On June 26th, the University of Saint Joseph’s (USJ) Xavier Centre for Memory and Identity and Faculty of Religious Studies and Philosophy organised a public lecture by Fr. Andrzej Sarnacki, SJ. from the Jesuit University Ignatianum in Krakow, Poland on Modern culture and the Catholic Church – European perspective. The lecture began with different interpretations of the Catholic Church’s positioning in European society as crises within and without have strained the perception of Christian faith and ethics in the public sphere. A distinction was made between ‘Christendom’, as something that has collapsed, and the Christian faith, which endures despite opposition from cultural Marxism in education and antagonistic atheism in the media. As the Catholic Church in Europe faces questions of legitimacy and relevance, Fr. Sarnacki pointed to the need for discernment over who to engage when carrying out Vatican II’s impetus to dialogue. He also called for Catholics to develop better recognition of competing ideologies in the public sphere so that Catholic identity can be reclaimed and the Church can reestablish its narrative and purpose.
This public lecture is part of a series of academic activities organized by the Xavier Centre for Memory and Identity and delivered by Fr. Sarnacki. In addition to two seminars on Leadership, Management Theories, and Catholic Social Teaching held this month, Fr. Sarnacki’s eight-session on course on “Christianity, Cultural Analysis, Violence and Peacebuilding” ends this week.