ROMAN CATHOLIC PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY presents articles on topics of Roman Catholic theology and philosophy, and invites dialogue on the same. ROMAN CATHOLIC PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY is a product of the Web Communications Committee of Mary, Queen of the Holy Rosary Parish, Lexington, Kentucky.
My name is Otto R. Piechowski. I am a member of this parish and its web committee. I am the author of the articles describing basic aspects of ROMAN CATHOLIC PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY. My duties include reviewing and editing articles submitted for inclusion by guest writers, and facilitating the dialogue among those who offer comments on the content of the articles presented here.
Theology takes its premises from divine revelation. Theology then uses the reasoning tools of philosophy to explore and apply those premises. For this reason, philosophy has been called “the handmaid of theology”. Because philosophy is essential for doing theology, persons in preparation for ecclesial ministry (priesthood, diaconate, lay ministries) have been required to attain a thorough background in Roman Catholic philosophy. This extensive background and continued study in, and of, philosophy is referred to as perennial philosophy (philosophia perennis). One good example of the Church’s dedication to the philosophical and theological formation of its ecclesial ministers is the Basselin program at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
The first article of this website-blog, entitled What are Roman Catholic Philosophy and Theology, was posted February of 2014. 2014 is the hundredth anniversary of the Basselin fellowship at The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. The Basselin program was made possible by the 1914 donation of the New York businessman, Theodore Basselin . Following Basselin’s desired intentions, The Catholic University established a course of studies in philosophy and oratory for diocesan seminarians preparing for the Catholic priesthood. It was the desire of Theodore Basselin to foster the formation of homilists who would be thoroughly steeped in philosophy and skilled in articulating clearly and attractively the intellectual wealth of the Roman Catholic tradition. The curriculum of the three year Basselin program includes, within a survey of the major periods and branches of philosophy, a specific emphasis on that scholastic philosophy useful for undertaking subsequent graduate studies in theology. Since its creation, some 400 persons have completed this course of studies which calls for intensive work in Catholic philosophy and in public speaking. Basselin alumni include the scripture scholar Father Raymond E. Brown, philosophers Monsignor John F. Wippel and Monsignor Robert Sokolowski, Cardinal Raymond Burke, Cardinal Dan DiNardo, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Bishop Robert Barron, Monsignor Roger Scheckel, and trial attorney Robert Kovacs Esq.