XI International Thomistic Congress in Rome, September 2020

The Pontifical Academy of Saint Thomas Aquinas, together with the Thomistic Institute of the Angelicum, is organizing its XI International Thomistic Congress, to be held in Rome from Monday 21 September to Friday 25 September 2020. The conference is entitled “Vetera novis augere. The resources of the Thomist tradition in the current context” and aims to consider the vitality of the resources of the Thomist tradition in contemporary theological and philosophical debates. The website of the Thomistic Congress ( http://romathomism2020.com) contains a Call for Papers with a deadline of April 15, 2020.

The website also offers the full collection of papal speeches to the previous conferences which in itself already offers an interesting perspective on the varied approaches to Thomism undertaken by the different Pontiffs, (for instance Pope Pius XII’ lengthy reflections on the essence of matter in light of contemporary science). On Saturday, September 26, the participants can join in a pilgrimage in the footsteps of Saint Thomas Aquinas to Roccasecca, Aquino and Fossanova.


Fr. Bonino new President of PAST

Today Pope Francis has named Dominican Father Serge-Thomas Bonino, the secretary of the International Theological Commission since 2011 and dean of the Philosophy Faculty at the Angelicum since September 2014, as the new president of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas.


Jörgen Vijgen

DR. JÖRGEN VIJGEN holds academic appointments in Medieval and Thomistic Philosophy at several institutions in the Netherlands. His dissertation, “The status of Eucharistic accidents ‘sine subiecto’: An Historical Trajectory up to Thomas Aquinas and selected reactions,” was written under the direction of Fr. Walter Senner, O.P. at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome, Italy and published in 2013 by Akademie Verlag (now De Gruyter) in Berlin, Germany.

Interview about Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas conference in Houston

Zenit has published an interview I conducted with John Hittinger (The Center for Thomistic Studies at the University of St. Thomas, Houston and the John Paul II Forum) about the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas conference this Oct. 17-19 in Houston. You can find the interview here. John is one of the conference organizers. Tom Osborne, who teaches at The Center for Thomistic Studies and is a Thomistica.net contributor, posted about the conference earlier this year.

Article on Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas meeting in Houston

Last month Tom Osborne announced on Thomistica.net that his institution (Center for Thomistic Studies at UST, Houston), together with the John Paul II Forum, would be hosting a meeting of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas in the Fall. Catholic Education Daily has an informative article on the event.

The Salmanticenses Enter the Digital Age

Thanks to the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies in Toronto, the Cursus Theologicus of the Salamanca Discalced Carmelites is now available eletronically via the Internet Archive. The Cursus, based on Aquinas’s Summa Theologiae and originally intended as a textbook for Carmelite theology students, was put together by various authors and editors during most of the 17th century and completed at the beginning of the 18th century. The version digitized by PIMS is the twenty volume edition published in Paris between 1870 and 1883. Three volumes seem to be missing, however: 6, 7, and 15.

PAST and Doctor Communis

Here is some news on the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas.

The Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas (PAST) will hold its X Plenary Session in the Vatican on 18-20 June 2010 on the topic The Human Animal: Procreation, Education and the Foundations of Society. The speakers will include Kevin Flannery SJ, John Haldane, Reinhard Hütter and John O’Callaghan.

For more on the Pontifical Academy, follow this link to their new website.

As a follow-up on our report on last year’s Plenary Session (see here), we have acquired the proceedings of the sessions of 2009 and 2008.

Doctor Communis 2009: Saint-Thomas’s Interpretation of Saint Paul’s Doctrines

  • Rodríguez, Pedro: Del año paulino al año sacerdotal (20-22)
  • Martínez García, Enrique: In memoriam Francisco Canals Vidal (23-25)
  • Cordero Lanza DiMontezemolo, Andrea: L’anno paolino ed i programmi svolti nella Basilica di San Paolo fuori le Mura (26-38)
  • Hütter, Reinhard: “In hope he believed against hope” (Romans 4:18) (39-59)
  • DiNoia, Joseph A.: Christ brings freedom from sin and death (60-75)
  • Biffi, Inos: Aspetti della figura di Cristo nel commento di Tommaso alla Lettera agli Ebrei (76-91)
  • Rodríguez, Pedro: El “sacrum ministerium” en los comentarios de Santo Tomás al “Corpus paulinum” (92-113)
  • Ocáriz, Fernando: L’adozione filiale e il mistero di Cristo (114-130)
  • Elders, Leo J.: The “Lecturae” of St. Thomas Aquinas of the Letters of the Apostle Paul to the Philippians and Colossians (131-149)
  • Wielockx, Robert: Au sujet du commentaire de saint Thomas sur le “Corpus paulinum” (150-184)
  • Waldstein, Michael: The spousal logic of justification (185-197)
  • Ferrara, Ricardo: “Gratia secundum se”. La dottrina della grazia nel commento alla Lettera ai Romani (198-218)
  • Sánchez Sorondo, Marcello: Grace as “new creation” (219-236)

