Tradition and Liberation: Charity in Truth and the New Face of Social Progress
April 21-22, 2010
Pope Benedict XVI's long-awaited economic encyclical "Charity in Truth" (Caritas in Veritate) has been greeted around the world with both critical acclaim and outright puzzlement. Its message is a critique of economic globalization that at first glance sounds much like progressive thought, allowing The Chicago Tribune to publish a side-by-side comparison of "Obamanomics" and "Popeanomics." On the other hand, the German Pope's undiminished enthusiasm for the renewal of evangelization, the end of abortion, and the necessary promotion of ethical entrepreneurialism receive equal attention in the text. Liberals and conservatives will be able to pick out their choice topics, but both groups will also be challenged by the shift of focus to fundamentals in both theology and economic theory. Catholics and others interested in the new face of social progress touted by Pope Benedict must learn to read the encyclical as whole. This lesson also applies more broadly, as the encyclical itself reminds us, to the unity of personal and social development in the Catholic tradition. "In Christ," writes Pope Benedict, "charity in truth becomes the Face of His Person." Through this gathering DePaul University hopes to bring to light and encourage critical reflection upon this groundbreaking and intrinsically Vincentian dimension of the Church’s most recent encyclical.
"Between evangelization and human advancement — development and liberation — there are in fact profound links." On the basis of this insight, Paul VI clearly presented the relationship between the proclamation of Christ and the advancement of the individual in society (Caritas in Veritate, #15).
In the encyclical the Pope raises intriguing issues about the continuity of recent Catholic social teaching as well as its future direction. Neo-conservative voices in the United States have attempted to undermine the German Pope's affirmation of Paul VI's Populorum Progressio (1968). The quotation cited above, however, makes its clear that Benedict is heir to the social teaching of both Paul VI and John Paul II. This is not just a point for discussion by academic theologians but a program for renewing the vocation of the Catholic laity to promote the social message of the Church as a total commitment of faith.
To promote these goals DePaul University is organizing a two-day academic conference on the theme: "Tradition and Liberation: Caritas in Veritate" Of all the words in the title, the most important is "and." Coming in the wake of "Transformed by Hope: Building a Catholic Social Theology for the Americas," this conference will show that Catholicism overcomes bifurcations not just between liberalism and conservatism but between intellectual inquiry and social commitment, between the social gospel of North America and the cry for liberation of the South, and between confronting the person of Jesus Christ and calling for global assessment of economic structures. The conference will encourage a dialogue of these themes in the light of the new encyclical and help to set a future agenda the DePaul Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology.
April 21, 2010
Welcome: Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., President, DePaul University
Opening Remarks: Charles Suchar, Dean, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, DePaul University
Francis Cardinal George, OMI, Archbishop of Chicago
First Plenary Session: Archbishop Celestino Migliore Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations
Economy of Communion I:
Moderator: Thomas Judge, J.D., Chaplain, University Ministry, DePaul University
Speaker: Amy Uelmen, "Caritas in Veritate and Chiara Lubich: Human Development from the Vantage Point of Unity"
In Caritas in Veritate Pope Benedict writes: "When we consider the issues involved in the relationship between business and ethics, as well as the evolution currently taking place in methods of production, it would appear that the traditionally valid distinction between profit-based companies and non-profit organizations can no longer do full justice to reality, or offer practical direction for the future. In recent decades a broad intermediate area has emerged between the two types of enterprise. It is made up of traditional companies which nonetheless subscribe to social aid agreements in support of underdeveloped countries, charitable foundations associated with individual companies, groups of companies oriented towards social welfare, and the diversified world of the so-called “civil economy” and the “economy of communion”. This is not merely a matter of a "third sector", but of a broad new composite reality embracing the private and public spheres, one which does not exclude profit, but instead considers it a means for achieving human and social ends (CIV#46)."
Taking the economy of communion as developed by Chiara Lubich, the founder of the ecclesial movement Focolare, and her followers as the chief example, these two sessions will examine the theoretical and practical implications of the idea of a “broad new composite reality embracing the private and public spheres” and try to assess the broader significance of the entrepreneurship of the Focolare for other innovators in the Church and the world. They will address the question of how this plurality of forms of business expands civilization and competitiveness.
Graduate Student Panel: Caritas in Veritate in the Eyes of the Next Generation of Theologians I
Moderator: Robert Wilken, Senior Research Fellow, CWCIT, DePaul University
Speakers: Horacio Vela,University of Notre Dame "Pope Benedict XVI's Use of Scripture in Caritas in Veritate"
Miguel Jose Romero, Duke University, “Caritas in Veritate and the Interpretive Tradition of Populorum Progressio.”
