in the Church's response to war and violence. Last October he participated in a conference sponsored by the University of San Diego, entitled "The Catholic Church Moves Towards Nonviolence? Just Peace/Just War in Dialogue."  The conference was something of a follow-up to a landmark meeting on "Just Peace and Non-Violence in 2016 at the Vatican (and co-sponsored by the Vatican). In San Diego, Dr. Schlabach's theme was "The Sermon on the Mount as the Church's 'manual" for Peacemaking."  Dr. Amy Levad, who has written insightfully, from a theological perspective, on the problem of mass incarceration in the United States, reviews John Pfaff's recent book on the same topic in last August's Christian Century (nb. access to full text requires subscription). More recently, Dr. Levad has contributed to the "Imago Dei" Lenten lecture series on racial reconciliation at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis.
  • The Language of Vatican II and Gaudium et Spes--Catholic News Service has published the transcript of a lecture by Fr. John O'Malley, S.J. delivered on the occasion of the inauguration of the "Gaudium et Spes" Chair at Rome's Pontifical John Paul II Theological Institute for the Sciences of Marriage and Family. O'Malley rarely disappoints. "We still today hear its said that Vaitcan II was distinctive because, unlike other councils, it did not meet to deal with a crisis. Nothing could be further from the truth. Vatican II met to deal with arguably the most severe crisis in a the history of the church, a crisis all the more serious because often not recognized as such. Vatcian II is distinctive not because of the absence of crisis but because the crisis it faced was so devastatingly radical. Responding to it required recourse to the most fundamental message of the Gospel."