Humanities and Social Sciences

Studia Nauk Teologicznych

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Studia Nauk Teologicznych | 2020 | Tom 15 |

Authors and Affiliations

Ks. prof. dr hab. Krzysztof Pawlina
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Abstract

The pontificate of Pope Francis has a specific character that does not consist only in spectacular gestures or a new language but is also manifested in the contents of his teaching. The presented paper is an attempt to outline the main message in the teaching of Pope Francis and his most important theological inspirations which explain the point of view and specific theological features of his pontificate. The theology of the people is the starting point of the paper as it is central to Francis’ thought about the Church and constitutes the basis for his understanding of social questions. Then, elements of Ignatian spirituality will be presented as they have impact on the manner of presenting theological themes by the Jesuit Pope. The last point introduces a reflection about mercy, which is the key theological idea in the teaching of Francis and finds application in the understanding of many specific questions. The analysis of Francis’ teaching confirms that it is based on the Bible, the theological tradition of the Church and the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, and shows specific new aspects which have been treated as hardly audible voices in the world Church so far.
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Authors and Affiliations

Ks. Konrad Józef Glombik
1
ORCID: ORCID

  1. Uniwersytet Opolski
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Abstract

The reconstruction of Francis’ gestures, behaviors, and words in terms of his understanding of the Church is fraught with considerable difficulties. On the one hand, the ecclesiological concept he introduced attracts crowds of followers, but on the other, it provokes many individuals to criticize and to adopt the attitude of rejection. In order to understand his teaching on the Church without any distortions, one needs to refer to the Aparecida Document of Latin American Bishops (2007) and to his papal exhortation Evangelii gaudium (2014). The battered Church of Jorge Mario Bergoglio is located primarily on the outskirts of Christianity and grows out of the Argentinian option that encompasses various types of excluded people. Hence, such a community imprudently exposes itself to the accusations, which are not groundless, of promoting religious syncretism, weakening the uniqueness and oneness of Jesus Christ, and questioning ecclesiastical sacramentality.
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Authors and Affiliations

O. Andrzej Adam Napiórkowski
1
ORCID: ORCID

  1. Uniwersytet Papieski Jana Pawła II w Krakowie
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Abstract

One of the most important challenges of the pontificate of Pope Francis is the confrontation with new religious movements, the increasing number of which takes the form of “new Reformation”. A pentecostal movement in which the issue of “prosperity theology” (also known as the “prosperity Gospel”) is an important theological problem, has gained many followers within various Christian denominations. Proponents of the trend which dates back to the turn of the century claim that health and wealth on earth are guaranteed by professing faith in God and praying to Him. The purpose of the article is to explain the essence of this phenomenon and its historical genesis, and to outline its geographical scope. The subsequent section presents a critical assessment of “prosperity theology” in the teaching of Pope Francis. The final stage of the reflection outlines the most important ethical challenges arising from the spread of this “false Gospel”. On the positive side, it is advisable to appreciate the value of the Holy Scriptures. Negative aspects of “prosperity theology”, however, include the false vision of God and man, the revival of the ancient heresies of gnosticism and pelagianism, or incorrect theological interpretation of health, illness and death.
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Authors and Affiliations

Ks. Wojciech Kućko
1
ORCID: ORCID

  1. Uniwersytet Kardynała Stefana Wyszyńskiego w Warszawie
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Abstract

The issue of tenderness has never been the major topic of moral theology. It is enough to have a quick look at the most popular dictionaries of moral theology to see the total absence, or only a marginal presence, of this issue both in the doctrinal teaching and the catalogue of virtues. The article presents specific 20th-century philosophical and theological attempts to tackle the issue of tenderness that were introductory to the theology of tenderness suggested by Pope Francis. The article presents different approaches to tenderness in Pope’s theology and its existing examples. Pope Francis seems to understand tenderness as a mode of existence and relations with other people that correlates with the mode of being a Christian in the world, because this is the way of showing God to the world. This way of life is characterized by empathic closeness, life focused on the gift of self, a real participation in the life of other people with their joys and sufferings, and, last but not least, paternal and maternal care. If we assume that the goal of moral theology is to show authentic human existence in specific places of human life, it has to be said that, following Pope Francis’ teaching, it is impossible to contribute to moral theology and ignore tenderness as the central virtue vital for living the Christian calling.
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Authors and Affiliations

Ks. Wojciech Surmiak
1
ORCID: ORCID

  1. Uniwersytet Śląski w Katowicach
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Abstract

The pontificate of Pope Francis is marked by the mystery of the Divine mercy and its implementation. The Pope draws this truth from the Bible, testimonies of the saints and the modern world which is eager for mercy. Being concerned about the spiritual condition of the believers, he calls the Church a “field hospital”, emphasizing her mission and influence. He wants to help modern man reach God and read his calling. The announcement of the Extraordinary Year of Mercy serves this purpose. Pope Francis encourages the believers to get to know the gift of mercy better, accept it in their lives and share it with brothers and sisters in need, especially the poor and the suffering. As part of the Year of Mercy, Francis proposes various pastoral initiatives, but above all, he reminds us to reconcile with God in the sacrament of penance and reconciliation and to receive the indulgence. The Pope asks everyone to be interested in this unique event because we are all responsible for one another. The teaching is supported by the evangelical image of the merciful God who brings power to the weakest and conveys the hope that nobody is alone.
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Authors and Affiliations

