The Bulletin of the Catholic
Association of Scientists and Engineers
Christianity worked with and popularized certain natural understandings
of the universe ("Seeds of the Logos", in St. Justin Martyr's
terminology, and discussed at length in Werner Jaeger's famous trilogy
on Greek education) that are necessary for structured, critical
thinking. It also enriched and transformed these Seeds, one of which
was the philosophy emerging from Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle,
ultimately building a formidable defense of an elaborate vision of an
ordered universe with rules to which everything and everyone was
subordinate. Like its Socratic allies, Christianity found that this put
it into battle with what I like to call the "raw spirit of
paganism"--that insistence upon acceptance, satisfaction, and
divinization of immediate passions, both individual and social. This
"raw spirit" takes for granted on face value the legitimacy of using
whatever means at hand to satisfy what are presumed to be "obvious",
"natural", needs, never subjecting them to meditation and criticism.
That spirit was vigorously aided by a subclass of rhetoricians--"word
merchants"--who used (and use) their talents to encourage and apologize
for a world built upon gaining power over nature to do anything that
one wills to do, regardless of whether this is good and even ultimately
useful for the individual and the universe as a whole. It inspires a
kind of Grand Alliance of the Unquestioning which places what "works"
now, for me and my community, with my limited and defective
understanding, above what was meant to work, ought to work, and could
work better and more effectively if used truthfully, morally, and
beautifully. Much of the history of Christendom can be seen in the
light of a dramatic Drama of Truth; a conflict of believers eager to
probe what nature really is and must be (and using philosophy and
science to help them grasp what that entails) against men who simply
want what they want as and when they want it, and are ready to use any
tool, from violence to magic, both to obtain their goals and silence
thinkers who refuse to accept "the obvious" demands of immediate
April 13, 2005
April Meeting Announcement: There will be a meeting of the members of
the Catholic Association of Scientists and Engineers on Thursday
evening, April 21, 2005 at 7:30 pm. at the James Bates Hall at
Ascension Catholic Church, 12700 Lanham-Severn Road, Bowie, Maryland
20720, Tel: 301 262 2227.
Dr. John Rao, Phil. D.
The Dietrich von Hildebrand Institute of the Roman Forum
511 Carmine Street #2C,
New York, NY 10014-4442
will speak on
Catholicism and the Conditions
for a Rational-Scientific Universe
Dr. Rao was born in 1951, got a
B.A. in European History and Theology from Drew University in New
Jersey in 1973, and a D.Phil. from Oxford University in
1977. He worked as Eastern Director of the Intercollegiate
Studies Institute in 1978-1979, and then at St. John's University, as
Associate Professor of History, from 1979 through the present. He is
the Director of the Roman Forum and the Dietrich von Hildebrand
Institute (www.romanforum.org), which organizes programs on Catholic
Culture in New York during the academic year and in Italy during the
summer. He is also President of Una Voce America. He writes for a
variety of journals in Europe and the United States. His two most
important works were Americanism and the Collapse of the Church in the
United States and Removing the Blindfold: Nineteenth Century Catholics
and the Myth of Modern Freedom (1999).
March meeting report: Br
Dunstan Robidoux’s firstname.lastname@example.org talk on Aquinas’
Concept of Science was very well received. We are especially
happy with the numbers of young students that are coming to the
meetings. We also had the presence of Frank and Constance
DiVito, Mac MacPhillips, Mrs. Tony Rieu, Joseph Rieu, John
Marcus, Erwin Garcia and Cassie and Chantal Castro. Br.
Dunstan sent a text version of his talk which is planned for the
CAS+E web site at www.cas-e.org .
Dr. Maria Timofeeva
email@example.com reports: The Holy Spirit Section
was created about ten years ago in Academytown near Novosibirsk
(Russia), when, in the middle of 90’s, Francis Kelly had visited
Siberia. In the Novosibirsk State University he had the talk with
Klementy Samochvalov, doctor of philosophy, and Maria Timofeeva, at
that time the acting dean of the Philosophical Faculty. Both of them
are Catholics by their denomination and are working in the Institute of
Mathematics (Siberian Department of Russian Academy of Sciences). In
90’s many Catholic lecturers had been teaching at the Faculty of
The number of persons which take part in the Holy Spirit Section’s
activities isn’t very large, not all of them are Catholics, but we
genuinely try to reach better understanding of the deep problems
connecting our faith and science. Most of us work in the Institute of
Mathematics; some are teaching in Novosibirsk State University and in
The important line of our activities is making the translations. We are
eager to endeavor the essential works to be published in Russian. Now
we hope that Russian translation of the book “The Intellectual History
of Psychology” (about 370 pages) written by Daniel N. Robinson,
professor of psychology at Georgetown University, will soon be
published by the Institute of Philosophy, Theology and History of St.
