The Year of Faith at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross

On March 12 and 13, the School of Theology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross organized an international conference on “Communicating the Faith,” considered from the specific perspective of the relationship between word and witness. This meeting was intended to contribute to preparation for the Year of Faith, as well as for the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization.

In the morning sessions, questions of anthropology, history, exegesis, fundamental and pastoral theology were considered. In the afternoons, round tables were held to exchange experiences on ways to live one’s “witness” to Christian life in various environments. On the first day, after an intervention by Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, the round table considered Christian witness in the field of art. On the following day it dealt with Christian witness in the political arena. Prominent figures from Italian public life took part in both discussions.

In addition, and also in preparation for the Year of Faith, the School of Theology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross organized an international congress for the fiftieth anniversary of the beginning of the Second Vatican Council. It took place on May 3 and 4 and was presided over by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich, with the title “The permanent value of a reform for the new evangelization.” A hundred specialists and researchers from various universities took part, who offered a reading of the Second Vatican Council according to “the hermeneutic of reform, of renewal within the continuity of the one Church,” to which Benedict XVI referred in his discourse to the Roman Curia on December 22, 2005.

The speakers, some twenty in total, considered the history of the redaction of each Council document and their reception in the post-Conciliar period. Speakers included the liturgist Helmut Hoping from the University of Freiburg, who spoke on the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium; Msgr. David M. Jager, OFM from the Pontifical Antonian University, who commented on the Declaration Nostra Aetate; Prof. Manfred Spieker from the University of Osnabrück, who analyzed the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes; and Prof. Gerardo del Pozo from the Ecclesiastical University of St. Damasus, Madrid, who spoke about the Declaration Dignitatis Humanae. Also speaking were Professor Ramon Villar, from the University of Navarra; Prof. José Maria La Porte, Dean of the School of Institutional Communication at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, and Miguel De Salis, from the same university. Professor Johannes Grohe, from the organizing committee of the Congress, entitled his presentation “The ecumenical nature of the Second Vatican Council in the context of the ecumenical councils.”

Romana, n. 54, January-June 2012, p. 129-130.

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