Ks. Paweł Warchoł
1
ORCID: ORCID

  1. Kujawsko-Pomorska Szkoła Wyższa w Bydgoszczy
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Abstract

The aim of the article is to show the inculturation of faith and the popular religiosity as the context in which Pope Francis’ Marian spirituality and Mariology have been shaped. Inculturation of faith began in South America with Mary’s apparition in Guadalupe in 1531, however, the theological reflection on the importance of evangelization of culture and popular piety developed in South America only after the Second Vatican Council. The milestones in its development are two Conferences of CELAM: in Puebla in 1979 and in Aparecida in 2007. Moreover, the emergence of Argentinean theology of the people in the 1970s played also an important role in its development. Pope Francis, in his programmatic apostolic exhortation Evangelii gaudium emphasized Mary’s place in popular piety and her role in preaching the Gospel.
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Authors and Affiliations

Ks. Janusz Bujak
1
ORCID: ORCID

  1. Uniwersytet Szczeciński
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Abstract

The paper explores shifts and turns that over the centuries have influenced moral thinking and instructing on moral matters within the Roman Catholic tradition. The purpose of this exploration is to shed light on the current status of moral theology and identify areas for future developments. The paper proposes ‘ecclesial ethics’ as one of such areas. It views moral theology as a dynamic discipline, shaped by the pressures, invitations and demands of the day. It claims that for moral theology to be relevant today, some fundamental questions (including the purpose of the discipline) must be revisited. It argues that practical realities in the lives of individuals, communities and the Church as well as the Planet must be at the forefront of moral theological considerations. Contemporary moral theologians and/or theological ethicists (the paper considers this distinction) are a diverse and, we dare to add, divided group. The paper argues that building bridges in a polarised world (including the world of moral theology) needs to be a priority. The overall aim of this study is to respond positively to the call for the renewal of moral theology as voiced in the ‘Decree on Priestly Formation’ of the Second Vatican Council and in several statements made by Pope Francis.
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Authors and Affiliations

Anna Abram
1

  1. Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology in Cambridge/Great Britain
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Abstract

The paper outlines the possible repercussions of the strong presence of Islamic representatives in Europe at the beginning of the 21st century. The percentage of Muslims in Europe increased from 2% in 1950 to 6% in 2020. The reception of the new wave of Muslim migration to the Old Continent leads to predictable consequences. Two scenarios can be considered. One of them is the growing perception of the threat from the increasing Muslim population in Europe. Another possible solution is their gradual integration. For both scenarios, clear premises based on known facts, socio-political decisions, ratified agreements and declarations of decision makers are presented. Discussions have been held on the emerging stereotypes that indicate an aversion to the growing presence of Islam on the Old Continent. Practices implemented to integrate the Muslim community have also been presented.
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Authors and Affiliations

Ks. Stanisław Jan Rabiej
1

  1. Uniwersytet Opolski
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Abstract

The late Trappist monk and prolific author, Thomas Merton, was intensely concerned with the self – or to be more precise, with the desire to break free from the tyranny of the self he took to be his identity. His early years in France and England were marked by a sense of loss and dislocation. After leaving Cambridge for Columbia, his subsequent life in America and decision to be baptised a Catholic at the age of 23 eventually led to his taking vows as a Cistercian monk. On taking the name Frater Louis, the ‘world’ with all its temptations and unresolved issues had been left safely behind along with his old identity. Or so he thought. In fact, Merton’s years as a Trappist led to a best-selling autobiography written under obedience to his abbot and many more books to follow. Compared at the time of its publication to St Augustine’s Confessions, the autobiography led to his international renown as Thomas Merton. He voiced his disquiet over what he called ‘this shadow, this double, this writer who […] followed me into the cloister … I cannot lose him.’ In time, Merton came to the realisation – through the lived experience and voracious reading of the Bible, St Augustine, the mystics, the individuation process propounded by Jung, Zen Buddhism and others – that the ‘self’ he was trying to escape was, in fact, largely a ‘false’ self driven by the ego. This paper traces Merton’s journey from that self to the authentic self which is found in God, and in transcendence. Obsession with ‘the self’ as understood in the 21st century makes the study of Merton’s path to selfhood much more vital. The advent of the ‘Selfie’, the self-promotion that social media afford and the examples of narcissistic individuals in positions of power give the lie to the lives in which self-consciousness is confused with self-realisation. Nothing, as Merton discovered, could be further from the truth.
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Authors and Affiliations

