The Word of God, inserted in a tender heart of flesh, as the prophet Ezekiel says: “I will give you a new heart, I will put a new spirit within you, I will take the heart of stone from you and give you a heart of flesh” (Ez 36.26), helps to transform the heart and mind of man. The Word written in the Bible is a treasure for every human being who reads and seeks the opportunity to understand it and meditate on it from within. Thus, in history, the written word helped build societies and the different generations in the world, to improve and indicate the right way to live better.
In these books, written by our confreres, I would like to emphasize how the written word can help improve human relationships among people today who come from different cultures, different religions and even different ways of life.
Fr. Pudhota Arogya Hrudaya Raju, SCJ
Relationship between bishop and religious in the exercise of the Apostolate in the particular church: in the light of CIC – Particular reference to Telugu Catholic Bishops’ Council of India
First of all, I would like to present the study of our Indian confrere, Fr. Pudhota Arogya Hrudaya Raju, SCJ, who on 13 February 2019, successfully defended his doctoral thesis at the Faculty of Canon Law of the Lateran University in Rome. I want to emphasize the fact that in the 25 years of a Dehonian presence in India this is the first SCJ priest of Indian origin to obtain a doctorate in Canon Law. His doctorate, written in English, was entitled: “Relationship between bishop and religious in the exercise of the Apostolate in the particular church: in the light of CIC – Particular reference to Telugu Catholic Bishops’ Council of India”. The author of the thesis presents his work in this way: “The purpose of my study is to understand and illustrate how important and fundamental the particular Church is – in which the bishop is responsible – and the religious institutes that work in this particular Church in relation to the bishop. In this regard, I focused on the study of the relationship between bishop and religious in the apostolate in the particular Church. The mission or religious work done in the particular Church is called <apostolato>.”
The thesis was divided into four chapters.
The first chapter aims to illustrate the historical development of relationships between bishop-religious in the apostolate. It begins with the history of consecrated life based on the main scriptural resources of the Old and New Testaments.
The title of the second chapter is: “The power of the Bishop over Religious in their apostolate”. Analyzing the provisions of canons 673-677, the author explained the nature, characteristics, spirit and purpose of apostolic religious activities in the particular Church and in the diocese. “Different forms of apostolic activity and the apostolic activity proper to the institutes of consecrated life are particularly taken into account. The religious are, by their own characteristics, mainly “apostolic”. Their apostolate consists above all in the witness of their consecrated life (Canon 673). “
The third chapter concerns the subjection of the religious to the power of the diocesan bishop in the exercise of apostolic activities in the diocese. This chapter presents points highlighted by the documents of the Second Vatican Council, in particular, Lumen gentium, Christus Dominusand Perfectae caritatis. Subsequently, the post-conciliar documents Ecclesiae Sanctae, Renovationis Causam, Evangelical Testificatio, Mutuae Relationesand Apostolorum Successorewill be examined.
In the fourth chapter the author proposes some canonical recommendations for the development of the relationship between bishops – religious in their apostolate in the diocese, with particular reference to the Telugu Catholic Bishops’ council in India. “In this chapter I presented the importance of the Conference of Bishops, together with the conference of religious in India, who work together both nationally and regionally (state). I have given an image of the Church in particular in the Telugu-speaking states, how it is formed and the work carried out by the Catholic bishops’ conference. I presented other topics that are very important for this reciprocal relationship between bishop and religious: consultation, dialogue, collaboration, cooperation, agreements, the importance given to religious in the ecclesiastical office of the diocese or in the particular Church, and the importance of the canonical visit for a better relationship between bishop and religious.”
Fr. Tadeusz Kałużny, SCJ
Oikonomiaof the Church in the theory and practice of Orthodoxy
Another Dehonian confrere, a Professor of Ecumenism at the John Paul II University in Krakow and specialist in theology of the Orthodox Church, Fr. Tadeusz Kałużny, SCJ, wrote a new book entitled: Oikonomia kościelna w teorii i praktyce prawosławia(Church Oikonomia in theory and practice of Orthodoxy), Kraków 2018, pp. 274. At the beginning of the volume, the author gives the definition of Oikonomia as a “temporary and important removal from the rigid application of the provision due to pastoral reasons. It is possible to predetermine the pastoral attitude of the Church towards people, dictated by wisdom, gentleness, mercy and concern for their spiritual well-being”. In the book the process of formation of the principles of economics is analyzed at different times in the history of the Church and the definition of the Church’s economy is amply explained. The following chapters illustrate the dynamics and structures of the functioning of ecclesiastical autonomy in orthodoxy, and areas of application of the ecclesiastical okonimia are also selected. In the end, the author discusses the question of the presence and meaning of the principle of oikonomia in the ecumenical dialogue of the Orthodox Church, in the perspective of the future ecumenical dialogue.
