NATURAL LAW MEETINGS
In dulcedine societatis quaerere veritatem (Latin: Seeking the truth in pleasant company)
This is a series of meetings addressed to academics, doctoral and undergraduate law students and legal practitioners, as well as to non-lawyers – to anyone interested in what law really is. Our goal is to go beyond the reductionist understanding of law as merely the provisions of positive law.
The meetings consist of a lecture by an invited guest, followed by a question and answer session.
Our speakers are Polish and foreign professors.
Past foreign speakers include prof. Rafael Domingo from Emory University in Atlanta (Georgia, USA), prof. Angel Rodríguez Luño from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, prof. Mark Regnerus from University of Texas in Austin, prof. Judith A. Reisman from Liberty University in Lynchburg (Virginia, USA), dr Pablo Requena from Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, prof. Ferenc Hörcher from University of Public Service (Budapest), prof. Helen M. Alvaré from Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University (Virginia, USA), prof. J. Budziszewski from University of Texas at Austin (Texas, USA), prof. Pavlos Papadopoulos from Wyoming Catholic College (Wyoming, USA) and dr. Dan Sheffler, Adjunct Professor at Georgetown College (USA), prof. Enrique Martínez Garcia from University Abat Oliba CEU (Barcelona) https://www.uaoceu.es/, dr Paul Shrimpton from Magdalen College School, Oxford and prof. Scott Roniger from Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles).
SCHEDULE OF ONLINE MEETINGS
A few days before online meeting we put a link to the broadcast on the website.
No upcoming meetings by internet.
April 7, 2022 – prof. Scott J. Roniger – “Natural Law as Natural Inclinations to Prudence”. Prof. Roniger is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He earned a Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology (STB), summa cum laude, and a Masters of Sacred Theology, magna cum laude, from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. He then earned a Master of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Chicago and a Licentiate in Philosophy (Ph.L.), summa cum laude, from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome. He earned his doctorate in philosophy, with distinction, from The Catholic University of America under the direction of Robert Sokolowski. He has published scholarly articles on metaphysics, phenomenology, ethics and political philosophy, and Catholic Social Teaching, and he is currently editing a collection of essays on natural law and Catholic Social Doctrine. His research integrates and recapitulates themes in Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Husserlian phenomenology. He regularly teaches classes on these topics and figures, as well as classes at the intersection of literature, philosophy, and theology. https://bellarmine.lmu.edu/philosophy/faculty/?expert=scott.roniger The lecture has explored the relationship between natural law and prudence.
March 9, 2022- dr Paul Shrimpton. Topic: „Human flourishing at university as seen by John Henry Newman”. Paul Shrimpton gained his BA and MA from Balliol College, Oxford, and has taught at Magdalen College School, Oxford, since 1981, except for a gap of four years, when he worked in London. He began researching the educational ideas of John Henry Newman in 1990 and in 2000 completed his PhD, which he published as a book entitled, A Catholic Eton? Newman’s Oratory School (2005). He has also undertaken archival research on Newman’s practical contribution to university education, which was published as The ‘Making of Men’: the Idea and Reality of Newman’s University in Oxford and Dublin (2014) https://oxford.universitypressscholarship.com/view/10.1093/oso/9780198807025.001.0001/oso-9780198807025-chapter-18 He has given talks and papers on Newman and education, as well as on Newman and the laity. His last book, Conscience before Conformity: Hans and Sophie Scholl and the White Rose resistance in Nazi Germany, appeared in February 2018 on the 75th anniversary of the White Rose trials and executions. He is currently completing a critical edition of Newman’s university papers, My Campaign in Ireland [Part I & II], forthcoming in May and October 2021.
University is a place where students should be taught to think, not to prepare for a profession. This is the essence of the university. Everything else is a kind of add-on at the university, although it may be necessary, important and even the most important (such as faith). Because if the university did not teach how to think properly, it would not fulfill its function, would not achieve the purpose it is supposed to serve.
Does this mean that there is no place for the transmission of faith at the university? No. Faith should be transmitted because the supernatural virtues (faith, hope and love) are more important than the natural virtues, including the intellectual virtues that help to think correctly. It is good for a university to have a chaplain and an oratory (a place for prayer). Nevertheless, the primary task of the university is to teach right thinking. Faith and reason meet, they do not oppose each other, they strive together for the fullness of truth. For a believer not only does not stop thinking, but has an additional, certain source of knowledge.
