Dear friends of the Observatory, readers and supporters,
I take utmost pleasure in addressing you this year as well on the occasion of the upcoming Festivity of Holy Christmas and other major Christian celebrations during this Christmas period. In them we find and draw the motivation and spiritual force to pursue our activity of diffusion and commitment for the application of the Social Doctrine of the Church.
The VIII Report on the Social Doctrine of the Church in the World edited by our Observatory and prepared together with five other research centers in Europe and Latin America is also being issued during these days. The core topic of this year’s report is migration. We will keep you informed about the public presentations of the Report we plan to hold in the near future. In the meantime, I invite you to provide us with your assistance for its diffusion.
Issued immediately after Christmas will be the fourth 2016 issue of our “Bulletin of the Social Doctrine of the Church”. We believe that this year as well we have tackled themes of a certain importance: mercy and justice, transhumanism, the defense of life with no compromises at all, and the 125th anniversary of Rerum novarum. The number of subscribers is increasing and this is further motivation for us to continue in this endeavor.
2016 has been characterized by a heightened commitment in the area of formation with the consolidation of the Academy of the Social Doctrine of the Church in Trieste, now in its second year, and the launching of the one in Schio (Vicenza). I am also pleased to inform you that beginning activities on 8 January 2017 will be the Academy of the Social Doctrine of the Church in Staggia Senese. As you know, the format of our Academy is particular in nature, resolutely focused as it is on recovering the profound bonds of the Social Doctrine of the Church with the doctrine of the faith and the life of the Church in order to prevent laicization thrusts and efforts to reduce everything to a horizontal plane. Likewise important is the experimentation of formation activities on the Social Doctrine of the Church especially for young people that we have launched at San Martino in Rio (Reggio Emilia) and which should lead to specific text.
I would also like to recall the first conference of the series “The Social Doctrine of the Church and St. Thomas Aquinas” held at Montefiascone on 7 November last, and which dealt with the theme “The Reasons of the Common Good”. Organized together with the Institute of the Word Incarnate and Sita-FVG, it produced good fruits we wish to cultivate in the future.
During 2016 as well we continued our monthly broadcast on Radio Maria entitled “The Social Doctrine of the Church Today”. Moreover, I myself, our director and other members of the editorial committee attended and delivered talks at several conferences to which we were invited. Likewise launched has been collaboration with the Academy of Catholic Culture in Bassano del Grappa. The Observatory’s presence on Internet through its website in three languages has also been evident this year as well.
Unfortunately, 2016 has also been marked by grave mourning for the Observatory. I am referring to the earthly demise of Angelo Bossi, a member of the our Board from the very outset. In addition to being a personal friend, Angelo was the administrator of the Observatory for all these years, actively seeing to it that its economic affairs were dealt with in due and proper form. This was a far from facile endeavor, and he expedited the relative tasks with stalwart dedication.
I wish to thank all those who have been active in the life of the Observatory in various ways and forms, beginning with the members of the Board and the Editorial Committee, and including our many and ever present devotees.
While bestowing my blessing upon you, I extend to you and your families my very best wishes for a Merry Christmas.
+ Giampaolo Crepaldi
Archbishop, President of the Observatory
A GIFT BY OBSERVATORY:
Life and Family. Pope Francis’s 2016 Teachings