International Institute for Culture


The thoughts of John Paul II throughout his papacy.
Ivy Hall, 6331 Lancaster Ave., Philadelphia 19151
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Apostolic Letters and Encyclicals of John Paul II

Faith, Reason, and John Paul II’s Response to the Crisis of Truth

Date: October 27th
11:00 a.m. Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Church
12:00 noon. Brunch at Ivy Hall
1:00 p.m. Lecture
Speaker: Dr. Robert Royal, President of the Faith and Reason Institute for the Study of Religion and Culture
Costs: Brunch and Lecture: $20 (Couples $35) Lectures alone: $10
Free for students and religious.
Topic: Faith, Reason, and John Paul II’s Response to the Crisis of Truth
“Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth: and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth­ in a word, to know himself­ so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.”
Click here for the encyclical Fides et Ratio
Robert Royal is president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, D.C. His books include: 1492 And All That: Political Manipulations of History (1992), Reinventing the American People: Unity and Diversity Today (1995), The Virgin and the Dynamo: The Use and Abuse of Religion in the Environment Debate (1999, Eerdmans), Dante Alighieri in the Spiritual Legacy Series (1999, Crossroad), and The Catholic Martyrs of the Twentieth
Century: A Comprehensive Global History (2000, Crossroad). Dr. Royal holds a B.A. and M.A. from Brown University and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the Catholic University of America. He has taught at Brown University, Rhode Island College, and The Catholic University of America. He received fellowships to study in Italy from the Renaissance Society of American (1977) and as a Fulbright scholar (1978). From 1980 to 1982, he served as editor-in-chief of Prospect magazine in Princeton, New Jersey. Among the other books he has published are: Jacques Maritain and the Jews (University of Notre Dame Press), Building a Free Society (with George Weigel), Crisis and Opportunity: U.S. Policy in Central America and the Caribbean (with Mark Falcoff), and, with Virgil Nemoianu, The Hospitable Canon and Play, Literature, Religion: Essays in Cultural Intertextuality. He is a regular columnist for Crisis magazine and his articles have appeared in numerous scholarly journals and other publications, including First Things, Communio, the Wilson Quarterly, the Catholic Historical Review, the Washington Post, the Washington Times, National Review, The Wall Street Journal, and The American Spectator. He writes and lectures frequently on questions of ethics, culture, religion, and politics, and has appeared on various television and radio stations around the United States. Dr. Royal has also translated books and articles from French, Spanish, and Italian; most recently J.-P. Torrell's Initiation B saint Thomas d'Aquin (Catholic University of America Press, 1996) and Roberto Papini’s The Christian Democrat International (Rowman & Littlefield, 1997).
Faith & Reason
Faith and reason are two ways of knowing that have played a central role in the development of civilization. They work best when they mutually challenge one another to look farther, to probe more deeply, in quest of truth.
In his encyclical on Faith and Reason, Pope John Paul II praised the authentic achievements of modern thought, but pointed to a difficult contemporary problem: “reason, rather than voicing the human orientation towards truth, has wilted under the weight of so much knowledge and little by little has lost its capacity to lift its gaze to the heights…. has preferred to accentuate the ways in which this capacity is limited and conditioned.” His lament reflects the condition of all advanced societies: an abundance of wealth and practical means coexists with an extreme poverty of purpose and vision.
In his Farewell Address, George Washington made a similar observation: “Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” For Washington, national morality was also the “spring of popular government.” American liberty was thus closely allied with faith. Reason and experience affirmed that truth.
The Institute aims at bringing both Faith and Reason to bear on all the issues that confront us. In recent years, religion has usually been neglected in public discourse. Though voices have lately protested this neglect, we still need vigorous action at all levels and in every sphere to recover the truth that faith lies at the heart of most people’s aspirations and deserves recognition of its crucial role even in a pluralistic nation like America.
Reason has received greater respect, but it is not clear that in the absence of the challenges and questions religion puts to reason that the healthy power of reason will fully emerge. For many people, reason today means science or practical decisions. But we need a renewed reason that will continue along the fruitful paths of science, technology, and economic development, as well as encourage us to examine the heights and depths of human life.
The Faith & Reason Institute is the first Washington think-tank devoted to encouraging both of these essential dimensions of our existence. We seek to recover the ancient Western understanding of human knowledge and divine revelation as co-ordinate calls upon the human spirit that need to be translated into everyday practice. Unlike other institutions interested in religion, we address questions of economics, politics, public policy, science, technology, the environment, and public culture, from perspective of both faith and reason.
The Institute conducts a program of research, conferences, seminars, and publishing aimed at introducing better ideas of faith and reason to the culture as a whole. It also engages various national and international institutions—schools, the press, public policy makers, Congress, the legal community, and others—in order to generate fresh thought and action by bringing together religious and secular experts often isolated from one another.
Faith and reason are the twin strands out of which America, and any good and free social fabric, is woven. We ignore either one at our peril. As Washington warned: “Who, that is a sincere friend to it, can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundations of the fabric?”
See for more information on the Faith and Reason Institute