Importantly, the university should not focus on research, but on teaching the student to think. Although one is related to the other, research is already utilitarian in nature, whereas the university should put at the center not research, utilitarianism, impact on gross domestic product or technological progress, but the human being, the student, his personal development, primarily intellectual.
Today the dominating model is one in which knowledge is conveyed during lectures and exercises, and the student has no personal, individual contact with the professor. Such a model does not fulfill its function properly, because the transfer of knowledge, teaching, is relational, takes place between individuals and relies heavily on the professor’s personal influence on the student. Unfortunately, this model can only be afforded by the wealthiest universities, where the student has the opportunity to spend a few hours every week with the professor individually or in a small group.
What is more, the lectures themselves for a large group of students living in the city (with their families or in rented apartments) are much less valuable than the system of studying based on no lectures, but when students live together on campus, they talk a lot with each other, also during common meals and free time, they play sports together, take part in poetry and music circles, reading groups and trips outside the campus, and have individual contact (tutorials) with the professors. It is better not to have lectures or even exams at all, but to have more individual tutorials with professors, during which the professor gets to know the student, sees his strengths and weaknesses, points out his directions, recommends readings and talks to him. Besides, in this model of living on campus, students learn from each other, exchange views, teach the art of conversation and respect for the interlocutor.
Interdisciplinarity is also advisable. Today, knowledge has been broken down into many departments. Specialists can no longer communicate with each other. Meanwhile, reality is one, although it has many dimensions, aspects. God created everything and it is one, inconsistent whole. Our task is to get to know this one reality as much as possible, albeit in aspects. That is why it is worthwhile to be interested in many things, to read books on various subjects, to talk to students of various disciplines in order to get a picture of this one, holistic reality. It is not a coincidence that in the best universities students of different majors (e.g. history and physics) are purposely placed in one room, so that one can learn from the other a broader view of reality.
One should read different things, not avoiding the classics of pagan antiquity. When a proposal was made in France in the middle of the nineteenth century to get out of the curriculum such texts, Newman strongly opposed it. For one should read not only the Fathers of the Church, but also noble men such as Homer, Cicero, Seneca, Plato, and Aristotle, even if the latter were not always right about everything.
Therefore, the university should not be a higher school preparing students for a profession, but it should teach them how to think and how to reach the truth in its many aspects. Besides, a student prepared in this way will succeed on the job market sooner than a student taught by heart only narrow rules from his field.
February 25, 2022 – prof. Justyn Piskorski, judge of the Polish Constitutional Tribunal and professor of the Department of Criminal Law at the Faculty of Law and Administration of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan (Poland). Topic: „Perspectives on the application of René Girard’s concepts in the legal sciences”.
Our guest began by explaining where his interest in anthropology, especially cultural and social anthropology, came from as a lawyer. This inspiration came largely while he was still in high school, after reaching for books read by his mother. A work he particularly values is „An Introduction to the Philosophy of Criminal Law,” written in the early 20th century. „Introduction to the philosophy of criminal law based on historical and developmental foundations” by Juliusz Makarewicz (professor at the Jan Kazimierz University in Lvov, one of the main authors of the Polish Penal Code of 1932).
Turning to Rene Girard, Prof. J. Piskorski explained that the rich and versatile output of this Frenchman originated in the United States, where the author left in 1947, initially making a living by teaching French literature. The „Interdisciplinary Center” he founded at Stanford contributed to the spread of Girard’s ideas.
In Poland the works of Rene Girard are mainly studied by literature experts, philosophers and theologians. In the case of theology, as Prof. J. Piskorski noticed, the author’s works can be attributed an excessive and unauthorized meaning. In any case, the works of R. Girard are being discussed more and more vividly.
Coming to the exact subject matter of the lecture, the speaker posed a question to what extent Rene Girard’s anthropological concepts can be used in the philosophy of law or widely understood legal sciences. The lecture discussed the so-called mimetic theory (in Greek – mimetikos = imitative) and the scapegoat mechanism.
