‘I believe the Lord wants a change in the Church’: A private dialogue with the Jesuits in the Baltics

'I believe the Lord wants a change in the Church’: A private dialogue with the Jesuits in the Baltics

The pope enters the room of the Nunciature and greets the Jesuits one by one, starting with the provincial, Fr. Vidmantas Šimkūna. In all, 28 Jesuits are present: 22 from the province of Lithuania and Latvia, two from the United States with close links to Lithuania, and four Jesuit bishops: Lionginas Virbalas, Archbishop of Kaunas;… Read the full article

Kakichi Kadowaki: The inculturation of Christianity in Japan

Kakichi Kadowaki:  The inculturation of Christianity  in Japan

The inculturation of Christianity in Japan has not been an easy process. Its history is full of encounters and contrasts, conflicts and compromises. Among the reasons for this difficult history is the complexity and uniqueness of Japanese culture. If Shintoism is Japan’s traditional religion and the one with the most adherents, Buddhism has taken root… Read the full article

Is Stalinism Alive in Russia?

Is Stalinism Alive in Russia?

Is the Russian secret service the proud heir of the Cheka? On February 25, 1956, in a closed door meeting of the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the USSR, after much hesitation and argument with the head of the party, Nikita Khrushchev gave his famous speech “on Stalin’s personality cult and its consequences,”… Read the full article

Jesuit Journals and the First World War: On nationalism and dialogue

Jesuit Journals and the First World War: On nationalism and dialogue

In Lourdes, in July 1914, German and French Catholics, each in their own language, peacefully prayed together. “Two weeks later, the war in Europe broke out, and the pilgrims of Lourdes, having gone home, clashed against one another, under the shadow of their own flags. Those who yesterday greeted each other as brothers and sisters,… Read the full article

The Cracks in Secularization

The Cracks in Secularization

One speaks today of two sociological categories, of which the second, desecularization, indicates the overcoming of the first, secularization. The theory of secularization appeared at the beginning of the 1900s on the basis of the thought of Auguste Comte, Émile Durkheim and Max Weber, and has dominated the analysis of religion in the Western world…. Read the full article

The Bible in Evangelization Today

The Bible in Evangelization Today

        “The sacred Scriptures are the very source of evangelization” is the statement Pope Francis uses in Evangelii Gaudium (EG) to conclude the section dedicated to the proclamation of the Word.[1] It is a page that is simple and at the same time complex. Simple, because there can be no true evangelization… Read the full article

Work and the Dignity of Workers: An interview with Cardinal Peter K. A. Turkson

Work and the Dignity of Workers: An interview with Cardinal Peter K. A. Turkson

Work is a central theme in the pontificate of Francis. In Evangelii Gaudium (EG), he uses four words to describe it: “free, creative, participatory and mutually supportive” (EG 192). This is a foundational, programmatic statement that Bergoglio had already made in Buenos Aires in June 2003, commenting on the encyclical on work by St. John… Read the full article

The Agreement between China and the Holy See

The Agreement between China and the Holy See

The signing of a provisional agreement between the People’s Republic of China and the Holy See was announced by the Press Office of the Holy See on September 22, 2018. It is helpful to understand this agreement as a true harmony of notes. That is to say, the beginning of a composition that has yet… Read the full article

The Seven Pillars of Education according to J. M. Bergoglio

The Seven Pillars of Education according to J. M. Bergoglio

The challenge associated with education has always been close to the heart of the current pontiff. As he himself revealed in our 2016 interview, he was involved in youth pastoral ministry and education when he was a parish priest in San Miguel. On a daily basis he hosted the local children in the very large… Read the full article

A Tale of Love and Darkness

A Tale of Love and Darkness

Between April 20 and 22, 2018, the news broke that the Genesis, a sort of Israeli Nobel Prize, was being awarded to the actress Natalie Portman. Her swift response came through an official spokesperson: she felt it was necessary to refuse the prize since “the recent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her,”… Read the full article

“It is not enough to turn the page. Life must be given anew”

“It is not enough to turn the page. Life must be given anew”

The private meeting between Pope Francis and the Jesuits in Ireland On August 25, during his visit to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families, Pope Francis met a large group of Jesuits of Ireland. The meeting was due to take place at 6:20 p.m., but the pope chose to lengthen his private meeting with… Read the full article

The Whole World, a Big Family: Pope Francis in Ireland

The Whole World, a Big Family: Pope Francis in Ireland

At about 8 a.m. on August 25, an Aer Lingus flight with Pope Francis, his entourage and journalists aboard took off for Dublin. The pope was heading to Ireland because its capital was the setting for the Ninth World Meeting of Families (August 21-26) on the theme, “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the… Read the full article

‘I am just a boy’: Meditating on the young with Kings David and Solomon

‘I am just a boy’:  Meditating on the young with Kings David  and Solomon

Is it possible to depend on young people? Is it not risky to give responsibilities to those who have not gained experience? Would trust in a young person be misplaced? Ecclesiastes seems to respond to these questions by stating: “Alas for you, O land, when your king is a child (na’ar)” (Eccles 10:16). Even the… Read the full article

Refugees in Crisis: Spiritual Resources and Ethical Principles

Refugees in Crisis: Spiritual Resources and  Ethical Principles

The humanitarian system is severely challenged today. There are more displaced people today than at any time since World War II. Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called the situation a “monumental crisis” that will require a response based on “monumental solidarity.”[1] We need to develop much better ways of protecting the humanity of those… Read the full article

Jerusalem: Holy City, Open City

Jerusalem: Holy City, Open City

The year 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948. The United Nations resolution of November 29, 1947, had established that two independent and sovereign states would be created from the Palestinian territory, ex British Mandate: one Jewish and one Palestinian. This resolution created the so-called… Read the full article

Don Tonino Bello: A bishop who became the Gospel

Don Tonino Bello: A bishop who became the Gospel

“A bishop who became the Gospel”: this is the expression that Monsignor Agostino Superbo, the postulator of the cause of beatification, uses to define Don Antonio Bello, paraphrasing the latter’s own definition of a bishop. In fact, at the beginning of his episcopal ministry, Don Tonino said: “I would like to be a bishop who becomes… Read the full article