Evangelium Vitae:
John Paul II’s Vision of Building a Culture of Life

Date: November 24th
11:00 a.m. Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Church
12:00 noon. Brunch at Ivy Hall
1:00 p.m. Lecture
Costs: Brunch and Lecture: $20 (Couples $35) Lectures alone: $10
Free for students and religious.
Speaker: Dr. John Haas, President of the N.C.B.C. and the I.I.C.
Topic: Evangelium Vitae: Building a Culture of Life
The Gospel of Life: "From its very title, Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), the encyclical of Pope John Paul II demonstrates its highly positive character and its great spiritual thrust. While realistically countering unprecedented threats to life and the spread of a "culture of death," the primary intention of the papal document is to proclaim the good news of the value and dignity of each human life, of its grandeur and worth, also in its temporal phase. The cause of life is in fact at the same time the cause of the Gospel and the cause of man, the cause entrusted to the church." from THE VATICAN'S SUMMARY OF "EVANGELIUM VITAE" available at
Therefore I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days…
Deuteronomy 30:19-20
John M. Haas is the President of the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Boston, Massachusetts. The Center was established in 1972 to research problems in medical ethics and to apply the teachings of the Catholic Church to specific medical issues emerging from advances in medicine, the life sciences and civil law. It is the largest publisher of books and periodicals on Catholic bioethics in the country. Dr. Haas received his Ph.D. in Moral Theology from the Catholic University of America and his
S.T.L. in Moral Theology from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. Before assuming the Presidency of The National Catholic Bioethics Center, Dr. Haas was the John Cardinal Krol Professor of Moral Theology at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Philadelphia and Adjunct Professor at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies in Marriage and the Family, Washington, D.C. For a number of years he produced and hosted an national television program known as The St. Charles Forum which was carried on the Catholic network EWTN. He has also served as a member of the Medical Moral Commission of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and has been a faculty member of the Commission for Inter-professional Education and Practice at Ohio State University.
Dr. Haas has testified before the Joint Judiciary Committees of the Massachusetts Legislature on physician-assisted suicide and before the US Senate Committee on Health and Public Safety on the subject of cloning humans. He has also provided testimony to the President’s National Bioethics Advisory Commission. He has written many articles on topics ranging from the role of the laity in the Church, to sexual morality, social justice issues and bio-ethics. He is the editor of and a contributor to Crisis of Conscience published by Herder/Crossroads and is a contributing editor to Crisis and Touchstone magazines. His Opinion Pieces have appeared in the New York Times, the Boston Globe and the Philadelphia Inquirer. He has lectured extensively in this country and abroad, including Peru, Mexico, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Canada, and at the Vatican. He is a consultant to the Committee for Pro-Life Activities of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. He is a former board member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars and is a board member and faculty member of the International Catholic University and President of the International Institute for Culture based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Haas and his wife Martha are the parents of nine children and reside in Philadelphia.

Latin Lives at Ivy Hall
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The IIC offers Latin classes throughout the year in the evening on Wednesdays, as well as full-time summer intensive courses. For more information, click here to contact the Institute.

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Ivy Hall - International Institute for Culture - 6331 Lancaster Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19151