The development of the mimetic theory began with Rene Girard’s examination of a work by the medieval French poet Guillaum de Machaut entitled Jugement dou Roy de Navarre (The Court of the King of Navarre). This rhyming poem describes multi-threaded, unrelated and tragic events symbolizing the great catastrophe of the time, the mid-14th century plague epidemic in Europe, the so-called Black Death. R. Girard stated that although the protagonists of the poem’s themes changed, a constant pattern of desire was repeated. It was a triangle, at the vertices of which occurred: 1. subject (man), 2. object (good – material or immaterial) and 3. desire. R. Girard further stated that this scheme has been present since the beginning of mankind. It can be found in myths and historical accounts of most civilizations. As an example of a desirable good, Prof. J. Piskorski mentioned gold and posed a question why people have desired this metal and not another. Another question that the participants of the lecture were asked to ponder was the cause of mimicry: how does it happen that someone begins to desire what someone else already has?
Discussing the mechanism of scapegoating, Professor J. Piskorski began by explaining its name. It comes from the 16th chapter of the Book of Leviticus, where it is described that the Israelites banished the goat to the desert, so that it could die there as an atonement for their sins. He went on to explain that goats were not the only ones considered guilty of misery. In ancient Greece and Rome, other animals were judged, e.g. bulls, horses, that had harmed people in some way by trashing or maiming them. As a particularly interesting example of condemning an animal is given the medieval trial of moles in the valley of Aosta in northwestern Italy for tearing up fields with crops and thus causing starvation of local residents.
Returning to the biblical aspect, Professor J. Piskorski mentioned the Book of Jonah, in which the title character, traveling on a ship, was thrown overboard by sailors into the stormy sea as the one who caused his anger. The sea calmed down after this acceptance of the sacrifice. The lecturer pointed out that this is the watershed moment when the choice of someone as a victim is made. This raises the natural question of the criteria for this choice.
To answer it, Prof. J. Piskorski cited R. Girard’s statement from one of his major works, „The Scapegoat”: 'Crippling is inseparably inscribed in the set of scapegoat characteristics, and in some groups, for example in a school boarding school, every individual who has adaptation difficulties – a foreigner, a provincial, an orphan, a child of influential and wealthy parents, a lame person or simply a newcomer – is more or less treated as crippled.
According to the scapegoat mechanism, sacrificing someone restores order and peace in society. Surprisingly, the hitherto evil goat or other stigmatized victim becomes good after being banished to the desert. There is a reversal of meanings. Thanks to the sacrifice of the victims, let us remember that it was done against their will, the disturbed order of a local world is restored to balance.
Professor J. Piskorski concluded his lecture by encouraging us to read the works of R. Girard. He stated that on one hand it is a pleasure to read, but a good translation is required and preferably with explanatory footnotes.
The dramatic political situation at the end of February 2022 also had its impact – Russian aggression against Ukraine. Prof. J. Piskorski is a foreign member of the National Academy of Legal Sciences of Ukraine, where he often visited and where he has many friends.
February 10, 2022 – prof. Enrique Martínez Garcia from University Abat Oliba CEU https://www.uaoceu.es/ PhD in philosophy from the University of Barcelona; director of the Institute of St. Thomas Aquinas https://istomas.org/el-instituto ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas https://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_academies/san-tommaso/martinez.html Topic of the lecture: „Does nature exist? Groundwork of the moral order and of personal life”.
January 5, 2022– dr. Dan Sheffler, Adjunct Professor at Georgetown College (USA). Subject: „Personality and Sanctity: Dietrich von Hildebrand on the Liturgy”. http://www.dansheffler.com/about/ Prof. Sheffler is a philosophy professor specializing in Ancient Philosophy with interests in Platonism, early Christianity, and Christian personalism. He has taught ancient, medieval, and modern philosophy at the University of Kentucky, Georgetown College, and Asbury College. His academic teaching experience includes philosophy of religion, history of ideas, ethics, political philosophy, and ancient languages.
December 16, 2021 – prof. Krzysztof Brzechczyn, head of Laboratory of Epistemology and Cognitive Science, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Adam Mickiewicz in Poznan (Poland). Topic: „Patriotism – nationalism – chauvinism vs. universalism- cosmopolitanism – oicophobia. An attempt to organize the meaning of hopelessly confused concepts”.
November 18, 2021 – prof. Wojciech Rypniewski from the Department of Structure and Function of Biomolecules of the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences (Poznan, Poland). Topic: „Science and faith”.
