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Foto Jaeger David-M. A. , Ad lectores, in Antonianum, 84/1 (2009) p. 9-10 .

In its fourth issue of 2008, Antonianum published an article by Professor Richard Cross (“Fides et Ratio: The Harmony of Philosophy and Theology in Duns Scotus”), specifically “commissioned” in order to answer the perception of a certain obiter dictum by a singularly prominent Catholic intellectual as if it implied that there were no such harmony in Scotus, indeed that the Blessed John Duns Scotus was somehow at the root of the disastrous schism between faith and reason. It therefore gives us immense satisfaction to open this issue of Antonianum with Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Epistle, “Laetare Colonia urbs”, which puts the record straight in the most authoritative manner. None better suited then than Father Barnaba Hechich, ofm, President of the Scotist Commission, to write the scholarly commentary on the Pope’s Epistle, which comes next in this issue.

As we were closing the previous issue of Antonianum, the bitter news reached us of the death of Father Michele Piccirillo, ofm, the renowned Scripture scholar and archaeologist of the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum of Jerusalem, a man of tremendous charisma as well as achievements. His colleague and Dean, Father G. Claudio Bottini, ofm, contributes here an initial tribute to his memory.

A year ago another of our foremost scholars died, Father Adriano Garuti, ofm. The Rev’d Professor Nicola Bux, of the Ecumenical Institute “San Nicola” of Bari, reviews here briefly Garuti’s signal contributions to ecclesiology and ecclesiology-related ecumenism. A solid ecumenism, which is not reducible to mere irenicism, but which seeks unity “in the truth”.

Among the articles in this issue, our own theology professors, Martin Carbajo Nunes, ofm, and Fernando Uribe, ofm, both delve into deeply the Franciscan tradition, to which Antonianum owes preferential attention. Professor Carbajo presents a profoundly-researched Franciscan perspective on the Blessed Virgin Mary’s “freedom and hospitality”, while our formidable Francis scholar, Professor Uribe introduces us to the study of St. Francis’s oft neglected “Admonitions”. With characteristic scholarly modesty he professes to offer us simply “prolegomena” for a study of the “Admonitions” – but, of course, there is so very much more there. Our moral theologian, Pal Otto Harsányi, ofm, publishes here the second part of his topical investigation of “euthanasia”, completing the discourse he launched in the most recent issue. Sadly since then a young woman has been put to death of hunger and thirst, in front of a whole nation, tragically at the insistence of her own father. It is, or rather should be, inconceivable, that such practices should be revived in a liberal democracy in our own times. Just as it is deplorable that the voice of the Church, the voice of reason and humanity, encounters such difficulty in making itself heard above the din. May works of profound and balanced scholarship, such as the one we publish here, somehow “trickle down”, through the inevitable layers, to influence also public opinion and decision-makers in the field.

Christian Gostecnik, ofm, the priest-psychologist is back on the pages of Antonianum, with his consideration of “relational human experience” as “sacred phenomenon.” His is a brave enterprise. The intersection between religion and psychology is the subject of much debate, and too much quackery is surely being practised in sundry places under the heading of “Christian psychology” or similar. This makes it all the more valuable to be able to assist at a genuine discussion that truly intends to bring together the sacred and our fundamental (perhaps foundational) human experience of relating.

Book reviews and chronicles round off this issue, as usual, providing no less interesting and challenging reading that the articles themselves.

There is news from our own offices: Father Manuel Blanco, ofm, the Vice Rector and Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy, has succeeded Father Stephane Oppes, ofm, the former two-term Dean of our Philosophy Faculty, as a member of our board, while Father Maksym Kopiec, ofm, of the Theology Faculty, a Fundamental Theology Professor, has succeeded canonist Father Moacyr Malaquias Jr., ofm, as our Secretary. Readers already know Father Kopiec as a prolific writer of articles in his discipline, and another one is currently in the works, but more of that later.

Many, many thanks to Father Malaquias for his dedication and effort over the last three years – but especially for his friendship and support – and welcome to Father Kopiec, for whom the bar has been set very high indeed!

Father Salvatore Barbagallo, ofm, and myself have been sentenced to a second three year period as Deputy Editor and Editor respectively, and it is a sentence we accept joyfully and gratefully, determined to keep Antonianum moving forward!

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