Encyclopedia of Ecumenism in Poland 1964-2014
The next book that is presented is the result of a collaboration between various professors from different universities: Encyklopedia Ekumenizmu w Polsce 1964-2014(Encyclopedia of Ecumenism in Poland 1964-2014), Kraków 2016, pp. 560. Among the authors we find Fr. Tadeusz Kałużny who is part of the preparatory commission for the encyclopedic volume, the only one so far in Poland. To present this book, we must look at the structure of the volume, which was divided into two parts: “Generic characteristic of Ecumenism in Poland” and “Biographies of Polish ecumenists with their publications”. At the end of the text, various documents have been added that deal with the problem of ecumenical dialogue in Poland. Specifically, the book is the “chronicle” of the events and of the people who for half a century after the Second Vatican Council collaborated with the Polish Episcopate to develop and relive ecumenical dialogue between the various Christian churches. The Encyclopedia could help to show how to create peace and fraternity among Christians to build a more united society as a symbol of reconciliation for the whole world.
Mons. Murillo Sebastião Ramos Krieger, SCJ
Deus is Amor. Passos de um catarinense em terras baianas (God is love)
Another book which helps to enrich personal Christian spirituality is a collection of speeches, given on various occasions, by the Archbishop of São Salvador de Bahia – primate of Brazil – Msgr. Murillo Sebastião Ramos Krieger, SCJ. His book is titled: “Deus è Amor. Passos de um catarinense and terras baianas ”, Salvador 2018, pp. 294.
The Archbishop presents his book using the following words: “In this book – God is love! Steps of a Catarinense in Baian lands– these are some articles I have written since I became Primate of Brazil. In the newspaper a Tarde(Afternoon), from Salvador, on Sundays, I tried to present the face of God-love. This loving face manifests itself in a thousand ways, even in moments of pain and trial. We don’t always notice it – or, at least, not immediately. Therefore, in the School of the Gospel we must imitate the first student, Mary of Nazareth. Having some truths which were understood with appeals that she knew came from God but which she could not understand, Mary kept everything in her heart, letting God-love reveal the meaning at the appropriate time. (cf. Lk 2: 19.51)
“Here are, also, are other texts, which I wrote in a desire to present the signs of God’s love to the events that took place here in Salvador and in the State of Bahia. By the way, this was the criterion I used in choosing this collection: that there was a relationship with this state that welcomed me with such affection and that treated me like a son. “
Fr. José Agostinho de Figueiredo Sousa, SCJ
Ethnic minorities: Why and how to protect them
To complete the presentations, we propose a book by Fr. José Agostinho de Figueiredo Sousa, current Portuguese SCJ provincial superior and author of a master’s thesis in French on the solidarity economy from the Catholic International Institute of Paris, presented at the University in Paris. The title: As minorias étnicas porque and como protege-las?(Ethnic minorities: why and how to protect them), Lisbon 2018, pp. 238.
This is a reading concerning the protection of ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples in the context of international law on human rights and the social doctrine of the Catholic Church in light of the concept of human dignity.
The prospect of working with the indigenous people of South Dakota in the United States and the experience of previous work in contact with Portuguese Gypsies, have suggested that it would be logical to work and protect minority groups in the broader context of “IHRL” and with action from the international community. The goal is to know if it is possible to provide effective protection and promotion of minority groups, in particular those already accompanied and studied.
This presentation of the books of our Dehonian confreres shows us the various fields of work and of the apostolate of the SCJ Congregation. We are called to serve the Church in different areas and its needs as well as help her to progress in the charity of the Heart of Jesus, and in reconciliation, with the fullness of God’s mercy. We remember that we are, above all, bearers of peace and reconciliation to the world which calls us.