Church, Together on the Synodal Journey
MFS 28/2 (2022): This theme issue is dedicated to the topic of synodality. It explores the question of how and where believers in the church are journeying together, what participation means theologically, and what the mission of baptized Christians can be in different areas. The contributions reflect this in different ways. In particular, they relate in some way to the work of INTAMS. In addition to fundamental issues, they also focus on specific topics. Full text of the Editorial by Thomas Knieps-Port le Roi, Editor, and Jochen Sautermeister. FREE DOWNLOAD of the article by Peter Hünermann: Synodality in the Life and Mission of the Church: A Critical Investigation. See the full Table of Contents
African, Latin American, and Asian Voices on AL
MFS 28/1 (2022) THEME ISSUE: African, Latin American, and Asian Voices on AL.. AL has always been met with a mixed reception, especially in the western societies where theological and pastoral discussions about marriage and sexuality were mostly conducted in “Roman” or “Western” terms. This issue opens the horizon to other parts of the world – to continents, countries, cultures, and contexts in which the teaching of the church has found different resonances than the ones westerners are used to. Our intention is to “give a voice” to the experience and knowledge of colleagues around the world whose voices may on first hearing sound unusual and strange or even might upset us. Pope Francis’s appeal that the diversity of cultures “needs to be inculturated” and that each country and region should “seek solutions better suited to its culture and sensitive its traditions and local needs” (AL 3) seems still far away from its application and implementation in a universal church. We want to regard the global reception of AL as the very beginning, or in other words as the “first dawn”, of a church in which ecclesial doctrines, documents, rules, and practices are no longer imposed from above, by an a priori established set of resolutions, but in which the plurality and diversity of cultures and contexts will be respected and valued. That is the real purpose of this issue of our journal. Readers will then judge whether, and in what way, this seed bears fruit. Editorial (full text) Table of Contents Summaries of the articles Book reviews
"The Signs of the Times"
MFS 27/2 (2021): To understand and to follow the “signs of the times”, a concept coined by Vatican II, remains a fundamental, though infinite taskThe first article in this issue of our journal examines how Pope Francis has established with his Apostolic Letter Antiquum ministerium in May 2021 a new “lay ministry”, that of the catechist, which since the promulgation of Spiritus Domini in January 2021 has also opened the ministries of lector and acolyte to women (see article in MFS 27/1, 2021, 8-35). According to Patrik C. Höring the new document does not fully eliminate remaining confusions concerning the function of sacramental ministries and the role of clericalized ministers. The issue of zeitgeist is also present in Bertrand Dumas’s article about the understanding of sacramental marriage in postmodern times. “Spectacularization” is his own phrasing to show that the new focus is now on “intensity”, “visibility”, and the “extreme” – a mindset that discounts the routine and everyday life of couples. The mystery of sacramental marriage is “turned into the spectacular, and the ordinary is lost in the attempt to make it conform to the remarkable”. Jesuit Ward Biemans sees in Amoris laetitia an opportunity to improve the pastoral accompaniment of couples before and after marriage. Empirical research proves, he argues, that premarital education has a sustainable beneficial effect on the relationship quality of couples. Part of his forthcoming research is to analyze how the settings of religiosity and spirituality could contribute to the new expectations. Rooted and educated in Indian culture, canonist Thou Ngaomi is convinced that love is a constituting and indispensable component of marriage at the very moment of the exchange of consent and must therefore obtain a provable juridical status. But familiar with the situation of “arranged marriage” in his native country, he argues that a loveless arranged marriage exclusively based on parental judgment and pressure is a “form of cultural aberration” – a provocative challenge that certainly invites further debates. Benjamin Elie David’s article turns to a different cultural area. He intends to explain what the position of Judaism was with regard to intrafamilial marriages and what the reasons were for its evolution over the centuries. Although the prohibition of consanguineous marriage was for a long time commonplace in Jewish communities, historical and sociological changes have contributed to a gradual decrease of kindred marriages. The coronavirus pandemic could help us to interrupt the sense of progress which has become so dominant in modern times and which pushes us always forward with the assumption that we have to produce, to invent, to improve, to perfect etc. – that is Samuele Francesco Tadini’s thesis. Referring to the 19th century philosophy and theology of Antonio Rosmini, Tadini proposes to deepen moral and spiritual life by adopting a new perspective on the “present” which includes a “look beyond time”, i.e. to eternity. Jan Loffeld concludes this issue of our journal with practical-theological reflections about the different grades of secularization which have now reached its highest phase and arrived also at the area of family pastoral care. While family rituals are still popular, they are coming up against the limits of what liturgy meant originally. The background is that transcendence as a place of “life in abundance” is more and more converted to “immanence”, i.e. the feeling that everything is achievable in the “here and now”. But what, then, is the sense of church rituals? Read the Editorial by Thomas Knieps-Port le Roi, Editor See the full Table of Contents
