Rorate Caeli

No God, no Christ, no Faith

The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences published today the conclusions of its last meeting on the Bollettino, in English and Italian. One may search in vain for the words "God", "Jesus", "Christ", "Faith", or "divine" in these conclusions... That is a sure way to understand the crisis young people face these days!


  1. I think you're post is a bit unfair considering the conclusions on the Vatican website are but a small portion of what was said during the conference. Two or three sentences cannot sum up a conference presentation in any reasonable and honest fashion. As the bulletin says, "The Academy’s deliberations do not aim to produce an immediate statement of conclusions, but I would like to highlight for you some of the principal themes that emerged in our considerations."

  2. james, What is unfair is to write a whole text with the summary of the conclusions of the academy and not to include the cause of our faith, the Lumen Gentium, Christ Himself -- remember him? If their conclusions were unsatisfactory, they should not have published them. If they are correct, we have an academy of social sciences which does a poorer job than a secular think tank.

  3. The stated purpose of the Academy is to offer the Church the best social science scholarship, much of which, as the summary shows, is the accumulation and sorting out of data. Thus, its task is governed by principles of scienctific research (assuming this is possible with a "soft" science). The Church's response, however, casts the light of faith on these conclusions, especially in rendering judgments on how best to respond to difficult situations, like the voluntary one-child family epidemic in Europe. In other words, it belongs to the Church's response, not to the Academy's deliberations, to invoke our Lord's name, His teachings, and Her own divine authority. How would it be appropriate if the Academy did this? It would be like the Vatican Observatory basing its research in part on the Apostle's Creed.

  4. I knew someone would raise this point -- yet it is inappropriate in the SOCIAL sciences not to mention the specific data which make its Catholic analysis... well, Catholic.

    To misunderstand that is to misunderstand the correct position of the Social Sciences, which are not mere scientific tools of knowledge, but portrayals of the human phenomena -- which must involve the light of Christ. They are different from the pure natural sciences, for which the analysis of a single phenomenon means entering the realm of the Creator.

    How can social problems be understood without one SINGLE reference to divine help, divine presence, to the Divine Law -- without which the Social Sciences mean nothing --, to the Divinity itself, to Faith? How can the problems of youth be summarized without ONE reference to GOD, to the lack of GOD, to the ineffable name -- whose ABSENCE is the great social problem of our day, as if He himself were unworthy of such an "academic" setting... What is the use of such an academy?

    The first Rules of the Pontifical Academy of [Natural] Sciences reminded its members:

    "...near to doing anything at all, [the members] must first raise their minds to God, and humbly pray to him and invoke the intercession of the saints."

    Now, that is a Catholic academy. If the Crucified is to be rejected and unmentioned, as He is rejected in classrooms and conference rooms, as if He were unworthy of a "proper" "scholarly" setting, let the Academy, which has, anyway, a short and irrelevant history, be closed: the world has too many secular academies which serve better purpose.

  5. From the Academy's Motu Proprio:

    [T]he Church has succeeded in building up a rich patrimony of Catholic social doctrine because of close collaboration, on the one hand, with Catholic social movements, and on the other, with experts in the social sciences. Leo XIII had already stressed this collaboration and Pius XI spoke with gratitude of the contribution made to developing the social doctrine by scholars in this branch of the human sciences.

    Notice that this 100 year history of collaboration is not with only Catholic social scientists. Unless you are of the mind that only those with faith can be right about matters pertaining to reason, you really have no ground to be upset that, for example, there are non Catholics sitting on the Academy, or that our Lord's name is not invoked in the Academies scientific conclusions.

    You would have the same difficulty with the Pontifical Academy of the Sciences, whose own Constitution states:

    The aim of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences is to promote the progress of the mathematical, physical and natural sciences and the study of epistemological problems related thereto.

    Nor does it mention our Lord or other matters pertaining to the Faith anywhere in its Constitution, that is, its defining set of laws. It also welcomes members regardless of their religion.

    This same academy you favor so much also states that its researches and deliberations "are not influenced by any one national, political or religious point of view, the Academy constitutes an invaluable source of objective information upon which the Holy See and its various bodies can draw."

    How is this different from the Social Science Academy? I think you need to find a different Academy to bolster your argument!

  6. Those were the FIRST rules of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, as I mentioned in my last comment. As for the differences between the objects of the Pontifical Academy of [True] Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, I believe I was also clear about that in the last comment.

    [See a reading comprehension difficulty pattern here? Perhaps that should be the theme for the next Church-financed meeting of useless "experts": reading comprehension difficulties of the faithful.]

    I rest my case with my last comment -- you may still find natural that, after days of work, a Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, that is, the study of man, his social ills, and the Law, has not ONE word to say about the Divinity, His Law, His Faith, or His Christ.

    I believe you made your point clear, too. " really have no ground to be upset that, for example, there are non Catholics sitting on the Academy". I really did not mention this, so I have no idea of what you mean. Since you made your point clear, in favor of the secularized notion of an "academy" which studies Man, as if he were a stone or a virus, I ask you to refrain from useless debate, unless you have new information to add, which, as I gather, you do not: I believe a Catholic academy must behave as a Catholic institution; you believe in the secularized modern notion of a "sanitized", "purely scientific", study of the social sciences, deprived of any idea of the Divinity -- Auguste Comte would be proud of this achievement.


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