Against the Spirit of Fierceness

Against the Spirit of Fierceness

The “spirit of fierceness” pervades human history. Its form may change but it is always the same dynamic: one of opposition against “the other.” We see it first in the anger of Cain, when it drove him to kill his brother. And it continues to be unleashed in the fury of the dragon who, unable… Read the full article

People as a Mythical Concept for Pope Francis, Reader of Dostoyevsky

People as a Mythical Concept for Pope Francis, Reader of Dostoyevsky

There is a work by Romano Guardini that was well known to Fr. Jorge Mario Bergoglio when he was rector of the faculties of philosophy and theology at San Miguel in Buenos Aires. It is Religiöse Gestalten in Dostojewskijs Werk (Religious Figures in Dostoyevsky’s Work), in which the master from the Rhine analyzes the world of… Read the full article

Benjamin Britten’s ‘Billy Budd’

Benjamin Britten’s ‘Billy Budd’

Billy Budd is an opera in two acts by Benjamin Britten. It finally came to Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera nearly 70 years after its London premiere in a coproduction with Madrid’s Royal Theater and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in London. This version has been awarded the prestigious International Opera Award for best production.  … Read the full article

Paradoxes of Vulnerability

Paradoxes of Vulnerability

In his message for the First World Day of the Poor, celebrated November 19, 2017, Pope Francis stressed “how hard it is for our contemporary world to see poverty clearly for what it is.” And yet, “in myriad ways poverty challenges us daily, in faces marked by suffering.”[1] Completing the otherwise abstract evaluation based on… Read the full article

Korea: the State of Play

Korea: the State of Play

On April 27, 2018, a historic meeting took place between Moon Jae-in, the president of the Republic of Korea, and Kim Jong-un, the leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The meeting concluded with a declaration affirming their mutual commitment to bringing war between the countries to an end and building a denuclearized Korean… Read the full article

Ireland, Whence and Whither?

Ireland, Whence and Whither?

Ireland to a great extent missed out on “modernity.” During the “long 19th century” when the rest of Europe was experiencing industrialization, urbanization and secularization and rejecting the demands of tradition, Ireland – and especially Catholic Ireland – was otherwise engaged. As other traditionally Catholic countries were beginning to question the dominant role of the… Read the full article

Ecumenism and Global Governance: Pope Francis in Geneva

Ecumenism and Global Governance: Pope Francis in Geneva

Ecumenism against the backdrop of global governance At 8.30 a.m. on Thursday, June 21, 2018, flight AZ4000 departed Fiumicino airport heading for Geneva with Pope Francis, his entourage and accredited members of the press on board. This was Francis’ 23rd international journey. He is the third pope to have set foot in Switzerland, following Paul… Read the full article

Ethical Discernment and Economic-Financial Questions

Ethical Discernment and Economic-Financial Questions

On May 17, 2018, in the Holy See Press Room, a Vatican document was presented titled Considerations for an ethical discernment regarding some aspects of the present economic–financial system. It was prepared jointly by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. It was approved by the… Read the full article

Power in the Bible

Power in the Bible

What does the Bible say about “power”? The subject is current and of great interest,[1] but not at all simple. Anyone searching for the word “power” in the Old Testament would be disappointed: it does not exist in Hebrew. Is that because Sacred Scripture does not provide any cause for reflection about power? Far from… Read the full article

Net Neutrality and the Technology Environment

Net Neutrality and the Technology Environment

In mid-December 2017, the United States Federal Communication Commission (FCC) voted to reclassify Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as information services rather than common carriers or public service providers. ISPs are those services that connect companies and individuals to the internet: telephone companies, cable companies and so on. Though debated from at least 2003, the common… Read the full article

Multitasking: Opportunity or Weakness?

Multitasking: Opportunity or Weakness?

A significant feature of contemporary culture is the wealth of opportunity available to us, not least due to the increasing speed and power of technology. A term often used in this sphere is multitasking, which symbolically expresses both a mentality and an ideal: the possibility of carrying out concurrently an ever greater number of tasks,… Read the full article

The War in Syria

The War in Syria

Even though it is still unclear where and when lasting peace negotiations will take place,[1] some analysts believe that 2018 could be the year the civil war in Syria ends. Successive rounds of talks – in Geneva, Astana and Sochi – have so far proven, for one reason or another, unable to resolve this grave… Read the full article

“The Shape of Water” A film by Guillermo Del Toro

Winner of the Golden Lion at the 2017 Venice Film Festival and four Oscars at the 2018 Academy Awards (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Production Design and Best Original Score), The Shape of Water by Mexican film director Guillermo Del Toro is a fairy tale in a real historical context. The terms “fairy tale” and… Read the full article

Father Angelo Secchi, Jesuit and Scientist

Father Angelo Secchi, Jesuit and Scientist

This year marks 200 years since the birth of the Jesuit Fr. Angelo Secchi (Reggio Emilia, June 28, 1818 – Rome, February 26, 1878). He was an astronomer, geodesist and founder of spectroscopic astronomy. From the year 1849 he directed the Observatory of the Roman College, completely rebuilding it with the construction of the first… Read the full article

The Prosperity Gospel: Dangerous and Different

The Prosperity Gospel: Dangerous and Different

The “prosperity gospel” is a well-known theological current emerging from the neo-Pentecostal evangelical movements. At its heart is the belief that God wants his followers to have a prosperous life, that is, to be rich, healthy and happy. This type of Christianity places the well-being of the believer at the center of prayer, and turns… Read the full article

Diversity and Communion among the First Christians: The genesis of the New Testament

Diversity and Communion among the First Christians: The genesis of the New Testament

A considerable effort needs to be made to become immersed in the religious world of the first century. It involves dealing with a world very different from today, if only because the term “religion” did not always mean the same thing for people of that time as it does for people now. It was a… Read the full article

