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Fr. Seby Kidangan defends his Doctoral Dissertation at UPS, Rome


By Fr. Shalbin Kalanchery Paul sdb
Bangalore, Oct. 20. Fr. Seby Kidangan successfully defended his doctoral thesis on ''The Right to Evangelization of the Christian Faithful. A Post-Conciliar Doctrinal and Juridical Study in the Light of New Evangelization'', on 16th October 2015 at UPS, Rome. Fr. Seby originally belongs to the Sacred Heart Province of Bangalore (INK), but has temporarily been transferred to the Vice-province of the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS), Rome and he is part of the faculty of Canon Law.
His study focuses on the heart of the Church's mission and the main thrust of the first Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium (24 November 2013). Moreover, his research coincides with the 40th anniversary of the publication of Evangelii Nuntiandi (8 December 1975), the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Paul VI on Evangelization. The originality and novelty of his work can be traced in the salient findings and the proposals for a ''New Evangelization'' from a canonical standpoint.  

The paper proposes a juridical concept of the ''right to evangelization'' of the Christian faithful based on the canons 211 of Codex Iuris Canonici (CIC) and 14 of Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium (CCEO). The work, which comprises of four chapters, evaluates these canons. Furthermore, this scientific work highlights the need to understand, appreciate and recognize our fundamental ''right to evangelization''. The richness of the work is also evidenced in the ability to foresee the challenges to the ''New Evangelization'' and in proposing apt responses to face them.

Prof. Jesu Pudumai Doss, the research guide and the Dean of the faculty of Canon law at UPS, was in high appreciation for the capacity of the student to synthesize the vast ocean of historical, canonical and ecclesial resources on the topic. The defense panel, consisting of Prof. Francesco Casella SDB, the Vice-Rector of the university, Prof. Kevin Otieno Mwandha SDB and Prof. Michaela Pitterov, FMA, the first and second readers respectively, was unanimous in affirming the quality of the content, the meticulous methodology and the massive bibliography. Fr. Seby responded to the various queries of the examiners with great ease and competence quoting the canons and examples from his pastoral experience, which indicated his skillful capacity to apply theory to practice. A moving thanksgiving speech by Fr. Seby and a thunderous applause by everyone present signaled the closure of the defense.

A word of congratulation was on the lips of everyone who witnessed the event including the staff, students, confreres from and outside INK, friends and well-wishers. Hearty congratulations to Dr. Seby Kidangan and wish him a fruitful and rewarding teaching ministry at UPS in the years ahead.


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