Fr. Massimo Pampaloni, SJ

Dean of Ecclesiastical Studies, Professor

Fr. Massimo Pampaloni, SJ - Pontifical Oriental Institute


Entering the Society of Jesus in 1992, I did my novitiate in Genoa, followed by a Bachelor’s Degree in philosophy at the Aloisianum Centre of Philosophy Studies in Padua. My regency period was spent in Salvador de Bahia and Cachoeirio de Itapemirim (ES), Brazil, after which, in 2001, I completed a Bachelor’s in Theology at the Jesuit Faculty of Theology in Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais), Brazil. Following ordination to the diaconate in Salvador de Bahia (2001), I returned to Italy (2002) for a licentiate in Eastern Ecclesiastical Sciences in the area of Patristic Theology, at the Pontifical Oriental Institute, completed in 2004. During this time I was ordained to the priesthood (15 June 2002) in Florence.


In the PIO’s Faculty of Eastern Ecclesiastical Sciences I pursued doctoral studies, completing a theses entitled L’unione delle due nature di Cristo in alcune omelie di Mar Narsai di Edessa. Un episodio dello sviluppo della coscienza teologica in area antiochena nel V secolo.Under the direction of Natalino Spaccapelo, SJ, the dissertation reviewed the christological controversies in the Syriac context of the fifth century in the light of the fourth functional specialty (the dialectic) according to Bernard Lonergan‘s Method.


From 2010 to 2016, I served as Vice Rector of the PIO. Since June 2016,I have been the Dean of the Faculty of Eastern Ecclesiastical Sciences while teaching as an extraordinary professor of eastern patristic theology and Syriac christology. I remain a visiting professor of patristics at the Faculty of Theology of Southern Italy (Sezione S. Luigi) in Naples. Every other year, I teach several courses as visiting professor of patristics at the FAJE (Faculdade Jesuita de Filosofia e Teologia di Belo Horizonte, (MG), Brazil) and in other Brazilian faculties of theology.


My areas of specialized research, other than Syriac Christology, are the application of Bernard Lonergan’s functional specialties (Method) in the field of patristics and the function of the imagery in theology inquiry.


Since 19 February 2014, I have been a Consultor for the Congregation for Oriental Churches. I also am a member of Syriaca, the association of Italian Syriacists, and of the academic committee of the series Série Inconfidentia Philosophica (Mariana, MG, Brasil).

Country of Birth


Degrees Held

1997 Bachelor degree in Philosophy – Aloisianum Padua, (aggr. PUG-Rome)

2001 Bachelor degree in Theology – Centro de Estudos Superiores da Companhia de Jesus, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brasil

2004 Licentiate degree in Oriental Ecclesiastical Sciences (PIO- Rome)

2008 Doctorate degree in Oriental Ecclesiastical Sciences (PIO- Rome)


M.Pampaloni, “Desiderio e presenza in Gregorio di Nissa come autotrascendenza e coscienza recettiva“, in P.Martinelli-L.Bianchi (orgs.), In caritate veritas : Luigi Padovese, vescovo cappuccino, vicario apostolico dell’Anatolia : scritti in memoria, Bologna, 2011, 243-267;


M. Pampaloni, “La fecondità del fuoco : un’applicazione del patrimonio liturgico siriaco alla teologia dell’eucaristia“, in C.Giraudo (org), The Anaphoral Genesis of the Institution Narrative in Light of the Anaphora of Addai and Mari, OCA n. 205 (2013), 113-125;


C.Noce, M.Pampaloni, C.Tavolieri (orgs), Le vie del sapere in ambito siro-mesopotamico dal III al IX secolo , OCA n.293, (2013);


M.Pampaloni, “O desejo natural de ver a Deus. Uma questão clássica em Bernard Lonergan”, Perspectiva Teologica 45(2013) 339-372;


M.Pampaloni, “Irénée Hausherr S.I. (1891-1978)“, in P.Bukovec (org.), Tagung der Religionen im Vorderen Orient (1 : 2010 : Tübingen) Christlicher Orient im Porträt – Wissenschaftsgeschichte des Christlichen Orients. Hamburg, 2014, 725-740;


M.Pampaloni, “The Way to Chalcedon : an Unexpected Journey : There and Back Again“in G.Whelan, Lonergan’s anthropology revisited : the next fifty years of Vatican II, Roma, 2015, 129-179;


M.Pampaloni, “La traduzione e le esigenze etiche del soggetto”, in Rafal Zarzeczny. (Org.). Aethiopia fortitudo eius. Studi in onore di Monsignor Osvaldo Raineri in occasione del suo 80° compleanno. OCA, n. 298 (2015) 339-354;


M.Pampaloni-B.Ebeid (orgs), Costantino e l’Oriente. L’impero, i suoi confini e le sue estensioni, OCA n.300, (2017)


Notable Projects

Right now I’m working on the application of the transcendental dialectic of Bernard Lonergan in the field of patristics, in particular on its ecumenical impact, and the translation of some of Lonergan texts for the Italian edition of his complete works.

Another line of research is on the function of the imagery and imagination in theology, from Ephrem of Nisibis to its medieval and contemporary applications.

I am cooperating in an anthology of Christological Syriac texts and a selection of Latin, Greek and Syriac patristic texts, with theological commentary

Favorite Quote


Understand understanding and you will understand much of
what there is to be understood.


– Bernard Lonergan