Honorary Doctorate for Aldegonde Brenninkmeijer-Werhahn
On September 10, 2021, Aldegonde Brenninkmeijer-Werhahn, the founding Director of INTAMS, received a Honorary Doctorate in Theology (Dr. theol. honoris causa) in recognition of her outstanding achievements on behalf of the Christian theology of marriage and the family, and Jewish‒Christian dialogue. The title was conferred on her, in the name of the Faculty of Catholic Theology at the Rheinische-Friedrich-Wilhelm-University of Bonn, by the Dean, Professor Dr. Dr. Jochen Sautermeister, in a solemn ceremony. Aldegonde Brenninkmeijer-Werhahn is, with her late husband Hubert, the founder of the Centre for the Study of Christianity at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the founder of the Cardinal Bea Centre for Judaic Studies at the Gregorian University in Rome, and the founder and director of the International Academy for Marital Spirituality (INTAMS) in Louvain/Brussels. The Faculty of Catholic Theology of Bonn University pays tribute above all to “the exceptional achievements of this theologian and social scientist with regard to Jewish‒Christian dialogue, to the further development of the theology of marriage and the family, and to the communication and implementation of fundamental insights of the Second Vatican Council. These central concerns also correspond to the main focuses of the Faculty of Catholic Theology at the University of Bonn,” says Dean Sautermeister. “I gratefully accept this honor, in view of the decades-long committed work of my husband and myself,” says Aldegonde Brenninkmeijer-Werhahn. “I understand it especially as an encouragement and motivation for the coming generations to accept responsibility in various ways and to get involved for the good of other people.” Read the Acceptance Speech by Aldegonde Brenninkmeijer-Werhahn (Deutsch, English) Read the Press Release (English, Deutsch, Nederlands) In the media: Universität Bonn (Deutsch, English). Nachrichten Informationsdienst Wissenschaft. Böckle-Nachfolger würdigt Brenninkmeijer.
AL and Divorced Remarried Catholics
MFS 27/1 (2021): This issue features a cluster of three articles that focus on the situation of divorced remarried people in the Catholic Church, which remains a burning theological theme. Eberhard Schockenhoff (1953-2020) wrote his article shortly before his death, in response to our question to reflect on the possibility of allowing divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive communion. Canonist Adrian Loretan reflects on these same issue as a tribute to Schockenhoff. Moral theologian Sigrid Müller attempts to untie the "Gordian Knot" in which the various theological disciplines on the one hand and canon law on the other hand have become entwined in a contradictory stance towards failed marriages. The three articles give food for thought for a possible future dialogue between theologians and canon lawyers. There are hardly any articles in our journal Marriage, Families & Spirituality that have not in one way or another engaged with Amoris laetitia since its promulgation. Marriage and the relation between spouses are the primary subjects of the reflections of two other experts in moral theology (Stephanie Höllinger and Konrad Glombik). The canonist Georg Bier examines the causes and implications of Pope Francis's recent decision to amend canon law by opening the liturgical ministries of lector and acolyte to women. The Anglican theologian Adrian Thatcher analyses the current project on sexual relations and marriage by the Church of England, developd in a publication under the title Living in Faith and Love (2020). Read the Editorial by Thomas Knieps-Port le Roi, Editor See the full Table of Contents
Sexual Abuse in Families
MFS 26/2 (2020): The focus of this theme issue is on the abuse of vulnerable victims, but with attention to the reality of family. We know from sociological statistics that, indeed, the family, no less than the Church – or the family within the Church – can become a locus of abuse. Thus, the guiding thread for the contributions in the issue is: what lessons learned from the reflection on sexual abuse in the Church might provide us with analytical tools for addressing the situation of abuse within families? Editorial by Roberto Dell'Oro, Guest Editor (full text) Articles (click on the title to read the abstract) Stéphane Joulain: The Sexual Abuse of Minors: Clinical and Psychological Perspectives on the Perpetrators Anne Danion-Grilliat: L’inceste paternel: Éléments psychopathologiques Karlijn Demasure: Intrafamilial Sexual Abuse and its Spiritual Impact on Survivors Marie-Jo Thiel: L’abus sexuel dans la constellation familiale: Une prise de conscience très progressive Roberto Dell’Oro: Insights for a Moral Theological Reflection on Conscience: Pope