Newsletter – March 2013

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Dear Friends of MCE,

Since our last information in January on our “Global Summit of Human Flourishing” many things have come to pass which we would like to share with you.

Rome of course has been very busy these last weeks with the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the election of his successor Pope Francis. Nevertheless our activities have been going ahead.


Christian Humanism in Canada – by Martin Schlag

I myself have just come back from Canada from a tour of talks in Vancouver and Montreal.


TWU-Mar2013 ProfSchlag2The aim was to make the Catholic concept of Christian humanism, understood as the contribution Christian faith makes to human happiness on earth, not only in heaven, more well-known in Protestant academic circles. At the invitation of Prof. Jens Zimmermann of Trinity Western University, I was able to speak at his university and also at Simon Fraser University, both in Vancouver. There were also other meetings with business people at the Vancouver Club, the Archbishop and the Clergy of the Archdiocese as well as with interested public in general. Quite a number of people follow our homepage and would like to see more activities of MCE in Vancouver.


Triennial Seminar on the History of Economic Thought and Christian Faith

SeminarTwo meetings, one on John Maynard Keynes, and the other on the Austrian School of Economics, have brought us into the final stretch of our third year. Karen Horn, Juan Hernandez, Carlo Lottieri and Javier Aranzadi were the speakers. All four managed to present the main insights and contributions of the selected authors to economic theory, as well as to analyze their anthropological implications.


Casa Sollievo

Our course at Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza, St. Padre Pio’s hospital, is coming to the end of its third year. Entitled “Riscoprire il carisma fondazionale vivendone le virtù” (“Rediscovering the Basic Charism by Living its Virtues”), the 55 participants, who elected to take the course, have heard lectures and participated in workshops on the first two modules, which develop the theological meaning of the charisms and their influence in the social life and the theological dimension of illness and evil the cardinal virtues, or prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. This past week, March 12-13, 2013, Prof. Albert Gil, Director of the Department of Translation and Interpretation at the University of Saarbruecken, presented the third module of the course. An expert in communications, he lectured upon the importance of living the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity for those who heal sickness as a way to true happiness, pointing out the necessity of opening oneself to the gift of the virtues in good faith as well as their role in allowing medical professionals to bring God to the sick and to their colleagues.



This is the second year that MCE has been asked to cooperate in the formation and presentation of a course in Catania, Sicilia, for a group of circa 30 local entrepreneurs. While the first year aimed at understanding business in the light of the encyclical Caritas in Veritate, this year, at the request of the participants, has treated the virtue of trust. It has thus endeavored to elaborate upon how trust can best be exercised within different business relationships: within the business, in business teams, with the public, and with suppliers as well as developing the foundational and corollary virtues of hope in God, magnanimity with others, audacity, and temperance which facilitate and exercise the virtue of trust. These modules, six in all, have utilized both lectures and cases in order to aid the participants in reflecting upon, sharing, and building upon their experience. The most recent module, on March 5, 2013, was given by Prof. Ugo Papagni, director of Centro ELIS’ coordination and development of managerial formation activities in collaboration with other business schools. His teaching module focused upon trust as an essential element for the creation of successful teams within a business.


The Global Executive Program in collaboration with Consorzio ELIS


The Global Executive Program entitled “Pursuing Shared Value” began its second edition at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross last March 7-8, 2013.

The participants, all of them managers of different European firms, attended lectures with Prof. Luigino Bruni (Lumsa University, Rome), Prof. Martin Schlag (Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome) and Prof. Fabio Sdogati (Politecnico di Milano). Professor Bruni focused his lectures upon the ethics of the market and of the firms, summarizing Michael Porter’s position on this topic and then explaining his own contribution, in particular with regard to well-being, happiness and relational goods. Prof. Schlag offered an overview regarding the ethics of sustainability, arguing that ethics is not an addition to economic behaviors but has to be thought and practiced as a positively pervasive way of approaching even economic issues.

Finally, an in-depth lecture on the origins of the crisis was given by Prof. Sdogati: his outspoken didactical method, together with pointed and prompt argumentations, made the sessions enjoyable and open to a lively debate with the participants.

Prof. Romera, Rector of the University, welcomed the participants at the beginning of these two days of sessions on the concept of shared value, and Prof. Martin Schlag took the opportunity to introduce them to the history of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, which is always a fascinating surprise.


BOOK JAMBook on Hume by Prof. Mercado

Prof. Juan Andrés Mercado’s book, "Entre el interés y la benevolencia. La ética de David Hume," the fruit of his many years of teaching and research on the ethics of David Hume, arrived from the press to the publisher's office on March 13, 2013.



Upcoming Doctoral Thesis Defense

All who know her will be happy to hear that my assistant, Miss Jennifer E. Miller, will be defending her doctoral thesis on April 24th, 2013. We congratulate her on this new starting point for further academic work.