October 21, 2021 – prof. Grzegorz Musiał from the Department of Computer Physics, Faculty of Physics, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan (Poland). Topic: „Is faith in God the Creator and Redeemer to some extent contrary to physical sciences?”. Mr. Professor presented the concept of compatibility of the Big Bang theory with the Genesis account of the creation of the world.
October 7, 2021 – Dr. Pavlos Papadopoulos, Assistant Professor of Humanities at Wyoming Catholic College (USA). Topic: „Educating the Whole Person: The Revival of Catholic Liberal Arts Education in America”. https://wyomingcatholic.edu/person/pavlos-papadopoulos-ph-d/ https://wyomingcatholic.edu/meet-new-professor-dr-pavlos-papadopoulos/ Wyoming Catholic College is a small college in the northwest of the United States, established in a small town Lander, cultivating the traditions of classical teaching and learning. Our guest told us about the key principles of this educational system. It shapes the whole human person, not only the intellect, but also the body (hence the frequent trips to the mountains and horseback riding lessons) and the will. It is about growth in both intellectual and moral virtues. Students generally do not use smartphones, but instead read so-called Great Books to participate in the great conversation that has been going on since the beginning of Western civilization. Education understood in this way, aided by growth in the theological virtues (faith, hope, and love), truly liberates a person. Its goal is human happiness on earth and in eternity.
June 10, 2021 (online meeting) – prof. J. Budziszewski from the University of Texas at Austin (Texas, USA), where he conducts classes, among others, from the theory of natural law. He has written a number of books in this field, such as „Natural Law for Lawyers”: https://undergroundthomist.org/book/natural-law-for-lawyers Biography: https://liberalarts.utexas.edu/government/faculty/jb397 #home Topic of the meeting: „Architecture of law”. Prof. J. Budziszewski has presented a general scheme of the legal system, has explained its components and the relations between them.
Voice recording in English: https://anchor.fm/prawo-naturalne1/episodes/Architecture-of-Law-e12qfer
Below the diagram of the architecture of law.
May 27, 2021 (online meeting) – prof. Helen M. Alvaré Professor of Law at Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University. Prof. Alvaré teaches Family Law, Law and Religion and Property Law. Prior to joining Scalia Law School she taught at the Columbus School of Law and was an attorney at Stradley, Ronon, Stevens & Young in Philadelphia. She graduated in law from Cornell University School of Law and received her MA in Systematic Theology from the Catholic University of America. More: https://www.law.gmu.edu/faculty/directory/fulltime/alvare_helen Topic of the meeting: „Parents’ right to raise their children as they wish”.
According to prof. Alvaré, the social situation in the USA has changed significantly in recent years. There is a real obsession with sexuality and the LGBTQ+ movement. Over the past 10 years, American teens have seen a 500% increase in approval for the movement’s demands. Many indoctrinated Americans view the family and the Catholic Church as enemies of freedom. Parents may not send their children to the so-called school sex education, extremely vulgar, but unfortunately most parents are passive and do not oppose it. It is true that over 40 states do not allow the so-called sex change in adolescents, but 89 American universities already offer students this type of treatment (surgery and hormone therapies), which happens without the consent or even knowledge of parents. In October, John leaves home to study, and in November, Kathy is coming to visit his parents. On the other hand, in terms of adoption, sometimes discrimination is made against adoption agencies that are opposed to entrusting children to persons suffering from sexual identity disorders. If the Equality Act enters into force, there will be no normal conditions for the functioning of Catholic institutions, and there are quite a few of them in the US (600 hospitals, 220 universities and 200,000 schools). However, home schooling is developing well. It has more and more opportunities for development due to the growing ideological indoctrination in schools (vulgar sex education, cancel culture, critical race theory, etc.). Migration of people to the so-called conservative states (eg Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, Wyoming, Texas, South Dakota, North Dakota) which – according to prof. Frank H. Buckley, law professor at George Mason University, author of a book „American Secession: The Looming Threat of a National Breakup” – may even result in their secession. It is extremely important to work out and publicly articulate a common, unified position in the above scope in order to stop and then withdraw the destructive effects of a moral revolution.
