Prof. Rocco D’Ambrosio was born in Cassano delle Murge, in the province of Bari, in 1963. In 2017, he celebrates the 25th year of priestly ordination.
He obtained a Baccalaureate in Philosophy and Theology at the Pontificia Università Lateranense in Roma in 1987, a degree in Philosophy at the Università degli Studi “Tor Vergata” in 1992, and a Doctorate in social sciences at the Pontifical Gregorian University in 1995.
Follow the interview in which prof. D’Ambrosio presents the specialization in the Social Doctrine of the Church
Why is it important today to study the Social Doctrine of the Church (DSC), especially within the Social Sciences?
It’s important because there’s a need to formulate a Christian judgement on our society (that is why we study social sciences), from the ethical point of view we need to evaluate economic, political, and institutional problems with the light of faith to see whether these structures help us to make the Kingdom of God grow. The DSC helps us to make ethical evaluation of emerging social problems.
What does the Gregorian University offer that is different in the study of DSC? What is its particularity?
The particularity is in the Jesuit tradition of the University- and today the Church has a Pope who comes from the Society of Jesus, so like the Pope, the University offers particular attention on discernment, not only personally, but of the whole society (the social, cultural, and political structures), so that the message contained in the magisterium of the Church, represented as the seed of truth and justice in the world, can lead to the betterment of the world’s development.
Is there some personal experience in the study of DSC that you have learnt from? What is that?
I’ve been teaching here since 2000. Among the various experiences I could speak of, what is most noteworthy is to see the efforts of students from different countries, in their studies and in their application of DSC to the situations of the countries of origin – united with the desire to understand whether DSC can help the Church and the country of origin towards an integral development of the human person and of all persons.
Who do you see as being the recipients of the DSC course offered at the Gregorian University? What type of student does the Faculty have in mind?
In the light of my experience, students of social sciences will be busy in the future tomorrow in two areas: teaching and pastoral care. The majority will be engaged in the teaching sector in universities and dioceses; and others will work in the pastoral field, for example in social communication, justice and peace offices.
What are the important themes the Faculty must offer in order to render the studies more efficacious?
Listening to and following the magisterim of the Church of Pope Francis, the important themes, according to my point of view are many: the ethical-economic theme, as the Pope says “This economy kills”. The economy needs to reform itself ethically to take into account the human person; the theme of the environment as presented in Laudato Si’; and again the theme of the fight against corruption, in order to render more healthy and just all structures; social, economic, political and even Christian.
In the light of my experience a professor, I am really happy to be teaching at this University, where I do not only strive to teach, but also to learn from the students because it is always beautiful to meet people who come from all parts of the world, especially as this diversity of cultures and experiences can contribute to the improvement of our social, political and economic life. The study of DSC can help us to open our eyes to the intellectual horizon of society, offering the instruments to observe and analyze the world in which we live.