Catholic Education, Faith and Vocational Discernment

Catholic Education, Faith and Vocational Discernment

Introduction The Church has convoked a synod to examine “how she can lead young people to recognize and accept the call to fullness of life and love and … identify the most effective ways to announce the Good News today.”[1] This is an important task in a world where youth have taken a leading role… Read the full article

The Jesuits in China, 1842 to 1954

The Jesuits in China, 1842 to 1954

In 1582 Michele Ruggieri and Matteo Ricci were the first Jesuits to be allowed into China. This first period of presence of the Society concluded – following wonderful moments and also periods of persecution – with the suppression of the Jesuits in 1773. The Jesuits were present again in China for a second period following… Read the full article

Big Data and Ethical Challenges

Big Data and Ethical Challenges

The poor in the 21st century, as well as the cash poor, are the ignorant, the naive and the exploited in a data-dominated world. With the controversy engulfing Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and their use of personal data displaying how deep and widespread the invasion of privacy for commercial gain really is, the Church is called… Read the full article

Miguel Ángel Fiorito and popular religiosity in the context of Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s formation

Miguel Ángel Fiorito and popular religiosity in the context of Jorge Mario Bergoglio's formation

Since his election on March 13, 2013, among the many questions posed regarding the person and history of Pope Francis are those about the origins of his thought in general and of his theological mindset in particular. Between 1968 and 1978, Jorge Mario Bergoglio finished his formation as a Jesuit and began his ministry as… Read the full article

Bitcoin. The virtual currency par excellence

Bitcoin. The virtual currency par excellence

Bitcoin is the virtual currency par excellence. Barely a day goes by without it being in the news, either due to wild swings in value, or the multiple reactions it provokes. There are many who argue it should be regulated, and some even suggest banning it, such as the Nobel Prize winning economists, Joseph Stiglitz[1]… Read the full article

Science and Religion in Ian G. Barbour

Science and Religion in Ian G. Barbour

Ian Graeme Barbour (1923-2013) was someone rather rare: a physicist and a theologian. Born in Beijing, in the course of his studies in Chicago he was the assistant of Enrico Fermi and, after graduating in physics, he began work as a physicist at Kalamazoo College in Michigan. He later applied himself to the study of… Read the full article

The Legacy of Karl Marx

The Legacy of Karl Marx

When asked about the criterion for recognizing the greatness of a philosopher, Hegel suggested we let two centuries pass and then consider what remains of their achievement. This adage can appropriately be applied to Karl Marx, one of Hegel’s best-known scholars. On the bicentennial of his birth, Marx continues to be talked about; although in… Read the full article

Collaborators of the Apostles and the Reform of the Roman Curia

Collaborators of the Apostles and the Reform of the Roman Curia

Do we have data about the collaborators of Peter that would support an analogy between them and the Roman Curia? Do the letters of Paul testify to a variety of “co-workers” who might provide a vision illuminating the Curia and its reform? Where might we find some precedents, or at least some ancient analogy that… Read the full article

After the Candlelight Revolution in South Korea

After the Candlelight Revolution in South Korea

The Republic of Korea (South Korea) experienced a drastic change in the course of and after the Candlelight Revolution of 2017. Koreans, like many peoples in the world, have suffered tremendously from a brutal war and the division of the country. They have held demonstrations in recent years to stop a corrupt government and reestablish… Read the full article

Putin and the Beginnings of the Ukrainian Crisis

Putin and the Beginnings of the Ukrainian Crisis

Vladimir Putin: between nationalism and an economic crisis Following Russia’s Syrian campaign in support of the government in Damascus and after the Sochi summit on November 22, 2017, that was defined by some as the “Middle Eastern Yalta,”[1] Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen as one of the most important and influential world leaders, on… Read the full article

Some Aspects of Christian Salvation: Reflections on the Letter ‘Placuit Deo’

Some Aspects of Christian Salvation: Reflections on the Letter ‘Placuit Deo’

On February 22, 2018, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Luis Ladaria, published the letter Placuit Deo (PD) on some aspects of Christian salvation. It is addressed to the bishops of the Catholic Church.[1] This letter was made all the more important by the subsequent publication on April 9,… Read the full article

Toward an Economy of Reconciliation: An alternative to liberalism and nationalism

Toward an Economy of Reconciliation: An alternative to liberalism and nationalism

From the liberal economic model to the proposal of a global economy Solidarity and shared purpose – both within and across nations – seem to be in short supply in the current world economy. Nevertheless, the current state of affairs may offer an important opportunity for thinking in creative new ways about what an economy… Read the full article

Techno-Theological Narratives

Techno-Theological Narratives

And belief goes. Always. As if the experience that gave rise to that belief were to perceive the need to flee the limited body of the person who sensed it, and its only strategy were to transform into a symbol. That is where belief goes as it circulates around and around in society. Usually, we… Read the full article

Laudato Si’ and Ethical Business Management in Africa

Laudato Si’ and Ethical Business Management in Africa

Introduction The last two decades have seen the emergence of new nongovernmental transnational entities that substantially influence the life of African nations. For this reason, the current president of the African Union (AU), Alpha Condé, strongly affirmed that Africa’s problems are primarily due to external influences.[1] The impact that companies have on the environment falls… Read the full article

Pope Francis at the World Council of Churches: An interview with Pastor Martin Robra

Pope Francis at the World Council of Churches: An interview with Pastor Martin Robra

I met the Rev. Dr. Martin Robra at Villars-sur-Glâne, a few kilometers outside Geneva, on May 27, 2017. He began working with the World Council of Churches (WCC) in 1994 and in 2006 became the co-secretary of the mixed working group between the WCC and the Catholic Church set up in 1965. I had already… Read the full article

‘I am a Mission’: Toward the Synod on Young People

‘I am a Mission’: Toward the Synod on Young People

The main theme of the next Synod, on young people, is vocational discernment. On hearing the word “vocation,” the first thing that comes to mind is the vocation to the consecrated life. However, the call of God is broader; it is not limited to “perfect” forms of life. It is also the humble and continuous… Read the full article

