Pontificia Academia Sancti Thomae Aquinatis
Extra Series 4 (Vatican City, 2007)
175 pp., ISBN 88-88353-13-5
The Pontifical Academy of Saint Thomas Aquinas was established by Leo XIII on 8 May 1890 to implement the project described in his encyclical Aeterni Patris. For a hundred years the Academy has followed the project and cultural mission that was conferred upon it with loyalty and dignity. In 1998 Pope John Paul II published the encyclical Fides et Ratio, and in 1999 his motu proprio Inter Munera Academiarum reformed the statutes of the Academy, de facto renovating the Academy. One important change has been to raise the number of Ordinary Members from forty to fifty. This Yearbook will provide you with information on all of them.
According to its Statutes, the Academy’s goal is both to research, explain and communicate the doctrine of St Thomas Aquinas, proposing him as a model Christian teacher, scholar of all learning and to encourage interaction between faith and reason, and foster increasing dialogue between the sciences, philosophy and theology. As the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, recently said, ‘According to St Thomas’ thought, human reason, as it were, “breathes”: it moves within a vast open horizon in which it can express the best of itself. When, instead, man reduces himself to thinking only of material objects or those that can be proven, he closes himself to the great questions about life, himself and God and is impoverished’ (Angelus, St Peter’s Square, Sunday, 28 January 2007). In order to carry out this task, the Academy organises annual plenary sessions, international conferences and publishes its proceedings. In addition, each Academician is conscious of his or her duty to seek out and to suggest new members, as well as making suggestions for the improvement of the organisation and the workings of the Academy. I would like to thank the Academicians for achieving these goals with great sacrifice, year after year, since 1999, as testified by the publication of the proceedings of the last few years, and I cannot fail to remember those who have returned to our Father’s home. A special prayer goes to our venerated Servant of God John Paul II, who, among the many concerns of his Pontificate, with his great encyclical Fides et Ratio and his Motu Proprio Inter Munera Academiarum renovated this Pontifical Academy.
I take this opportunity to thank Fr. Abelardo Lobato O.P. for his fruitful mandate as past President and to welcome as new President Fr. Edward Kaczyn´ski, O.P. May the Lord to grant him abundant and divine gifts in order to carry out in the best way this important mission. A word of thanks also goes to Cardinal Paul Poupard, who has always followed the Academy’s progress with interest and friendliness. Last but not least, I would like to thank the Holy Father Benedict XVI for his special solicitude for our Academy and also for his financial support. We would like to hope that our work will contribute to spread the wealth of the thought of Saint Thomas, as a beacon for our times. May Saint Thomas accompany us on our journey.
H.E. Msgr. Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo
Secretary of the Pontifical Academy of St Thomas