The Bulletin of the Catholic Association of Scientists and Engineers
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
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 passion.

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 (, 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 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 .  
Dr. Maria Timofeeva  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 Philosophy.
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 school.
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 students.
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 investigations.
Jacques Nguyen  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, is considering teaching in the Ukraine in the coming year.
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  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 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             TBD
July 7, 2005  Tentatively     Fr. Stanley Jaki,
End of JulyTentatively       Fr Jacques Arnould OP CNES
Lawrence Roberge 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