Christian Identity in a Globalized and Pluralist World

Christian Identity in a Globalized and Pluralist World

Today there are many who question the role of the Church: for some it belongs to the past and can only hinder the development of civilization; according to others its influence drives the moral forces that ensure the orientation of progress; still others uphold it as the key to justice and peace in a world… Read the full article

Making Christianity More Chinese? Pastoral perspectives

Making Christianity More Chinese? Pastoral perspectives

For around the last three years, the Chinese leadership has been repeatedly calling religions present on Chinese soil to “sinicize” (zhongguohua).[1] What is meant by this word? Translators of official documents experience difficulties when trying to convey the meaning of a term like zhongguohua. For instance, the translation of Xi Jinping’s report at the start… Read the full article

The Future of Europe

The Future of Europe

Some significant events in 2017 If we wish to outline a future scenario for Europe, it is useful to first recall certain significant events that took place during 2017. The first was at the beginning of the year, on January 31, a few days after the inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United… Read the full article

The Chinese Presence in Africa

The Chinese Presence in Africa

Introduction Over the last few years, the Chinese presence across Africa from West to East, South to North, through different projects, like building infrastructure or investing in different sectors, has become conspicuous. When you pass through Addis Ababa – the capital city of Ethiopia and the African Union (AU) – you cannot avoid noticing the… Read the full article

The Story of Aloysius Gonzaga

The Story of Aloysius Gonzaga

Visiting the so-called “rooms” or “chapels” of St. Aloysius Gonzaga in Rome, to a certain extent one can measure the distance – about four and a half centuries – between our time and his. But he also seems very present, because some things belonging to him – the crucifix, objects for daily use, the letters… Read the full article

The Church Says ‘No’ to Nuclear Weapons: Pastoral and moral implications

The Church Says ‘No’ to Nuclear Weapons:  Pastoral and moral implications

The teaching of the Church has evolved from a conditioned acceptance of nuclear deterrence in the 1980s, to rejection of deterrence as an unacceptable moral rationalization for nuclear armament in the 2000s, to strong support for nuclear disarmament in recent years, leading to approval for the Ban Treaty in September 2017. Catholics have the right… Read the full article

‘Wonder Wheel’, a film by Woody Allen

‘Wonder Wheel’, a film by Woody Allen

It is summer on Coney Island, and clouds and rain are stealing the light from the sky and the colors from the sea. Woody Allen is fond of this place, for it was at Coney Island where he spent happy moments during his childhood. But today it is a place past its prime. In his… Read the full article

The Doctrine of Tribulation

The Doctrine of Tribulation

 Why are we now offering our readers a text by then-Fr. Jorge Mario Bergoglio dated Christmas 1987? Before replying to this question we need to understand something about the context in which it was written. Fr. Bergoglio signed a short preface to a collection of eight letters from two Superiors General of the Society of… Read the full article

Five Years of Pope Francis: The Path of the Pontificate Gradually Unfolds

Five Years of Pope Francis: The Path of the Pontificate Gradually Unfolds

We have just celebrated the fifth anniversary of the election of Pope Francis. The question journalists are trying to respond to, gathering analyses and opinions, seems to be: How has the Church changed over the last five years? But this question risks overlooking a significant fact: the Church is always changing, for it walks the… Read the full article

Poaching: a moral issue and a failure of the market

Poaching: a moral issue and a failure of the market

Julius Nyerere and the Arusha Declaration (1967) Mwalimu (teacher) Julius Nyerere (1922-1999), the first President of Tanzania, believed we have a moral duty to protect the resources present in our country. So Tanzania, which has an area of 945,000 square kilometers, has devoted 1200,000 sqr kms to wildlife conservation with 14 national parks, 31 game… Read the full article

Soap Operas, more than entertainment history and development of a cult genre

Soap Operas, more than entertainment  history and development of a cult genre

Well-known to viewers around the world, soap operas have interested communication researchers almost from the beginning of their appearance.[1] The broadcast genre started in the United States, on radio, in the 1930s and by the 1940s early communication researchers were investigating the nature of the audience for soap operas, their motivations for listening to soap… Read the full article

Concerning Jerusalem as Capital

Concerning Jerusalem as Capital

President Trump’s declaration on Jerusalem On December 6, 2017, the president of the United States, Donald Trump, officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, simultaneously declaring that he would relocate the U.S. Embassy there as soon as possible. The president announced this decision as “a long overdue step” that his predecessors were not courageous… Read the full article

 ‘Do not put us to the test’ Reflections on a difficult petition in the Lord’s Prayer

 ‘Do not put us to the test’  Reflections on a difficult petition in the Lord’s Prayer

The most influential Church Fathers and countless scriptural commentators throughout the centuries have commended the Our Father for its theological richness, extolling it as the perfect prayer, especially since the Divine Master himself taught it to us. There are those who maintain that the Our Father is the culmination of every prayer contained in the… Read the full article

More Walls between People

More Walls between People

In speeches intended to foster a climate of world peace, Pope Francis has often used metaphors referring to walls and bridges in opposition to each other. Walls are an eloquent symbol of division and incommunicability, while bridges are an equally clear symbol of encounter between different shores – between different nations, religions and people. The… Read the full article

‘Detroit’, a film by Kathryn Bigelow

‘Detroit', a film by Kathryn Bigelow

An American story. Detroit, summer of 1967. An African-American riot is violently suppressed by the police and the army. Shot in a documentary style full of tension, the film involves the audience totally, a tribute to its effectiveness. The film Detroit, by Kathryn Bigelow, is divided into three parts and preceded by a brief prologue… Read the full article

African Migrants: Where to make a home?

African Migrants: Where to make a home?