May 6, 2021 (online meeting) – Marcin Beściak, MA, b. 1990, graduate of the MISH department of the Jagiellonian University and the Institute of Classical Philology at the University of Warsaw, currently a PhD student (he is preparing a dissertation on the Renaissance exegesis of the Old Testament). Professionally translator from Latin, German, French and Italian. He deals in particular with translations of the works of St. Thomas Aquinas. Currently involved in the edition of the Opera Omnia of St. Thomas in Polish – a project implemented by the Thomistic Institute and the Dominican School of Theology Foundation.
Topic of the meeting: The Treatise on Natural Law by Luigi Tapparelli d’Azeglio, SJ – selected issues. The „Theoretical Essay on Natural Law” is a treatise on moral philosophy, focused especially on the theory of society, state and law in the Catholic approach. The pioneering nature of this study lies in the fact that, although it was written in the first half of the nineteenth century, the author uses the classical thomistic method, which at that time (especially in the field of philosophy or moral theology) was not at all obvious or common. The basic text is a theoretical exposition of individual issues from the most basic (what is action, what is the purpose of action, what is a good, etc.) to more complex problems of the epoch (e.g. is the international community a natural society, the limits of the rights of civil authorities, on the form of governance, criticism of democracy as a utopian system, etc.). The attractiveness of this work for today’s reader may lie, for example, in the fact that the author rejects the idea of a social contract as the source of law and state, while demonstrating that civil authority is, in a way, an extension of the father’s power over his own family, so the state and law are part of the (objective) order of nature intended by the Creator, and not a product of the subjective will of the citizens themselves. On the other hand, Taparelli, as a precursor of the social doctrine of the Church and the creator of the concept of social justice, can be a valuable source of arguments for a Catholic in discussions with both liberals and social darwinists, as well as socialists. The lasting value of the „Essay on Natural Law” is best evidenced by the fact that it was inspired by both Leo XIII in the encyclical „Rerum Novarum” and John XXIII in „Pacem in terris”.
The meeting was held in Polish.
April 15, 2021 (online meeting) – dr Paweł Błażewicz, graduated in history at the University of Wrocław (Poland), theology at the Pontifical University of St. Cross in Rome, defended his doctorate at the University of Navarre (Spain), scholarship holder of the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, teacher in high schools with French-speaking classes in Wrocław and Warsaw. Educator, organizer and participant of youth volunteering in Poland and abroad. Theme: „What can Basil the Great tell today’s man?” Our guest has told us about this great figure of early Christianity who did not reject what was true in the heritage of classical antiquity. The meeting was held in Polish.
March 4, 2021 (online meeting) – prof. Ferenc Hörcher (1964) is a political philosopher, historian of political thought and philosopher of art. He studied in Budapest (Hungary), Oxford (UK) and Brussels/Leuven (Belgium). He is director of the Research Institute of Politics and Government and senior researcher at the Institute of Philosophy of the Hungarian Academy of Science. He was visitng professor at the Jagiellonian University, Kraków (Poland) and the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca (Kolozsvár, Romania). He researched in Vienna, Göttingen, Wassenaar (Holland), Cambridge (UK), Edinburgh and at Notre Dame University (USA). His reseach interests include: conservatism and liberalism, the history of early modern political thought, classical Hungarian political thought, early modern and contemporary philosophy of art. Biography: https://ripg.uni-nke.hu/horcherf
Topic of the meeting: „Political Prudence and Natural Law”. Prof. Hörcher has published a book „Prudentia iuris. Towards a Pragmatic Theory of Natural Law” https://www.researchgate.net/publication/296692097_Prudentia_Iuris_Towards_a_Pragmatic_Theory_of_Natural_Law . Recently he has written „Political philosophy of conservatism” (Bloomsbury, 2020) https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/a-political-philosophical-philosophical -conservatism-9781350067189
Video recording in English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7Q80kVXis8
February 11, 2021 (online meeting) – dr Pablo Requena – priest of the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei. He graduated in medicine and obtained a PhD in moral theology. He lectures on bioethics at the Department of Moral Theology at the Theological Faculty of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome. Member of the Pontifical Academy Pro Vita, delegate of the Holy See to the World Medical Association – the largest medical organization in the world, associating national medical organizations from over 100 countries of the world. Topic of the meeting: „Physician in the face of demanding eugenic abortion”. The meeting was translated from Spanish into Polish.