Thomas in the series BIBLIOTHECA IGNATIANA. This very fundamental and
profound book was translated in Russian by Maria Timofeeva (Klementy
Samochvalov – one of the scientific editors). We take the opportunity
for expressing our gratitude to Professor Daniel N. Robinson for his
permission to publish this remarkable book in Russian.
Since 1999 Maria Timofeeva is teaching logic in Novosibirsk Catholic
Seminary, a few years ago she also read the course “The History of
Psychology” in Novosibirsk Catholic Centre “INIGO”.
Our group has rather broad area of interests; the meetings were devoted
to the different kind of questions. For instance, those concerning the
problem of existence, logical elaboration of the ontological argument,
the problems of time and eternity, the foundations of mathematics and
physics, etc. Several articles on those subjects are published in
Russian editions. Among them there are the articles of Klementy
Samochvalov: “The Existential Predicates and the Ontological Argument”,
“Logic and the Relativity Principle”, “The Structure of Religious
Experience”, “What does it mean to study time philosophically?” (the
latter with joint authors). Our investigations of the problem of time
were supported by the Russian Humanitarian Scientific Fund.
Some articles also have given the subjects for our seminars. The
circuit of meetings was devoted to the article named “Eternity” (by
Norman Kretzman and Eleanor Stump). Among the ideas of different
authors which we’ve discussed are the books of Stanley L. Jaki.
Klementy Samochvalov “(during the work at the Faculty of Philosophy)
had also discussed the works of Stanley L. Jaki at his seminars with
The lines of our activities are encouraged by friendliness and
sincerity underlying our communication. This kind of spiritual support
is the very valuable gift allowing us to concentrate on our
Jacquesnnn@yahoo.com reports: From the notice that we gave of his
experiences and miracle in our CAS+E web site or mailing, he has been
contacted to give more talks about the power of the rosary.
Jacques will be in the Washington area in the May 8, 2005 time frame to
get an award from President Bush for his support in the elections.
Antionette Rieu reports: Her nephew, Joseph Rieu,
Meltingclok@aol.com is considering teaching in the Ukraine in the
USA TODAY reports: A
cover story on Tuesday April 12, 2005 by Paul Wiseman reports
that there is a serious labor shortage in the scientific and
manufacturing sectors of the Chinese economy. The inhuman
conditions that have persisted up to now in the manufacturing sector
are driving people back to the farms where the Chinese worker can live
in his traditional community and make a decent living. Let us pray that
China will abandon its heartless One Family, One Child policy and that
it will open its society to the Roman Catholic Church.
Joseph Carson firstname.lastname@example.org asks: Given the Catholic
tradition, why is there no collective Christian (includng Catholic, I
regret anyone who states/infers that Catholics are not Christians or
anyone who state/infers that Catholics are the only Christians)
influence on the engineering profession? I've been involved with
several major engineering professional societies, in many different
roles and levels, for many years, so I know what I'm talking about….Of
the engineer members of CASE, how many are licensed? How many are
active members of one or more engineering professional societies? If
not, why not, given the Catholic tradition?
Dr Wilfred Chen email@example.com
says: Dear Francis, At last I sent my annual subscription. You
certainly have a battery of expert speakers and exciting
topics. Please publish them in a book and send me articles as
they appear. I leave for a short holiday. I will keep in touch.
Affectionate regards, Dr. Wilfred G. Chen.
Future meetings: The dates for the next group of CAS+E meetings here in
Bowie MD are as follows:
May 19, 2005 TBD
June 16, 2005
July 7, 2005 Tentatively Fr. Stanley
End of JulyTentatively Fr Jacques
Arnould OP CNES Jacques.Arnould@cnes.fr
firstname.lastname@example.org responded very favorably to the idea of holding
another National meeting at Catholic University of America in 2006 or
2007. I hope more will volunteer to organize this meeting.
Papal Death and Funeral: The good effects of the Holy Father John
Paul II have been immense and incalculable. We used to regularly
reprint parts of his encyclicals-- especially Fides et Ratio. I think
they are all on the internet now. Please pray for his soul
and for the next Holy Father and for the whole Church..
Sincerely yours, Dr. Francis J. Kelly