Africa is the “continent of hope.” We see this hope in the eyes of the many young men and women who arrive in Europe. A hope that can be a great contribution to an aging Europe when it finds a way of being accepted, put to use, and adequately accompanied by the welcoming community. But… Read the full article

The Jesuit Contribution to Nation-Building in India: Challenging the Jesuit Imagination

The Jesuit Contribution to Nation-Building in India: Challenging the Jesuit Imagination

The inaugural address to the International Seminar on Jesuit Contribution to Nation-Building in South Asia from the 19th-century till Today, commemorating the 200th anniversary of the restoration of the Society of Jesus. Jnana Deepa Vidyapeet, Pune, November 27-29, 2014. RUDOLF C. HEREDIA, SJ I. Remembrance and Prophecy An authentic historical consciousness can best be described as a… Read the full article

‘Gaudete et Exsultate’, Pope Francis calls on us to ‘Rejoice and be Glad’

'Gaudete et Exsultate', Pope Francis calls on us to 'Rejoice and be Glad'

Gaudete et Exsultate Sources, Structure and Meaning of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation   Five years after his election Pope Francis has decided to publish his third apostolic exhortation, titled Gaudete et Exsultate (GE). As the subtitle explicitly states, its theme is “the call to holiness in today’s world.” The pontiff launches a plain, essential message,… Read the full article

The Catholic Church and the Holy City

The Catholic Church and the Holy City

Pope Francis spoke about Jerusalem at his general audience on December 6, 2017, just a few hours before US President Donald Trump affirmed that his government recognizes Jerusalem as “the capital of Israel.”[1] Pope Francis said: “I cannot remain silent about my deep concern for the situation that has developed in recent days and, at… Read the full article

“Generating the Future”: Francis’ apostolic journey to Chile and Peru

On January 15, 2018, at 8:30 a.m., a flight with Pope Francis, the papal entourage and accredited journalists on board departed Rome for Santiago de Chile. Thus began the pope’s 22nd apostolic journey overseas, this time to Chile and Peru. Here we will try to illustrate two particular focal points – future and unity –… Read the full article

Bullying and Cyberbullying: Two phenomena on the rise

Bullying and Cyberbullying: Two phenomena on the rise

Some points of reference A non-profit telephone helpline set up in Italy in 1987 to guarantee the rights of children, Telefono Azzurro, recorded 270 cases of bullying and cyberbullying in the course of nine months (September 2015 to June 2016), practically one call a day leading to 619 consultations. The victims of physical bullying are… Read the full article

Dialogue and Proclamation in Catholic Universities

Dialogue and Proclamation in Catholic Universities

The many Catholic universities spread around the world have an important role in allowing their students to obtain a better understanding of the Christian faith. So, in view of the Synod of Bishops that will be held in October 2018 on the theme, “Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment,” it is good to look at… Read the full article

Discerning Faith in a Post-Christian Culture

Discerning Faith in a Post-Christian Culture

In his address to the participants at the International Peace Conference at Al-Azhar (Cairo, Egypt) on April 28, 2017, Pope Francis reminded his listeners that dialogue on a global level may occur if three basic duties are observed: the duty to respect one’s own identity and that of others, the courage to accept differences, and… Read the full article

What Future for Christians in Indonesia?

What Future for Christians in Indonesia?

A model of Islamic tolerance? For a long time Indonesia was regarded as the model country of Islamic tolerance. With 87 percent of its 255 million inhabitants being Muslim, it is the country with the biggest number of Muslims in the world. Despite isolated tensions and conflicts, they have lived in peace together with the… Read the full article

Martin Luther’s Vocation

Martin Luther’s Vocation

A topic like Luther’s vocation does not capture the attention of his biographers. It is taken for granted. Everyone talks about it, but only in a generic way. In truth, the facts are not so apparent. Luther entered the monastery when he was 21 years old, after a storm. On July 2, 1505, while returning… Read the full article

Aggiornamento of the Chinese Catholic Church

Aggiornamento of the Chinese Catholic Church

China has accomplished much in recent decades with huge social, economic and political transformations. However, the challenges faced by the local Catholic Church are not vanishing. All kinds of difficulties continue to constrain the growth of the Chinese Catholic Church, forcing it to adapt its own framework and to produce new responses. In the midst… Read the full article

Facing Death with Humanity and Solidarity

Facing Death with Humanity and Solidarity

Reading newspapers or surfing the web in the days after a recent intervention by Pope Francis on end-of-life issues, one would have found it difficult to get a clear idea of the actual content of his message. The various headlines, often on the front page, spanned a wide range from “Living Will, the Change of… Read the full article

Jesus and Judgment

Jesus and Judgment

“God himself is judge!” (Ps 50:6). This exclamation by the psalmist expresses so much about the common belief of the Jews at the time of Christ. There is certainly a judge who will judge both people and nations. “The wicked man reviles the Lord, saying to himself, ‘You will not ask for an account’” (cf…. Read the full article

A New Look at the Life of St. Peter Claver: “The elderly who dream and the young who prophesy”

A New Look at the Life of St. Peter Claver:

When he met with Jesuits during his recent journeys to Colombia and then Myanmar and Bangladesh,[1] Pope Francis referred to St. Peter Claver in a way that invites a new reading of the life of this saint.[2] The expression used by the pope was charism, but he did not so much speak of the charism… Read the full article

The Development and Contributions of Religious NGOs in China

The Development and Contributions of Religious NGOs in China

Since the reforms beginning with the open-door policy in 1979, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have grown rapidly in China. NGOs do not have a long history in China compared with their counterparts in other Asian countries. In China, there is no consistent definition for NGOs and they are often referred to as “social organizations,” “nonprofit organizations,”… Read the full article

To Seek and Find the Will of God

To Seek and Find the Will of God

St. Ignatius of Loyola describes the task assigned to those who preach and receive the Spiritual Exercises thus: “To seek and to find the divine will in the orientation of your life for the sake of the salvation of your soul.”[1] After disposing yourself to desire the purification of your heart, in doing the exercises… Read the full article

South Sudan: Turbulent early years of independence

South Sudan: Turbulent early years of independence

On July 9, 2011, six months after the referendum that established its independence from Sudan, and following several decades of violent conflict that sowed death and displacement and tore the fabric of its society, the Republic of South Sudan became the 54th country of the African continent, a member of the African Union, and the… Read the full article

Islam in Russia

Islam in Russia

Four hundred kilometers east of Moscow lies one of the most beautiful and wealthiest cities of Russia: Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, the largest Muslim enclave in the Russian Federation. Currently, a high-speed train line between Moscow and Kazan is under construction, the second planned after the one connecting Moscow and St…. Read the full article

“Where have our people been creative?”

