“My commitment,” Dr. Domingo Sugranyes Bickel, president of the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation, has said, is to bring together Church and economic leaders and “help them apply the social teachings of the Catholic Church.”
Along with President Bickel, the speakers present at this morning’s press conference at the Holy See Press Office included Professor Don Michael Konrad, secretary of the Jury Prize; Mgr. Giuseppe Antonio Scotti, Jury Member and assistant secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications; and Dr. Massimo Gattamelata, secretary general of the Foundation.
The foundation president spoke on the announcement of the winners of the awards created by the “Economy and Society” section of the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation.
“We hope,” President Bickel underscored in his remarks, “to be able to offer an effective contribution leading to an ever greater dissemination of these ideas” and also “to encourage creative contributions deriving from experience concerning human development in a reformed market economy.”
During these past two years, he expressed, we have worked along the lines indicated by Pope Francis in his speech given to their foundation on May 25, 2013. The foundation knows it is essential, he said, “to re-ascribe to the word ‘solidarity’ all the social dignity which it merits rather than allowing it be seen negatively in the economic world as though it were an ugly or bad word.”
The award ceremony, he explained, will take place on May 26 in the Palazzo della Cancelleria in Rome and will be presided over by His Eminence Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State. The International Jury has been chaired by His Eminence Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Freising.
In 1993, the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation was set up by Saint Paul II. It is headed by a council of nine lay members who respond to the President of APSA (the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See), His Eminence Cardinal Domenico Calcagno, under the supervision of the Secretariat of State.
Its next international conference will be held in the Vatican from May 25 to 27, at which point the winners will be presented with their prizes.
The foundation’s main constitutional objective is to “promote among qualified people their business and professional commitment in society, in the knowledge and awareness of Christian Social Doctrine”. The work of the Foundation and its General Secretary is supported by its members in 21 countries.
Prof. Don Michael Konrad said the book that will receive the prestigious international award on May 26 is “Finance. Un regard chrétien. De la banque médiévale à la mondalisation financière, Embrasure 2013,” by Pierre de Lauzun.
The winner of the International Award, Pierre de Lauzun from France, has worked for decades in posts of responsibility in the financial and banking sector.
“He cannot be called a scholar who confines himself to the library, but rather a person who has enhanced his professional experience with deep political, cultural and religious reflection.”
His award-winning book, he explained, is divided into three parts. In the first, he expounds the judgments found in Holy Scripture, the Fathers of the Church and medieval theologians on the economic problems of their time. The second deals with the most important contributions of the Social Doctrine of the Church during the period of the recent Popes in the area of economics, especially as regards the issue of finance. In the third, De Lauzun deals with the moral problems of contemporary finance, and bases his observations on the two treasures of doctrine, namely Tradition and the Social Doctrine of the Church.
“De Lauzun is never satisfied with merely stating the existence of a tradition, but he always tries to grasp its deeper meaning,” Professor Konrad said. His methodology prevents him from “falling into a superficial and reductive vision of reality.”
A member of the Jury, Monsignor Giuseppe Scotti, assistant secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, explained the reasons which helped the Jury make its choices for best studies.
The award-winning thesis by Arturo Bellocq Montano was published in 2012 under the title “La Doctrina Social de la Iglesia. Qué es y que no es.” The study, he said, covers the history of the Social Doctrine of the Church from the pontificate of Leo XIII to Benedict XVI and attempts to identify the key moments in the debate on the scientific nature of this discipline.
Another winner, he said, is Alexander Stummvoll, whose study explored the influence of the Social Doctrine of the Church in international relations. In Stummvoll’s text, entitled “A Living Tradition. The Holy See, Catholic Social Doctrine, and Global Politics, 1965-2000,” he examines how this Doctrine is necessary, but needs further integration to explain the Holy See’s diplomatic objectives.
Centesimus Annus’ audited budget and the amount of its annual donation to the Holy Father can also be checked on the Foundation’s website.
On the NET:
Centesimus Annus: www.centesimusannus.org