Gratuitousness as a Question for Economic Theory and Political Economy I: "Will Understanding the Principle of Gratuitousness Help Save the Soul of a Lapsed Economist?"
Moderator: Thomas D.Donley, DePaul University
Presenter: Theodore Tsukahara Saint Mary's College
Response: Michael Naughton, University of St. Thomas
One of the most perplexing and tantalizing sections of the encyclical deals with the economic theory of gratuitousness: "The great challenge before us, accentuated by the problems of development in this global era and made even more urgent by the economic and financial crisis, is to demonstrate, in thinking and behaviour, not only that traditional principles of social ethics like transparency, honesty and responsibility cannot be ignored or attenuated, but also that in commercial relationships the principle of gratuitousness and the logic of gift as an expression of fraternity can and must find their place within normal economic activity. This is a human demand at the present time, but it is also demanded by economic logic. It is a demand both of charity and of truth (CIV#36)." These sessions will look at the theoretical work done by economists on the logic of the gift and lay out a program for furthering this critical area of research.
Theology and the Economy I:
Moderator: Peter Casarella, DePaul University
Speaker: Paulo Fernando Carneiro de Andrade
Pontificia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro
In the encyclical Pope Benedict XVI states that both theology and metaphysics are needed to explore the depths of the claim that the human person possesses and represents a transcendent dimension of human dignity and human relationality. Yet the conversation between academic theology and the social scientific disciplines that are also required to understand the implications of this claim for daily economic life has hardly begun. Three noteworthy theologians will explore the contribution of Caritas in Veritate to the on-going discussion of the relationship of theology and economics as well as the ways in which the encyclical itself can be understood more fully in the light of those conversations.
Catholicism and Global Order I:
Moderator: Stephen Long, Marquette University
Speaker: Michael Budde
A prime motive of the encyclical was to speak to the signs of the times in a period of rapidly expanding economic globalization, but the publication of the document was delayed by the global economic crisis. In addition, the mere mention of "urgent need of a true world political authority" has sent shock waves through some quarters. These sessions will examine the approach to economic globalization in the encyclical and seek to develop a critically nuanced approach to the question of world government adumbrated in the newest addition to Catholic social teaching.
Women, the Family, and Economic Justice I:
Moderator: David Schindler, Provost/Dean, Pontifical John Paul II
Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at The Catholic University of America
Julie Hanlon Rubio, Practicing Gratuity: A Vision for Families and the Social Order
Respect for life is one of the key issues besides the progress of peoples that binds Paul VI and Benedict XVI as theological contributors to Catholic social teaching. The link between "life ethics" and "social ethics" thus becomes a leitmotif of Caritas in Veritate. But apart from the central questions of abortion and Christian marriage and the passing mention of the growing popularity of international sex tourism, there is precious little in the encyclical about either injustices against women or women as workers or as agents of economic change. These sessions will assess the advances and the challenges regarding the approach taken to the situation of women across the globe in the encyclical and seek to address these issues in the light of the common aspirations of men, women, and families in the Catholicism and in the world today.
Economy of Communion II:
Moderator: Peter Casarella, DePaul University
Speaker: Lorna Gold,Trócaire: Mobilising for Justice “From 'Spirituality of Communion' to 'Economy of Communion' - the Evolution of a New Economic Culture”
Microfinancing II: Educating for Social Awareness, Development of a Housing Infra-Structure, and Promotion of Micro-Enterprise Partnerships
Moderator: Ali Fatemi, Chair, Finance Department, DePaul University
Speakers: Karim Pakravan, “Developing a Housing Infra-Structure”
Karen Hunt-Ahmed, “Promoting Micro-Enterprise”
Nicholas Lund-Molfese, “Partnering with the Archdiocese of Chicago”
John Rush, Clenslate Chicago and John Buley, Vicepresident of Social Investent, JP Morgan, Chase, “Developing Alliances for Social Investing”
Microfinancing is identified in Caritas in Veritate as an ethical form of business activity. But the Pope also adds the following caution: “It would be advisable, however, to develop a sound criterion of discernment, since the adjective 'ethical' can be abused. When the word is used generically, it can lend itself to any number of interpretations, even to the point where it includes decisions and choices contrary to justice and authentic human welfare (CIV#45).“ These sessions will look at the encyclical from the standpoint of microcredit and microfinancing projects on the ground. What can be learned about the ethical principles adumbrated in the encyclical from the concrete practice of microfinancing? What does the practice of microfinancing reveal about the problem of discernment highlighted by the Pope?