“Where have our people been creative?”

Conversations with Jesuits in Chile and Peru On Tuesday, January 16, 2018, at 7 p.m., on his first full day of an apostolic journey to Chile and Peru, Pope Francis met with 90 Chilean Jesuits in the Centro Hurtado of Santiago. On arrival he was shown a reproduction of the green Ford van that St…. Read the full article

Touching Jesus: Art and Absence

Touching Jesus: Art and Absence

Contact always generates a twofold transformation, for one cannot touch without being touched. Indeed, of the senses, touch is the most compromising for it represents proximity, violation, relationship and familiarity. All in all, it is the most human and the most mystical of the senses. In biblical anthropology, “touching” is something that goes beyond the… Read the full article

“La Civiltà Cattolica”: A review on the Vision of Pope Francis

La Civiltà Cattolica was founded in the mid-nineteenth century but only since last February has it been available in English. The following is a speech about the publication’s purpose given by editor-in-chief Father Antonio Spadaro, SJ, at a meeting of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines in the city of Cebu.    La Civiltà Cattolica made its mark during a time when the very… Read the full article

The Correspondents of La Civilità Cattolica: A journal with an increasingly broad perspective

The Correspondents of La Civilità Cattolica: A journal with an increasingly broad perspective

From the month of February 2018, together with the names of the Jesuits who are part of our College of Writers (the editorial board of the journal), the inside cover will also list some “correspondents” and “contributing editors.” Of the 195 articles published during 2017, over 70 were written specifically for our journal by some… Read the full article

The “Benedict Option”: What is the role for Christians in society today?

The

Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option was recently published in the United States and has caused much debate.[1] Its title refers to St. Benedict of Nursia (circa 480-547), and it has been defined as “the most discussed and most important religious book of the decade.”[2] It tries to posit a way for faithful Christians and their… Read the full article

The Spiritual Wounds of Sexual Abuse

The Spiritual Wounds of Sexual Abuse

In a meeting with Pope Francis, a victim of sexual abuse said with profound sadness and desperation: “Jesus had his mother nearby when he faced suffering and death. But my mother, the Church, left me all alone in my time of pain.” These few words express the horror of abuse, especially the sexual abuse of… Read the full article

The Simple and Truthful Language of Jesus: Aids for discerning deceptive speech

The Simple and Truthful Language of Jesus: Aids for discerning deceptive speech

“When Jesus spoke, he used simple words and he also used images that were examples taken from daily life in order to be easily understood by all. This is why they listened to him willingly and appreciated his message that directly touched their heart. It was not a complicated language that was difficult to understand,… Read the full article

Politics and Neighbors: Where integration takes root

Politics and Neighbors:  Where integration takes root

In 1958 Eleanor Roosevelt wrote: “Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home …, the neighborhood the person lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity,… Read the full article

‘Magnum Principium’ and the Inculturation of the Liturgy after the Council

'Magnum Principium' and the Inculturation of the Liturgy after the Council

God and the assembly: the surprise of speaking the same language The Second Vatican Council’s Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium proclaimed a “great principle” in article 36, recognizing the right of each liturgical assembly to pray to God in its own language. Historians remind us that the problem of liturgical language had already been faced and successfully… Read the full article

North Korea and the Nuclear Crisis

North Korea and the Nuclear Crisis

For months now, global public opinion has been living in fear of a possible nuclear war; a fear at times irresponsibly amplified by both the media and the continuous threats of war and mutual insults launched by the two protagonists of the moment, the president of the United States, Donald Trump, and the supreme leader… Read the full article

What Becomes of Religion in a Post-Apocalyptic World?

What Becomes of Religion in a Post-Apocalyptic World?

In recent decades, there has been a literary genre that has developed exponentially: the post-apocalyptic genre. These are works of a cultural nature, particularly films and novels, that describe the human condition following a major catastrophe, which, regardless of the reasons that caused it (wars, deadly viruses, climate change, extraterrestrial invasion and so on), has… Read the full article

Toward a Fully Chinese and Fully Catholic Church: The path indicated by Benedict XVI and Francis

Toward a Fully Chinese and Fully Catholic Church: The path indicated by Benedict XVI and Francis

The Chinese people and its great country occupy an important place in the heart of Pope Francis, whose vision is open to the world. He has in fact spoken about China many times in tones of cordial admiration and real trust. It is enough to remember his words when flying over China while going to… Read the full article

The Bible: A Library Written by Migrants

The Bible: A Library Written by Migrants

We have all seen too many migrants being pulled out of the sea: men, women and children who have drowned during their journeys. Many schools now have refugees in the classrooms: children and young people who by the grace of God have survived the crossing. And in many European countries there are now many who… Read the full article

Diplomacy and Prophecy: Pope Francis in Myanmar and Bangladesh

Diplomacy and Prophecy:  Pope Francis in Myanmar and Bangladesh

Following his trips to Korea (2014) and to Sri Lanka and the Philippines (2015), Pope Francis continued his itinerary to Asia with a visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh in 2017. The flight carrying the pontiff left Fiumicino airport in Rome on November 26 at 10:10 p.m. and landed in Yangon, Myanmar, at 1:20 p.m. local… Read the full article

Venezuela Sinks to New Depths

Venezuela Sinks to New Depths

The drifting Venezuelan crisis of the first part of 2017 signaled the coming of more dramatic events. On July 30, 2017, in violation of the Venezuelan constitutional norms and against the will of the majority of the population, the Constituent National Assembly (CNA) was established. Despite various attempts at mediation, particularly by the Holy See,… Read the full article