Francis’s Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia Testimonies Asima: Gedankenfetzen eines Lebens – meines Lebens Adrian Loretan: Ein katholischer Priester vergewaltigt seine Schwägerin Documents International Bioethics Group: Statement on the Sexual Abuse Crisis in the Church in Support of Pope Francis (full text) Book Reviews (go here for our complete list of book reviews) Sexual Abuse Gottfried Ugolini: L. Bove: Giulia und der Wolf: Die Geschichte eines sexuellen Missbrauchs in der Kirche Jakob Schrage: J. Fegert et al. (Hg.): Sexueller Missbrauch von Kindern und Jugendlichen Katharina Ebner: K. Hilpert et al. (Hg.): Sexueller Missbrauch von Kindern und Jugendlichen im Raum von Kirche Gottfried Ugolini: S. Nef: Ringen um Bedeutung: Die Deutung häuslicher Gewalt als sozialer Prozess Elizabeth Davies: R. Starr: Reimagining Theologies of Marriage in Contexts of Domestic Violence Roberto Dell’Oro: M-J. Thiel: L’Église catholique face aux abus sexuels sur mineurs Gottfried Ugolini: J. von Weiler: Im Netz: Kinder vor sexueller Gewalt schützen History Adrian Thatcher: D. Barrie: Sin, Sanctity and the Sister-in-Law: Marriage with a Deceased Wife’s Sister in the Nineteenth Century Hans Storme: E. Brugger: The Indissolubility of Marriage and the Council of Trent John A. Dick: A. Carney: Marriage and Fatherhood in the Nazi SS David Dawson Vasquez: J. Chappel: Catholic Modern: The Challenge of Totalitarianism and the Remaking of the Church Ray Temmerman: C. Cristellon: Marriage, the Church, and its Judges in Renaissance Venice James J. Ponzetti, Jr.: K. Dunak: As Long as We Both Shall Love: The White Wedding in Post-War America Adrian Thatcher: V. Fuechtner et al. (eds): A Global History of Sexual Science, 1880-1960 William J. LeMaire: A. Harris (ed.): The Schism of ’68: Catholicism, Contraception, and “Humanae Vitae” Adrian Thatcher: T. Hunter: Bound in Wedlock: Slave and Free Black Marriage in the Nineteenth Century Jessica Scheiper: W. König: Das Kondom: Zur Geschichte der Sexualität 284 James J. Ponzetti, Jr.: A. Lefkovitz: Strange Bedfellows: Marriage in the Age of Women’s Liberation Els Agten: C. Marissal: Moeders en vaders: Geen vanzelfsprekende gelijkheid, België, 19de-21ste eeuw/Mères et pères: Le défi de l’égalité, Belgique, 19e-21e siècle John A. Dick: J. Martschukat: American Fatherhood: A History Jessica Scheiper: N. Syrett: American Child Bride: A History of Minors and Marriages in the United States Gustavo Cavagnari: K. Walter: The Profession of Widowhood
Marriage in Jewish & Christian Perspective
MFS 26/1 (2020): A conference devoted to the topic of Marriage and/as Metaphor in Christian and Jewish Traditions was held at the Center for the Study of Christianity, Hebrew University Jerusalem in March 2019. This theme issue 26/1 (2020) presents the scholarly fruits of this conference which reflect the variety of issues, dilemmas, metaphors, and reality which the concept of marriage conjured up in the ancient and early modern mind. Introduction by Aldegonde Brenninkmeijer-Werhahn Editorial by Oded Irshai, Hebrew University of Jerusalem Articles by Jennifer Knust (Duke University), Yonatan Moss (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Serge Ruzer (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Gabriel Radle (Notre Dame University), Eirini Panou (Open University of Cyprus), Judith Weiss (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev). Art by David Moss, Jerusalem. Book reviews of recent publications in the fields of Abuse and of History.
Children in Same-Sex Households
Families composed of openly gay or lesbian couples raising children are a relatively new reality, with the first instances happening only in the 1980s. Their number has increased from year to year. Today, in western societies at least, they receive wide acceptance and are becoming common in the public imagination of film, television, and literature. True to its mission, our journal continues its interdisciplinary reflection on all types of family life. In this issue 25/2 (2019), we focus on the theme of Children in Same-Sex Households. We address this topic from a theological and scholarly perspective, but also in the context of a pastoral discernment filled with merciful love. Marriage, Families & Spirituality 25/2 (2019)Theme issue: Children in Same-Sex Households. Table of contents. Editorial by David Dawson Vasquez, Associate Editor Articles by Konrad Hilpert (Munich), Angelika Walser (Salzburg), Elena Canzi & Eugeni Scabini (Milano), Alina Tryfonidou (Reading, UK), Gerhard Marschütz (Vienna) Testimonials by Sarah Hagger-Holt & Racher Hagger-Holt (Rickmansworth, UK), Kurt M. Denk (New York), Andrea Rubera (Rome). Conclusion by Jochen Sautermeister (Bonn) Book reviews of recent publications in the fields of marriage & gender, children and marriage & society. Free downloads: Editorial by David Dawson Vasquez Conclusion by Jochen Sautermeister: A Look Ahead: Children in Same-Sex Households - Perspectives for Theological Investigation Book review of MARTIN, James SJ: Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity (2017) Buchsprechung von MARTIN, James SJ: Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity (2017) This issue in the press: Figli nelle famiglie arcobaleno, una riflessione accademica (Vatican Insider, 30/05/2020) - English translation here Regenbooggezinnen uit de schaduw halen (TERTIO, 02/09/2020) - English translation here