Gratuitousness as a Question for Economic Theory and Political Economy II:
Moderator: Ted Tsukahara, Saint Mary's College
Speaker: Michael Naughton, University of St. Thomas "The Logic of Gift: Engaging Caritas in veritate with the Purpose of the Firm.”
Theology and the Economy II:
Moderator: Scott Paeth, Religious Studies, DePaul University
Presenters: Thomas O'Brien, Religious Studies, DePaul University, "An analysis of the use of Caritas as a Theme of Catholic Social Theory"
Keith Lemna, Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology, "Human Ecology, Environmental Ecology and a Ressourcement Theology:Caritas in Veritate in the Light of Philip Sherrard’s Theandric Anthropology"
Catholicism and Global Order II: Issues and Controversies Regarding the Pope Benedict's Mention of an "Urgent Need of a True World Political Authority" in Caritas in Veritate.
Moderator: Molly Andolina, Political Science, DePaul University
Speakers: Patrick Callahan, Depaul University, "Catholicism and world government: 'Caritas in Veritate' in historical context"
Mary Ann Cusimano Love, The Catholic University of America
Response: Gary D. Glenn, Northern Illinois University
Women, the Family, and Economic Justice II:
Moderator: Gemma Cruz, Depaul University
Speaker: Maria Clara Luchetti Bingemer, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro
The Integrity of Creation and Sustainable Development: Approaches to the True, the Good, and the Beautiful
Scott Kelley, DePaul University
Elizabeth Milian, DePaul University
Ron Nahser, DePaul University
Charity in Truth and the Current State of Globalization
Moderator: Michael Budde, DePaul University
Speakers: William Cavanaugh, Professor of Catholic Studies and Senior Research Fellow, CWCIT, DePaul University "Dispersed Political Authority: Subsidiarity and Globalization in Caritas in Veritate"
Simona Beretta, Catholic University of Milan
"Caritas in veritate as a challenge to “dualistic” economic thinking"
Public Forum for Young Catholics: The Experience of Christ and the Social Witness of the Ecclesial Movements
Moderator: Peter Casarella, DePaul University
Benita Antony, DePaul University
Elizabeth Garlow, Acción USA
Carolina Brito, Columbia University
April 22, 2010
Moderator: Robert Schreiter, Catholic Theological Union
Speaker: Roberto Goizueta, Boston College
The Christological Center of Caritas in Veritate
Microfinancing in Haiti:
Moderator: Marco Tavanti, Chair, International Public Service, DePaul University
Speakers: Laura Hartman, Vincent de Paul Professor of Business Ethics and Legal Studies, DePaul University
Eduardo Almeida, Interamerican Development Bank and Vice President for the South America, Equatorial Zone North, Saint Vincent de Paul Society
Economy of Communion III:
Moderator: Karen Hunt-Ahmed, DePaul University
Speaker: John Mundell , President and CEO, MUNDELL & ASSOCIATES, INC " The Business of Working in Communion: The Art of Building Relationships within an Economy of Communion Company”
Graduate Student Panel: Caritas in Veritate in the Eyes of the Next Generation of Theologians II
Moderator: Neomi DeAnda, DePaul University
Panelists: Kevin Considine, Loyola University Chicago, "The Color of Human Development: The Modern Racial Imagination’s Challenge to 'Caritas in Veritate"
Matthew Philipp Whelan, Duke University "Agriculture and the ‘Grammar’ of Creation"
Carolina Brito, Columbia University
Theology and the Economy III:
Moderator: Paulo Fernando Carneiro de Andrade, Pontificia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro
Speaker: Stephen Long ,Marquette University, "Profit Maximization and the Death of God: Theology and Economics in Benedict XVI's Charity in Truth"
Women, the Family, and Economic Justice III
Moderator: Mary Jeanne Larrabee, Professor of Philosophy and Director, Peace, Conflict, Resolution and Social Justice Program, Depaul University
Speaker: Gemma Cruz, DePaul University, "Tradition in Liberation: Women and the Transnational Family in the Global Economy"
Introduction: Farrell O'Gorman, Catholic Studies, DePaul University
David L. Schindler, Provost/Dean, John Paul II Institute for Studies of Marriage and the Family at The Catholic University of America, "The Anthropological Unity of Caritas in Veritate and its Implications for Economic and Cultural Life Today"
Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., President, DePaul University
Final Plenary: Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson
President of Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
Closing Reflection: Francis Cardinal George, OMI
Archbishop of Chicago