Discern and Accompany: Indications from ‘Amoris Laetitia’

Discern and Accompany: Indications from 'Amoris Laetitia'

It is the merciful love of the Father with which he loves his Son as “the concrete-living one,” says Romano Guardini, and God loves each and every one of us individually in Christ as “concrete-living beings” in our unrepeatable uniqueness.  It follows that such a type of universality and singularity does not correspond in morality… Read the full article

Korea’s Present and Future: An interview with Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-joong

Korea’s Present and Future: An interview with Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-joong

The mission of the Church in Korea; the meaning and context of the escalating tension around North Korea, aware of the interests of the superpowers; the need for a new and mutual trust between the Holy See and China after an era of colonialism and an age of persecutions; the important and positive challenges that… Read the full article

Christian Art and Contemporary Culture: Between decline and hope of redemption

Christian Art and Contemporary Culture: Between decline and hope of redemption

The relationship between Christianity and the visual arts has been configured in the European world, albeit between alternate events, as the story of a close and fruitful alliance. However, the alliance between art and faith seems to have increasingly unraveled over the centuries. Specifically, starting with the 18th century and the coming of the Enlightenment,… Read the full article

Parliamentary Elections in Germany

Parliamentary Elections in Germany

Angela Merkel has received her fourth mandate as Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany. There was little doubt about the outcome, yet this result was accompanied by new factors. In fact, what emerged from the recent German parliamentary elections is anything but an outright victory: a defeat in terms of votes for the coalition… Read the full article

Moments of Doubt

Moments of Doubt

Counseling the doubtful is a spiritual work of mercy widely attested to since the origin of Christianity. It shows the intellectual and wisdom dimension of the discipleship of Jesus and of the works of charity. It is not a technique that is learned, a sort of persuasive ability, but it is tied essentially to knowledge… Read the full article

Young People, Faith and Discernment: The 2018 Synod and indications of an incomplete document

Young People, Faith and Discernment: The 2018 Synod and indications of an incomplete document

On January 13, 2017, the preparatory document for the next Synod of Bishops was presented. The synod will discuss “Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment” and will take place in October 2018. The document is innovative and could be useful during the period of consultation with the People of God. The simplicity of its structure… Read the full article

Christians in Muslim Lands: An ancient, contrasting and multifaceted story

Christians in Muslim Lands: An ancient, contrasting and multifaceted story

Life for Christians in countries with a Muslim majority is often difficult. The situation is not simple even in countries that do not adhere to an integralist ideology. Throughout history, conditions have often changed, and a certain level of tolerance in some periods and places has let Christians survive in Islamic countries and participate in… Read the full article

At the Crossroads of History: Pope Francis’ Conversations with the Jesuits in Myanmar and Bangladesh

At the Crossroads of History:  Pope Francis' Conversations with the Jesuits in Myanmar and Bangladesh

From November 26 to December 2, Pope Francis traveled to Myanmar and Bangladesh on his 21st international apostolic journey. On Wednesday, November 29, following his encounter with the bishops of Myanmar, Francis left the small room that had hosted the meeting and found himself before 300 seminarians who were waiting for a photo opportunity. He… Read the full article

Myanmar and Bangladesh: Two nations in the heart of Asia

Myanmar and Bangladesh: Two nations in the heart of Asia

Pope Francis will be in Myanmar and Bangladesh for his 21st apostolic journey November 27 to December 2, 2017. These two nations, situated in the heart of Asia, have tragic, bloodstained histories since slipping the bonds of British colonialism, and they are in the top five of the poorest countries in Asia. Only a tiny… Read the full article

From De Ecclesia to Lumen Gentium

From De Ecclesia to Lumen Gentium

The preparation of the Constitution on the Church was certainly one of the highest and most engaging moments of the Second Vatican Council. Using the interpretative category of “event,” which is concerned with historical research, reconstruction and critical evaluation of the facts, this article seeks to study, in its initial stage, the formation of the… Read the full article

Peace in Colombia: Not an Objective but a Condition

Peace in Colombia: Not an Objective but a Condition

Pope Francis’ apostolic journey to Colombia (September 6-11, 2017) was a truly prophetic “manifesto” not only in words but also in actions and gestures. It showed that a different world is possible and indicated to the Church its own role of service as salt of the earth. After decades of government and guerrilla conflicts, the… Read the full article

The New Silk Road: The Global Ambitions of the Chinese Economy

The New Silk Road: The Global Ambitions of the Chinese Economy

In the month of May this year, in Beijing, before almost 30 heads of state and government and more than 1,000 delegates from 130 countries attending the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke to a meeting titled “The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation” to announce a major… Read the full article

Youth, Culture and Discernment: The experience of Augustine and Basil

Youth, Culture and Discernment: The experience of Augustine and Basil

Young people spend most of their time at school, and it is at school that they receive the culture that will be the foundation of their active citizenship and participation in society. While school is practically the only provider of scientific knowledge, the culture in its broader sense is formed by different contributions of varying… Read the full article

Curing the Illnesses of the Soul

Curing the Illnesses of the Soul

At one time, when a young Jesuit finished his novitiate and started his studies of philosophy and theology, he was entrusted with the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius to be used as a rule of life. It came with a booklet in Latin: Industriae pro superioribus ad curandos animae morbos, written by Fr. Claudio Acquaviva… Read the full article

Who is the “Bad Shepherd”?

Who is the “Bad Shepherd”?