Today, the problem of abortion is primarily a problem of contemporary culture. She argues that abortion is the solution to the problem. Meanwhile, since the Hippocratic oath, already in 450 BC, it stated that I would not give a lethal poison to anyone, even on demand, nor would I advise anyone about it, nor would I ever give a woman a remedy for miscarriage. In many countries, doctors often immediately suggest an abortion as soon as a small problem arises in the course of the pregnancy. Today in the US 30% of women over 45 have had an abortion, sometimes several. You can vote something in parliament, but if the dominant culture is not conducive to the protection of life, sooner or later this protection will be limited. Therefore, the role of culture is irreplaceable.
In the discussion about abortion, extreme, exceptional situations are emphasized above all, constituting 1% of all cases. Thus, 99% of abortions, performed – in many countries – most often on request, are beyond our interest.
In order to improve the level of protection of unborn children and to change the vector of the dominant culture by showing that abortion is not a good solution, it is worth getting involved at various levels, including in a private setting, talking to your relatives and friends, and offering help in difficult situations.
The speaker also drew attention to point 99 of John Paul II’s encyclical „Evangelium vitae”, in which the Holy Father addresses women who have had an abortion.
In the context of the protection of life, the problem of euthanasia was also raised. It is accepted less frequently in parliaments than abortion. When a society introduces euthanasia into the legal system, it shows that it has little solidarity with sick people, because it puts them – and in a difficult life situation, in illness and sometimes loneliness – in the face of the necessity to choose life or death. In this way, many people choose to euthanize which they would not have chosen if it were not possible.
Even Herbert Hendin, a professor of psychiatry at the New York Medical College, an agnostic advocating some euthanasia cases, believes that more involuntary euthanasia is taking place in the Netherlands today than voluntary. His article „The Dutch Experience” is well-known, where he shows that in certain diseases, euthanasia, from something initially unique, has become rather a „norm”, a common way to end the lives of patients. Currently in the Netherlands it accounts for 5% of the causes of death (7,000 annually).
Video recording in Polish and Spanish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDQ1YrGt9to
January 18, 2021 (online meeting) – prof. Judith A. Reisman from Liberty University (Virginia, USA). Prof. Reisman has focused most of her work on fighting pornography as a pandemic and exposing abuse in Alfred C. Kinsey’s research. Her book „Kinsey: Crimes and Consequences” was recently translated into Chinese. She is the founder and director of the Reisman Institute, which aims to inform the public about the difficulties faced by children as a result of aggression of overt sexuality. Subject of the meeting: „The history of the sexual revolution in the USA in 1945-2020”.
Prof. Reisman drew attention to Alfred Kinsey’s use of innocent children for his experiments. She pointed to the abuses committed by him. She called him the father of the sexual revolution in the United States. Using examples of newspapers and publishing houses, she presented the change that had taken place in America in the last few decades, especially since the 1970s. The main goal was to sexualize young children. According to the leaders of the sexual revolution, a 7-year-old child can and should engage in sexual activity. Over time, what used to be punished is now taught in schools (e.g. abortion or homosexuality). There has been an extraordinary invasion of pornography. In order to make a positive breakthrough, it is necessary to objectively and comprehensively inform the society about the dire consequences of the sexual revolution both for the general public (breakdown of bonds and destruction of the family) and for the individual (mental disorders and decreased creative potential), striving to engage in a debate that apparently does not want its spokesmen for fear of showing its real consequences.
Video recording in English: https://youtu.be/8tTfUDNImAg
December 7, 2020 (online meeting) – prof. Mark Regnerus, professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin (Texas, USA). He recently published two books in Oxford University Press: The Future of Christian Marriage (2020) and Cheap Sex and Human Transformation, Marriage and Monogamy (2017). He collaborates with First Things, National Review and Public Discourse. The subject of the meeting: „Does it make sense? Same-sex relationships through the eyes of an American sociologist.” The meeting was held in English without translation.
