London Chapter – Meeting 1 – Monday, 2 November ZOOM 6pm – 7:30pm BST
For those of you who are new to our group, welcome!
We will be hosting a short meeting for new joiners in the coming weeks with Centesimus Annus Secretary General Eutimio Tiliacos, for him to explain in more depth the Foundation’s origins, purpose and vision – but you will have received already a briefing from myself, Philip or the others members who introduced you.
Meantime, we will be hosting our first meeting of the year on 2 November from 6pm – 7:30pm BST, via Zoom – as we cannot meet in person in the UK for the time being.
A calendar invite with Zoom details will follow.
The theme of our first meeting will be : “The Role of the State in Catholic Social Thought and Teaching” and the discussion leader will be Dr. Andre Alves of the Catholic University of Portugal and St. Mary’s University, Twickenham. His bio is further below.
The kinds of questions that will be addressed in Session 1 include :
• What is the legal grounding for state intervention in shaping socio-economic outcomes?
• The basis for human rights and the authority of the state in Catholic social thought.
• What limits ought to be applied to state interventions, and how ought these to be determined?
• How ought the state to consider trade-offs between the freedom and rights of citizens and families and the protection of others in the community?
• What tensions exist between civil/natural rights and civic rights?
I have worked closely with Prof. Philip Booth to define an ambitious programme of meetings for 2020-2021 around the theme of the post-covid economy and the covid policy responses in the light of Catholic social teaching. A draft programme for the year is attached.
Our monthly meetings will be thematic in nature, typically about 90 mins in length. A presentation of 30-45 minutes will be delivered by a subject matter expert, followed by a guided roundtable discussion on the practical applications of the particular elements of Catholic Social Teaching, which we are discussing in the session. The purpose of the roundtable discussion is really to tie the theoretical principles of CST to current affairs, ongoing policy debates, and to business / NGO / charity realities on the ground.
A short selection of readings will be circulated prior to each session, in order to get the most out of our deliberations.
For 2 November, please have a look at the two links below, as well as the attached paper by Prof. Alves
As we seek to refocus the efforts of the UK Chapter of the Centesimus Annus Foundation, special attention will be given to three areas:
• Formation – If we ourselves are not conversant with Catholic social thought and teaching (writ large), we cannot possibly be articulate or effective apologists for it; exploring the richness of pre-Conciliar and pre-Rerum Novarum texts, especially Mediaeval Scholastics and the Church Fathers, is essential in this regard
• Witness – if we ask society, business and politics to reorient their purpose towards achieving the common good, we must first do so ourselves in order to be credible ambassadors of Catholic social teaching.
• Engagement – we are not fecund as an organisation if we are just inward-facing, as opposed to engaging the wider world – our purpose is missionary and needs to be oriented towards engaging the public square
I have also attached a paper on the development strategy of the UK Chapter over the next five years, which was recently approved by the Centesimus Annus Board in Rome.
We would very much welcome your participation in the group and in the series of meetings we have organised for 2020-2021. Dates for further meetings will be sent around in short order.
Thanks and regards,
Jean P Casey
UK Coordinator, CAPPF
07446 153 738
Prof. Andre Azevedo Alves bio
André Azevedo Alves is Associate Professor of Political Science at the Catholic University of Portugal, where he directs the Research Center of the Institute for Political Studies, and Reader in Economics, Political Economy and Public Policy (part-time position) at St. Mary’s
University, London. He was Visiting Professor at Rio de Janeiro State University in November 2011, at Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil) in October 2012, and at the Catholic University of Mozambique in July 2013 and Visiting Scholar at King’s
College London in May 2015. He was also Director of Centro de Estudos e Sondagens de Opinião, a polling and consultancy unit operating within the Catholic University of Portugal (2017-2019). He is currently a member of the board of the Portuguese Political Science Association (APCP) and was a member of Conselho Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia, an advisory council of the Portuguese government on matters of science and technology, between 2012 and 2015. His main research interests are in political economy, ethics, and political philosophy. He holds a PhD in Government from the London School of Economics, an MA in Political Science from the Catholic University of Portugal and a BA in Economics from the University of Porto. He has also been an affiliate since its creation in 2015 of the Benedict XVI Centre for the Study of Religion and Society at St. Mary’s University, London.