Doctor Communis 2008: The “Praeambula Fidei” and the New Apologetics

  • Zdybicka, Zofia J., Commemorazione di Mieczysław Albert Krąpiec, O.P.(18-20)
  • Levada, William J., The importance of a new apologetics (21-28)
  • McInerny, Ralph M., Newman and natural religion (29-37)
  • Wippel, John F., Philosophy and the preambles of faith in Thomas Aquinas (38-61)
  • Brock, Stephen L., Realistic practical truth (62-75)
  • Glendon, Mary A., Apologetics in the public square (78-86)
  • Morerod, Charles, Le nouvel athéisme évolutionniste et les praeambula fidei (87-112)
  • Cottier, Georges, Scientisme et apologétique (113-124)
  • Biffi, Inos, Per una nuova coscienza della centralità di Cristo nella cultura contemporanea (125-135)
  • Bruguès, Jean L., Moral convictions and evangelical ethics (136-144)
  • Livi, Antonio, La teologia di oggi ha bisogno di una nuova interpretazione filosofica della dottrina tommasiana dei “praeambula fidei” (151-175)
  • Galeazzi, Umberto, La razionalità dei tommasiani “praeambula fidei” el il fideismo di K. Barth, convergente con i neopositivisti (176-200)
  • Seidl, Horst, Apologetic theology as fruit of the encounter between Christian faith and metaphysics (201-208)

A Report on the Pontifical Academy of Saint Thomas Aquinas 2009

With thanks to Jörgen Vijgen, who was in attendance, a report on the 2009 meeting of the Pontifical Academy of Saint Thomas Aquinas:

Report on the IX Plenary Session of the Pontifical Academy of Saint Thomas Aquinas, 19-21 June 2009

At their seat in the 16th century villa Casina Pio IV in Vatican City the Pontifical Academy of Saint Thomas Aquinas held their annual Plenary Session on June 19-21, 2009. Since its reform by the motu proprio Inter Munera Academiarum, issued by Pope John Paul II, the Pontifical Academy of Saint Thomas Aquinas, founded by Pope Leo XIII on October 15, 1879, organizes each year its plenary session on a single topic. In previous years topics such as ‘Truth’, ‘Goodness’, and ‘Natural Law’ were treated. To mark the end of the Pauline Year, this year’s topic was fittingly entitled “Saint-Thomas’s Interpretation of Saint-Paul’s Doctrines”.

The newly appointed president Lluis Clavell of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross had organized an intensive program to which some 30 members took part among which were Stephen Brock, Romanus Cessario O.P., Joseph Di Noia O.P., Kevin Flannery S.J., the papal theologian Wojciech Giertych O.P., Russell Hittinger, Charles Morerod O.P., Robert Wielockx, Horst Seidl, Card. Georges Cottier O.P., Leo Elders S.V.D. and Enrique Alarcon.

Continuing with the tradition of previous years, the Academy had also invited experts from outside the Academy to speak on the topic at hand. This year’s speakers were Michael Waldstein (Ave Maria University) and Reinhard Hütter (Duke University).

The program was as follows:


  1. Reinhard Hütter: “In hope he believed against hope” (Romans 4:18). Faith and Hope, two Pauline motifs as interpreted by Aquinas: an approach to the encyclical letter of Pope Benedict XVI, “Spe Salvi”
  2. Joseph Di Noia O.P.: Christ brings freedom from sin and death: Thomas’s Understanding of Romans 5, 12-21, on Original Sin


  1. Mons. Inos Biffi, La figura di Cristo nel commento di Tommaso alla Lettera agli Ebrei
  2. Pedro Rodriguez, El ‘sacrum ministerium’ en los comentários de Santo Tomás al ‘Corpus Paulinum’
  3. Mons. Fernando Ocariz, ‘L’adozione filiale e il mistero di Cristo nel Commento di San Tommaso alla Lettera ai Romani
  4. Leo Elders S.V.D., Thomas’s comments on the Letters of St. Paul to the Philippians and the Colossians
  5. Robert Wielockx, Au sujet du commentaire de S. Thomas sur le ‘Corpus Paulinum’ : critique littéraire et aperçus exégétiques


  1. Michael Waldstein, The Spousal Logic of Justification : St. Thomas and Luther on Paul’s Key Topic Statement Romans, 1:17
  2. Ricardo Ferrara, La dottrina della grazia nel Commento alla Lettera ai Romani
  3. Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Grace as “new creation”

Needless to say that with these 45 min.-lectures and 30 min.-discussions, which seldom sufficed to treat all the questions, it was an in-depth three days- study of St. Thomas and St. Paul. (The Roman sun, the Vatican Gardens, Saint-Peter’s Basilica, Santa Sabina, the diners and the private trips to the abbeys of Monte Cassino and Fossanova and the village of Aquino however brought it all back in balance.)

Readers who were present at the conference on Aquinas’s Commentary on Romans in February of this year at Ave Maria University (Naples, Florida) might be interested to hear that ecumenical explorations came up more than once during the discussions. We’re looking forward to the final versions of all these papers to be published in the next issue of Doctor Communis.

(NOTE: Jörgen took pictures of the trips south, which I’ll post very soon).