Susanne Caroline Rose Jennings
1
ORCID: ORCID

  1. University of Cambridge
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Abstract

The anthropology of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI is strictly theological. Its basis is Christocentric theocentrism. The whole approach is embedded in ecclesiology. The question of who a man is and how to be a man must be directed to God. His answer, which is heard in the Church, is Jesus Christ. The Body of Christ is the space of the communion between God and man. Thus, Christ is God’s tool for the transformation of human existence – its liberation and fulfillment. Man is not an independent being. He comes from God. He exists because he is loved. Being created in God’s image determines the relational - dialogical - nature of his being. A scratch on God’s work is made by sin which undermines the truth about creation. Asking about who he is, man should turn his eyes to God’s perfect image, Jesus who is both God and man. The categories of sonship, childhood and pro-existence are characteristic here. All this is available by entering into the existence of the Son of God, which is done through baptism in the Church. There, man can realize his relational existence. The liturgy, however, provides us with the access to our eschatological destiny.
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Authors and Affiliations

Ks. Łukasz Grzywocz
1
ORCID: ORCID

  1. Uniwersytet Śląski
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Abstract

On the centenary of the birth of St. John Paul II, this article reflects on his legacy for moral theology by examining the enduring relevance of his 1993 Encyclical Veritatis Splendor. Against what some authors call the new morality, this papal document holds up the classical notion of morality as a realm in which we encounter the absolute, to the point that one may even be called upon to lay down one’s life in martyrdom. As a figure of classical morality, the essay presents Antigone, who risked her life to honor her dead brother’s body. A different woman serves as a figure of the new morality: Mrs. Bergmeier, who is praised by some of the proponents of this approach for having committed “sacrificial” adultery in order to be reunited with her family. Examining the differences between these two accounts, the paper recalls the classical distinction between choice and intention. It is argued that the new morality has forgotten about the moment of choice, subsuming it entirely under the intention. In its teaching on the moral object and intrinsically evil acts, Veritatis Splendor defends the basic moral experience that we have a choice and that our choices matter.
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Authors and Affiliations

Stephan Kampowski
1
ORCID: ORCID

  1. Pontifical John Paul II Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences in Rome/Italy
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Abstract

The custom of burying the dead is not merely commonly accepted by the Christianity way of disposal of the human body after death. It is most deeply rooted and perfectly expressing Christian anthropology, revealed in the Holy Scriptures as a consequence of original sin, a sign of hope in the resurrection, and imitation of Christ, who was buried in the tomb. In the Catholic view, the burial is a corporal work of mercy, an act of care for the dead and their loved ones. Gaining popularity the practice of cremation is accepted by the Church for the sake of hygiene, economy, or community. Human remains, also in the form of ashes, always must be buried or placed in the columbarium. The Church does not allow human body disposal by resomation or promession. Alternative forms of memorializing the deceased, though attractive esthetically and sentimentally, are not only outlandish in Christian culture, but also contrary to the Christian teaching on origins, nature, and destination of the human person.
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Authors and Affiliations

Ks. Tadeusz Zadorożny
1

  1. Plainfield, Stany Zjednoczone
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Abstract

Do the humans nowadays enjoy the freedom of thinking? To what extent is the modern man critical of the flood of information, smooth words and beautiful truisms that come from newspapers, the Internet and television? G. K. Chesterton, an English writer and publicist of the 20th century, noticed the progressive decrease in thinking in the modern world, which seems to strive for relativization, shapelessness, disappearance of precisely defined words, and thus, for the lack of clear language. This is an extremely important phenomenon because human thoughtlessness leads to serious threats. For this reason the article analyzes the issues of Chesterton’s language blurs in contemporary discourse and their relation to the progressive thoughtlessness of the present times which increasingly absorb man into thoughtlessness of consumption. The second part of the article presents the concept of common sense by outlining its most important features and showing the inalienable need for religion and philosophy to return to clear thinking.
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Authors and Affiliations

Ewa Laskowska
1
ORCID: ORCID

  1. Uniwersytet Papieski Jana Pawła II w Krakowie
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Abstract

The basic mission of the Church is to lead man to accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Broadly understood evangelization is to serve this purpose. It is frequently pointed out that the Church is currently in crisis. It seems that the phenomenon of secularization has been taking the greatest toll so far. At the same time, the opposite can be observed. Thousands of people in Poland and all over the world find themselves again in the Church. This is undoubtedly due to the new evangelization which is the fruit of the Second Vatican Council. A special role in this work is played by spiritual gifts called charisms, which are given by the Holy Spirit. Along with them there is a noticeable charismatic service that gathers large numbers of people in need and seeking God’s Presence and God’s action. We are now experiencing the revival of the Church thanks to this service and due to the great role of new communities.
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Authors and Affiliations

Ks. Paweł Władysław Brożyna
1
ORCID: ORCID

  1. Papieski Wydział Teologiczny we Wrocławiu

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1. Numer przypisu w tekście umieszczamy przed znakiem interpunkcyjnym kończącym zdanie lub jego część, np. W napisanych krótko przed śmiercią testamencie1, poeta wspomina swoich dobroczyńców2.

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1 A. Derdziuk, Teologia moralna w służbie wiary Kościoła, Wydawnictwo KUL Lublin 2010, 125-134.

2 A. Derdziu

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