(Rome) The solemn inauguration of the academic year 2019-2020 at the Alphonsian Academy took place on Friday, October 4, 2019. It began with the Eucharist in the St. Alphonsus Liguori church, presided by the Cardinal Vicar for the Diocese of Rome, Cardinal Angelo de Donatis. The Cardinal drew in his homily a parallel between St. Alphonsus and St. Francis of Assisi, recalling how being small is an attitude also necessary for one who studies moral theology, so that he may learn not only from books but above all from Christ. In particular, as St. Alphonsus teaches with his example, at the heart of every evangelical ministry must be love and attention toward the least. Indeed, the Christian is called first of all to be evangelized by them, to conform to that mystery of the passion of the Redeemer which is the true source from which comes every form of proclamation of the Good News.After the Eucharistic celebration the inauguration program continued in the auditorium of the Accademy. It began with a greeting word from Fr. Rogério Gomes C.Ss.R. who represented the Moderator General of the Alphonsian Academy and the Superior General of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, Fr. Michael Brehl C.Ss.R. He recalled the challenges and also the hope connected with the study of moral theology. He also mentioned the forthcoming canonization of b. John Henry Newman, for whom the truth must be sought by arranging his interiority to a sincere openness and readiness to confront with all, which culminates in the encounter with Jesus Christ. Fr. Gomes concluded his address by recalling the professors of the academic community that this year concluded their service at the Academy.Prof. Vincenzo Buonomo, Rector of the Pontifical Lateran University, held his speech on the relationship between the moral theology and the international law. Prof. Buonomo recalled that at the root of international law there is the School of Salamanca, which assumed the possessing a right conscience as a basis of the international law thus making it upheld on a properly moral norm. Yet, over the centuries, we have witnessed an ever more radical emancipation of the law from morality, to the present day and the urgent need to rediscover a moral foundations for the legal norms, especially in regard to challenges emerging form the spread of new technologies and the pressing needs of biomedicine. It is a challenge but also an opportunity for moral theology as well, to offer a space for discussion in which one can try to reorient norms towards morality within the limits and difficulties of the current international context. Finally, the Rector expressed the desire of the Lateran University to provide, through the revision of the Academy’s statutes and the autonomy of administration, its own face which makes the Academy a center of peculiar excellence in the context of the whole University .
The last speech was held by the President of the Alphonsian Academy, Prof. Alfonso Amarante C.Ss.R. He presented the report on the past academic year and also pointed out some programmatic issues, both in accordance with the guiding lines of development outlined by “Veritatis gaudium”, and according to the indications given by the Pontiff and the Redemptorist Congregation as well.
At the end of the report, the President declared the 2019-2020 academic year open and invited the gathered academic community to continue the encounter at the occasional reception.