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This profile was last updated on 1/6/09  and contains information from public web pages.

Father Felix Wilfred

Wrong Father Felix Wilfred?

Employment History

  • President
  • Editor
  • University of Madras , India
  • Contributor
    UCA News
  • Professor of Christian Studies
    Madras University
  • Chair
    Department of Christianity at the University of Madras
  • Professor At the Department
    Christian Studies
  • Director of the Department
    Christian Studies
  • Head of the Department
    Christian Studies


  • Ph.D.
29 Total References
Web References
Father Felix Wilfred says the ..., 6 Jan 2009 [cached]
Father Felix Wilfred says the Vatican has released Dignitas Personae (dignity of the person) at the appropriate moment, when biomedical research is at its height and humanity is at a crucial phase.
Such an intervention was necessary for defending human dignity and life, he told UCA News on Jan. 3. Father Wilfred is president of Concilium (council), a leading theological journal appearing in seven European languages. He formerly served as secretary of the Theological Advisory Committee of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences, predecessor of the Office of Theological Concerns.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) released Dignitas Personae on Dec. 12.
Father Wilfred, who until recently was president of the arts faculty at a government-run university, organized a national conference on bioethics recently in Chennai, 2,095 kilometers south of New Delhi, where he is based.
The Vatican stand is along expected lines, but the new document's tone is more open and inviting, which is good, he remarked. He also lauded the document for defending the dignity of the human person and for pointing out that benefits of biomedical research should reach the poor and the sick, not merely the rich.
Dignitas Personae also rightly warns against the genetic selection of offspring for creating higher quality human beings and playing God, Father Wilfred observed, noting that this too would be something only the rich could afford.
According to the theologian, the Vatican instruction guards against irresponsibility in biomedical research and serves as a caveat in an increasingly consumerist society.
It would have been enhanced, however, had it addressed the social and political aspects of biomedical research instead of focusing just on ethical and anthropological aspects, Father Wilfred said.
There is a need to address social and political aspects of biomedical research, he explained, because conflict and competition exist among countries that try to dominate such research.
The priest also pointed out that the Vatican instruction is mostly a list of prohibitions and could put off some people by not providing viable alternative solutions in a detailed manner.
The document refers to the alternative of adoption in passing, but does not emphasize it or deal adequately with surrogacy, in Father Wilfred's view.
He also found it to be totally silent on the matter of HIV-infected people in relation to questions of biomedical research and reproductive technologies.
On the other hand, the theologian welcomed the Vatican's openness to new methods such as altered nuclear transfers and collection of stem cells from umbilical cords.
Father Wilfred maintained the Vatican has enormous influence in political and scientific circles, and said he expects the document will serve as a moral point of reference for policy makers, medical practitioners and researchers.
The Indian theologian also expressed hope the Vatican would join the global debate on bioethical issues and reflect it in future documents. Biomedical research constantly redefines human beings and could benefit Christian anthropology, he said.
The appointment was recently announced by ... [cached]
The appointment was recently announced by Dr. Felix Wilfred, Editor of Concilium in a letter to Fr. Pilario, who currently serves as Dean of St. Vincent's School of Theology in Quezon City, Philippines.
- Fr. Felix Wilfred, ..., 1 Feb 2007 [cached]
- Fr. Felix Wilfred, University of Madras, India
Lets take for example an extract ..., 2 Jan 2012 [cached]
Lets take for example an extract from the paper ' Ecclesia in Asia and the Challenges of Evangelization' prepared by Fr. Felix Wilfred, Madras University.
The Catholic Church in Cambodia - L'Eglise Catholique au Cambodge, 25 Jan 2005 [cached]
PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil (UCAN): Distinct theological traditions in Asia challenge traditional theology, according to Father Felix Wilfred, an Indian theologian.
In a presentation he made at the first World Forum on Theology and Liberation, held Jan. 21-25 in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Father Wilfred describes these "subaltern perspectives," which he sees as sharing common elements. He calls them "contextual, inter-disciplinary and inter-religious," unlike modern Western theology, which he says accentuates "historicity and historical consciousness."
Father Wilfred, 56, has served on theological advisory bodies to the Vatican, the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences and the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India. He is professor of Christian studies at Madras University in Chennai, India, and has been a visiting professor in Nijmegan (Netherlands) and Munster (Germany).
The theologian observes that "every religious tradition fosters through its scriptures, symbols, rituals, etc. the cultivation of its own community," what he calls "the confessional community. But he goes on to say, "The challenge today in Asia, as well as in the larger world, is in the creation of communities that will transcend the confessional boundaries." He suggests that "the relevance and significance of emerging Asian theologies will depend upon the extent they are able to respond to the Asian quest at all levels."
The full text of Father Wilfred's presentation follows: CONTEMPORARY ASIAN THEOLOGIES Some Emerging Perspectives and Future Prospects
Felix Wilfred University of Madras, India
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