Actualidad Idente

An Interdisciplinary Approach and a Metaphysics with a living face: Major Themes at the Seventh World Conference on Metaphysics

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The need to reinforce interdisciplinary metaphysical thought and a “metaphysics with a living face” which will respond to the problems of the human person, without dogmatism or radicalism, appeared among the conclusions articulated by the president of the Seventh World Conference on Metaphysics, Rev. Jesús Fernández Hernández, at the closing session on October 27. The event brought together two hundred scholars and thinkers from thirty countries at the Pontifical University of Salamanca, Spain, October 24-27, 2018.

In the opening address, Professor Jesús Conill of the University of Valencia, Spain stressed that philosophy had once again focused on human nature and the need for an enriched, updated concept of personhood superseding the interpretations proceeding from both traditionalism and scientism. This topic resurfaced at the Round Table on “Metaphysics and the Person,” where University of Valencia Professor Agustín Domingo Moratalla brought out the significance of the notion of the person for an adequate theory of justice and as a basis for bioethics and applied ethics in general. Professor Juana Sánchez-Gey of the Autonomous University of Madrid set forth Fernando Rielo’s vision of the person as “someone with awareness of Someone” who defines personhood and endows it with a spirit capable of union and commitment to the highest values.

At the Round Table on “Metaphysics, Science, and Therapy,” César Nombela, Professor of Microbiology at the Complutense University of Madrid and Honorary Rector of the Menéndez Pelayo International University, considered the search for truth as an ethical imperative for scientists which necessarily opens them to mystery. Julio Martínez, Rector of the Comillas Pontifical University commented on the twofold trajectory of moving through and beyond disciplines by way of the horizontal relation sciences-society and the philosophical-theological heights and depths of sciences open to ultimate reality. Similarly, Mauro Mantovani, Rector of the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome, affirmed that a multidisciplinary approach is a “weak” form of collaboration among sciences and that a transdisciplinary focus is an educational task in order to grasp that metaphysics is not an alternative to anthropology (Fides et Ratio, 83).

Regarding the relation between metaphysics and culture, Ángel Galindo, former Rector of the Pontifical University of Salamanca, lamented the current separation between ethics and aesthetics and stated that art and ethics are not neutral, for they convey a sense of the meaning of existence. Ricardo Piñero of the University of Navarra, Spain set forth the metaphysical values of the Christ of Velázquez and of Don Quijote, in terms of his reading of Unamuno and Rielo. The two creations are more than works of art, but permit a true encounter with the very humanity of Christ, bringing us to feel his presence and powerful reality.

In the closing address, José María López Sevillano, President of the Idente School, advocated a metaphysics involving a living face and personal commitment, wherein the absolute model, proposed by Fernando Rielo, is the genetic conception of the principle of relation—i.e., the Most Holy Trinity revealed by Christ, in whom all Truth, Methodology, and Life is manifest. From this point of departure we can arrive at a well-formed vision of reality in dialogue with every culture, mentality, science, art, or religion. For Rielo, Christ is the metaphysician par excellence.

In addition, other main speakers from France, Germany, and Argentina dealt with varied facets of the relation between metaphysics and theology and between metaphysics and education. Many papers were also presented by the other participants in the Conference—nearly two hundred in all—on topics related to the seven major areas of thought and culture included in the program.

Conference President Jesús Fernández announced that the Eighth World Conference on Metaphysics will be held at the Pontifical University of Salamanca in 2021 under the auspices of the Fernando Rielo Chair, which had been created there.

The “yes” is like an arrow directed to the heart of the Father. Vows at the Cathedral of Berlin

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On Saturday, June 16, the German idente missionary Rebecca Sattler made her temporary vows at the Cathedral of Berlin. The ceremony was presided by the prelate Dr. Stefan Dybowski, in charge of the religious orders of women for the Archdiocese of Berlin. The President of the Institution, Fr. Jesús Fernández Hernández, concelebrated together with other idente brothers.

In the homily the prelate addressed some precious words to the professing sister, which made a deep impression on all the guests. He highlighted three aspects of the charism and life of the founder Fernando Rielo: 1) the freedom to live on earth without belonging to the earth, 2) the strength to persist in moments of aridity and 3) to live and transmit holiness seeing the earth from heaven and not heaven from the earth.

At the end of the Mass, the President addressed some words to those attending the event:

The yes is like an arrow directed to the heart of the Father. And the Father’s heart does not bleed. The only thing that it produces is mercy, forgiveness, the desire to be with us. And every time a person says to Christ “yes!”, and to the Father and to the Holy Spirit, “yes!”, enormous blessings are shed upon mankind. With our narrow minds, we would like heaven to be the same as the earth. That heaven that we carry here within us, will open more and more thanks to our ever renewed “yes!” There are young people here. A yes is just one syllable. But it changes a person’s life. Then, when a man or a woman says “yes!” to Christ, who truly loves them, soon afterwards fruits are produced.”

It was a day full of graces. Many of the guests -among them some unbaptized persons, some Muslims and Buddhists- were attending a mass for the first time. After it a reception took place, in which the President and the idente women’s General Superior, taking advantage of the presence of many young people, spoke about the life of prayer and holiness. Everyone was deeply moved by the ceremony as well as the words they heard.

We can already witness the fruits that this special moment in the history of our Institution in Germany is bringing to our life of holiness.