Prof. Jan Jans

The 14th of April the Paulines of Johannesburg had a conference in their hall in order to see a practical question raised after the two recent Synods on the Family and especially after Amoris Laetitia issued by pope Francis in March 2016, is if and maybe how the teaching of the Catholic Church on responsible parenthood has changed. In dealing with this question, an important step is to inquire into what knowledge and understanding is around in the Catholic community regarding the teachings on responsible parenthood, with a focus on the 1968 encyclical Humanae vitae tradendae (The transmission of human life) issued by pope Paul VI, now 50 years ago.

In order to understand Amoris Laetitia on this, the lecture will proceed in three parts. The first part will briefly offer an historical background, the second looks into key notions of the argumentation proposed by Humanae vitae tradendae and the final part will try to answer the practical question mentioned above which is buzzing around in pastoral but also in theological academic areas.

The conference was offered by Prof Jan Jans, STD, Associate Professor of Ethics at Tilburg University, the Netherlands.

To celebrate the release of the new document of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, entitled New Wine in New Wineskins: The Consecrated Life and Its Ongoing Challenges since Vatican II, the FSPs of Johannesburg organized an encounter guided by Sr. Judith Coyle, head of the Faculty of Theology at St. Augustine University.

Sr. Judith presented the new document with great competence, sketching out what religious institutes have accomplished from Vatican II up to today in various spheres of the consecrated life.

Her conference touched on the community as a formative environment, the culture of ongoing formation, an evaluation of the experience of community life, human relations, the service of authority as an exercise of discernment, and poverty as a genuine communion of goods.

As she said, now it is time for the religious life to gather the fruits of its efforts to put new wine in new wineskins.

To open the Lenten season, which this year coincided with Valentine’s Day, the Daughters of St. Paul of Johannesburg organized a meeting entitled: Lent Begins on Valentine’s Day: A Call to Radical Love in Troubling Situations of Hate.

The encounter was guided by Nontando Hedebe, a South African theologian, who with great skill presented Lent as a call to radical love. Taking the troubling current situation as his point of departure, he said that as Christians we must ask ourselves: Where are we in this pyramid of hatred and violence? How do we react to this spiral of discrimination and corruption? Do we consider it normal or are we striving to go beyond it in order to restore genuine love to its proper place?

In a context of penance and self-denial, the radical love to which Jesus witnessed represents the true path of love, passion and death



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