Prof. Regnerus raised several important points. There is a change of language, a change in the meaning of words (e.g. marriage, freedom, equality), which always precedes legal changes. Legal changes last many years and are often the result of litigation conducted by activists. The abbreviation LGBT used contains conflicting tendencies, as the letters LGB denote tendencies that do not question the existence of sex, while in the case of the letter T it is different. Regarding the letter T, the speaker pointed out that this tendency does not appear from early childhood, during which someone accepts his sex, but only in the teenage years, when a young person encounters this type of possibility in the media space. Same-sex partnerships are an attempt to copy marriage, but due to the biological inability to have children and the lack of male-female complementarity, they are unnatural and, to the limit, forced by constant media, political and legal pressure. If this pressure were to cease, the problem would largely disappear by itself, because such relationships – unlike marriage – are not public but purely private, social. The state as such has no interest in institutionalizing them and giving them privileges similar to those enjoyed by marriage, since these unions do not give rise to children who are social capital for the future. In this type of relationship there is no total commitment like in marriage, it is very common to change partners and there is no expectation of children. The rule is that after the death of the partner, the family of the deceased does not maintain any contact with the living partner of their relative. It is quite different in families, where relatives of the deceased spouse often help a surviving widow or widower and still consider him a member of the family.
Voice recording in English:
October 29, 2020 (online meeting) – dr hab. Cezary Kościelniak from the Department of Economic Ethics at the Faculty of Anthropology and Cultural Studies at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan (Poland). Theme: „University and its influence on culture”. In his last book, „Changes in the idea of the university” (PWN 2020), our guest asks questions about the mission and program of the university and the way of education. Elites are essential for proper social development. However, they should serve society for the common good, for the good of every human being. We miss university life in the form of spending more time with professors and students, being together, talking and eating together. In this way a real academic community is created. Small, elite universities can be a good idea. However, they must have a solid economic basis. The meeting was held in Polish.
September 15, 2020 – prof. dr hab. Mateusz Stróżyński from the Institute of Classical Philology of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan (Poland). Topic of the meeting: „The evolution of the concept of nature in antiquity, the Middle Ages and modern times”. Extremely interesting and accessible, our guest talked about the normative approach to nature as the essence of man and at the same time the obligation and ideal to be implemented, and about departing from it in modern times. He drew attention to the necessity of internal struggle in order to realize his nature. The fact that there are – even numerous – people who behave badly does not mean that bad conduct is human nature. Today, the phrase „be natural” is most often understood as „be spontaneous”, „do what you want”. This is because today nature is often identified with emotionality, feelings, but not with reason and seeking goodness. In order to be truly happy, every person should act in accordance with his nature, understood not only as feelings, which are very changeable, but also have to reflect, reflect on where the real good is and thus realize his nature. In this way, each of us opens up a passionate panorama of working on ourselves, our daily struggle to be truly ourselves by fighting our weaknesses, organizing and properly directing our feelings in order to realize who we really are. The meeting was held in Polish.
June 23, 2020 (online meeting) – dr. hab. Paweł Skibiński, assistant professor at the Department of History of the 20th century at the Institute of History, University of Warsaw (Poland). He specializes in the history of Spain, Poland and the Catholic Church in the 20th century. Meeting subject: „Can the state do everything? Reflections on selected examples from the 20th century ”.
Voice recording in Polish: https://anchor.fm/prawo-naturalne/episodes/Czy-pastwo-moe-wszystko-eg2v62
June 16, 2020 (online meeting) – prof. Rafael Domingo, professor of law at the Center for Study of Law and Religion at Emory University in Atlanta (Georgia, USA) and at the University of Navarra in Spain. His latest books include „The New Global Law” (Cambridge University Press, 2010), „God and the Legal System” (Cambridge, 2016), „Great Christian Lawyers in Spanish History” (Cambridge, 2016), „Roman Law: An Introduction” (Routledge, 2018), „Great Christian Lawyers in French History” (Cambridge, 2019) and „Global Law and Christianity” (Routledge, 2020). More: https://law.emory.edu/faculty/affiliates-fellows/domingo-profile.html Topic of the meeting: „Toward the Spiritualization of Law and Politics”. Prof. Rafael Domingo gave a 30-minute lecture in English (without translation) and then answered questions.
Video recording in English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGzj6jyvoCI&feature=youtu.be
May 28, 2020 (online meeting) – Fr. prof. Angel Rodríguez Luño, world-famous moralist from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, priest of the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei, professor of fundamental moral theology at the Theological Faculty of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, consultor of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since 1993, chaplain of His Holiness since 2003 r. and ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy of Life since 2004. Topic of the meeting: „What is natural law?” The meeting was translated from Spanish into Polish and questions from a large audience followed.
