THE SOCIETY OF CATHOLIC SOCIAL SCIENTISTS
The 15TH ANNUAL MEETING at St. John's University Law School
After the great panel on Pius XII, I skipped the expensive lunch and went across the street to the Fame Diner and had a turkey burger. Then I met up with Leticia and we went to the room where the blog conference was being held to see if we could get our blogs put up on the screen in the "smart classroom" (we figured it out somehow). Before our blog conference in this same room was a panel on The Legacy of Pope John Paul II Continues so I stayed. The discussant was Brian Scarnecchia, Chair of Humanities and Professor of Catholic Social Thought at Franciscan University. He introduced Peter Colosi of the Franciscan U. Gaming, Austria campus, who delivered a paper on "John Paul II and Christian Personalism vs. Peter Singer and Utilitarianism: Philosophical Reflections on the Foundations of Ethics".
Colosi began his talk by mentioning Peter Singer's decision to hire people to take of his elderly mother who was suffering from dementia. This was a shock to me. After all, this is quite a strange thing to do for a guy who has spent years telling people killing disabled, sick, elderly, and newborn people is morally okey-dokey. Colosi said Singer could not bring himself to do what his philosophical beliefs would have him do, because he loved his mother. He contrasted Singer's philosophy with that of Pope John Paul II's and it is quite a contrast. Colosi gave a deep and interesting talk and I can't wait to read the paper, which he gave out to all in attendance.
Following Colosi, was Jose David Lapuz, UNESCO Commissioner and Executive Vice-President, Philippine Council on Foreign Relations. He spoke on "The Inspired Thoughts of Pope John Paul II and UNESCO: Why Human Rights and Reduction of Poverty is Quintessentially a Catholic Concern". Professor Lapuz spoke fondly of his encounters with Pope John Paul II and of the Pontiff's interest in the work of UNESCO in fighting poverty and in championing human rights. Later, at the wine and cheese reception, I found Professor Lapuz to be very charming and humble in describing to me his encounters with the Pope.
After this conference was the conference on Catholic blogs, which I will write about shortly...