Video recording in Polish and Spanish: https://youtu.be/FGKemIzNCoI
April 2020 (online meeting) – Dr. Grzegorz Blicharz, PhD in law, MA in philosophy, assistant professor at the Department of Roman Law at the Jagiellonian University (Cracow, Poland). Theme: „Unwritten sources of law”.
February 28, 2020 – dr hab. Adam Szafrański, Department of Administrative Economic and Banking Law at the Faculty of Law and Administration of the University of Warsaw (Poland). Theme: „The perfect businessman. Profit and common good„.
January 2020 – Robert Mazelanik, director of the Academic Center „Solek” in Poznan (Poland), graduate of Educational Research at the University of Oxford. Theme: „Nature and culture in the education of boys and girls”.
December 2019 – prof. Marek Piechowiak, head of the Department of Theory, Philosophy and History of Law, Institute of Law, University of Social Sciences and Humanities (SWPS, Poland). Topic: „On the relationship of some concepts of natural law to positive law”.
November 2019 – prof. Grzegorz Kucharczyk, Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Theme: „The genesis of Nazism”. Voice recording in Polish on the website of Radio Poznan: http://radiopoznan.fm/audycja/arsenal-kultury/arsenal-kultury-14-01-2020
October 2019 – Dr. Marcin Romanowski, Assistant Professor at the Department of Theory and Philosophy of Law at the Faculty of Law and Administration of the University of Card. Stefan Wyszynski in Warsaw (Poland). Theme: „Legal concept of a person”.
September 2019 – dr hab. Michał Michalski, Department of Economic Ethics, Institute of Cultural Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan (Poland). Theme: „Gender or the battle for reason”.
July 2019 – Maciej Sławiński, PhD student at the Institute of Philosophy at the University of Warsaw (Poland). Theme: „Nature”.
June 2019 – Dr. Wojciech Sych, judge of the Polish Constitutional Tribunal; former judge of the District Court in Poznan, since 2012 a permanent lecturer at the National School of Judiciary and Public Prosecution; from December 2013 to January 2016, member of the Criminal Law Codification Commission. Theme: “Judicial justice. An outline of the problem in the light of the experience of a criminal judge. „
April 2019 – Tomasz Bednarek, PhD student at the Institute of Philosophy, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan (Poland). Theme: „The Concept of the Law of Nature in the Sophists”.
March 2019 – prof. Marek Piechowiak, head of the Department of Theory, Philosophy and History of Law, Institute of Law, University of Social Sciences and Humanities (SWPS, Poland). Theme: „Plato on Justice”
February 2019 – prof. Witold Płowiec, head of the Department of Constitutional Law at the Faculty of Law and Administration of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan (Poland). Theme: „The role of the constitutional court in a modern democratic state.”
January 2019 – prof. Justyn Piskorski, judge of the Polish Constitutional Tribunal and head of the Department of Criminal Law at the Faculty of Law and Administration of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan (Poland). Theme: „Power. Practical ways of making decisions. „
December 2018 – dr hab. Michał Michalski, Department of Economic Ethics, Institute of Cultural Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan (Poland). Theme: „Family – an endangered species?”
November 2018 – dr Bartłomiej Wróblewski, Department of Public Law, Institute of Law, University of Social Sciences and Humanities (SWPS, Poland). Theme: „Protection of Life”.
October 2018 – Fr. dr Jan ODogherty. Theme: „The conscience clause”.
September 2018 – prof. Marek Piechowiak, head of the Department of Theory, Philosophy and History of Law, Institute of Law, University of Social Sciences and Humanities (SWPS, Poland). Theme: „The concept of natural law according to St. Thomas Aquinas „.
July 2018 – dr hab. Adam Szafrański, Department of Administrative Economic and Banking Law at the Faculty of Law and Administration of the University of Warsaw (Poland). Theme: „Justice as perceived by prof. Javier Hervada „.
July 2018 – Maciej Sławiński, MA, PhD student at the Institute of Philosophy at the University of Warsaw (Poland). Theme: „Cartesian Breakthrough in Philosophy.”
June 2018 – Fr. dr Adam Sikora, Department of Moral Theology, Catholic Spirituality and Catholic Social Science, Faculty of Theology, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan (Poland). Theme: „Natural Moral Law”.