Characteristics and Biblical images proposed by Pope Francis During Francis’ four-year pontificate we have learned to use the pope’s imaginative definition of a good shepherd as one who wears “the smell of the sheep.” But what are the telltale signs of the “bad shepherd”? First as a Jesuit superior and then as Bishop of Rome,… Read the full article

Art recounts the Plight of Refugees

Art recounts the Plight of Refugees

Painful Paths to Freedom.   The exile Élisée Reclus wrote that “geography is nothing more than history in space, just as history is geography over time.” The forced exodus of millions of refugees that we are witnessing today tells a “story in space,” a nation of refugees, stateless and displaced persons numbering over 65 million… Read the full article

African Spirituality and Its Contribution to the Ecological Crisis

African Spirituality and Its Contribution to the Ecological Crisis

 “No one throws a stone where he or she has placed a container of milk.” The wisdom of this Rwandan proverb has never been as needed as it is today, particularly with regard to the depletion of the environment. We continue to throw stones that destroy “our common home,” as Pope Francis described the planet… Read the full article

The Practice of Zen and Christian Meditation

The Practice of Zen and Christian Meditation

Buddhism presents itself to the public in a subtler way in comparison to other faiths, offering an alternative way for people on a religious quest. Throughout many Christian communities, silence and meditation are no longer connected exclusively to religious practice. There are numerous opportunities for reflection, and some of them have an Asian origin. This… Read the full article

Luther and the Magnificat

Luther and the Magnificat

A recent biography of Luther, Martin Luther: Rebel in an Age of Upheaval, by historian Heinz Schilling, describes the devotion of the reformer to Mary the Mother of Jesus and his theological sensitivity to Marian themes that would later be neglected by his followers. Among the works finished in 1521, Schilling describes Luther’s commentary on… Read the full article

The Question of Qatar

The Question of Qatar

In June 2017 a number of Gulf States led by Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with neighboring Qatar, objecting to its moderate Islam and tolerance of other religions. In late August Qatar announced it would restore full diplomatic recognition of Shia-majority Iran. For decades Qatar has been lauded for its long-standing policy of promoting its… Read the full article

Parrhesia: Freedom of Speech in Early Christianity

Parrhesia: Freedom of Speech in Early Christianity

The philosopher Michel Foucault defines parrhesia as “the frankness, the openness of heart, the opening of word, the openness of language, the freedom of speech.” However, this does not mean saying what one wants in the way one wants, for by its very nature parrhesia reflects an ethical attitude in that what one has to… Read the full article

The Spring Tide of Saffron Power: India between Democracy and Nationalism

The Spring Tide of Saffron Power: India between Democracy and Nationalism

The Preamble of the Indian Constitution states the nation is a “sovereign, socialist, secular and democratic republic,” but a rising tide of Hindu Rashtra (Hindu nation), premised on an aggressive and ideological Hindutva (Hindu nationalism), threatens the religious and ethnic polyglot that is India. In the national election for the Lok Sabha (the lower house)… Read the full article

Reality is Superior to the Idea

Reality is Superior to the Idea

In his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (EG), Pope Francis writes about several principles that should be followed while pursing the common good. One principle is “realities are more important than ideas” (231-233). He returns to this principle in Laudato Si’ (LS), where he invites us to confront the ecological crisis by thinking about the common… Read the full article

Arvo Pärt: The Sacred and Religious in Music

Arvo Pärt: The Sacred and Religious in Music

Arvo Pärt was born September 11, 1935, in Paide, Estonia, at that time part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Pärt began to learn to play the piano and other musical instruments at an early age. Following his military service, he attended the Tallinn Conservatory. The professors there were strongly influenced by the music… Read the full article

The Church and the Chinese Government: An interview with Fr. Joseph Shih

The Church and the Chinese Government: An interview with Fr. Joseph Shih

Fr. Joseph Shih, SJ, meets me just a few meters from the Vatican at the entrance to the St. Peter Canisius Jesuit Residence. La Civiltà Cattolica has already published two of his articles[1] but I have never met him. The man is 90 years old, and he gives me a warm, smiling welcome. His face… Read the full article

Grace is not an ideology: Pope Francis’ private conversation with some Colombian Jesuits

Grace is not an ideology: Pope Francis' private conversation with some Colombian Jesuits

From September 6-11, 2017, Pope Francis was in Colombia, so completing his 20th apostolic voyage. The voyage included a visit on September 10 to the city of Cartagena de Indias, the capital of the region of Bolívar that looks onto the Caribbean Sea to the north of Colombia. The pope went first to the St…. Read the full article

The Meaning of Francis’ International Politics

The Meaning of Francis’ International Politics

In order to trace the pope’s political map of the world and grasp the roots of his international politics, we must avoid simplification and find the right keys to interpretation. It is useful to start from his biographical and cultural roots, but it is also necessary to go beyond this. We may distinguish four aspects… Read the full article

The Love of the Lord for the Lowly

The Love of the Lord for the Lowly

Psalm 136 recalls the Lord’s mercy in the actions of the Creator and the Savior as the sacred psalmist raises a joyful acclamation of praise for the eternal goodness of God.  As we listen to the voice of God, our prayer must accompany every meditative path even when we approach biblical texts that are not… Read the full article

Doubt: Threat or Opportunity?

Doubt: Threat or Opportunity?

Doubt is a watchword of modernity. The key philosopher of doubt is René Descartes, according to him it is most useful because “doubt frees us from any sort of prejudice; it prepares for us an easy pathway to habituate our spirit to be detached from the senses, and lastly thanks to it we can no… Read the full article

The Birth of a Pan-Asian Theology: Under the sign of harmony

The Birth of a Pan-Asian Theology: Under the sign of harmony

Christian Churches around the world are aware that we are living in the “Asian Century.” At the same time, the vitality and inventiveness of Asian Christian communities are also being increasingly recognized. Asian theologians have sought to synthesize the nature of their peoples’ experiences in a “theology of harmony” that has developed its principles and… Read the full article

Populism

Populism

When in history an era of populism returns, these movements are like stormy waves crashing over governments and institutions. Since the mid-19th century different types of populism have emerged at different times and in various cultures. All of them have common factors: they fail to represent the whole community; they deny pluralism and exclude minorities;… Read the full article

The Crisis in Burundi

The Crisis in Burundi

Burundi has been going through a period of grave political uncertainty since the contested presidential elections of 2015. There is a danger that civil war could explode at any moment. Attempts at mediation at the regional level have been ineffective or less than credible. The international community’s diplomatic pressure has proved to be equally ineffectual…. Read the full article

Science Fiction and Catholic Sensibility: One man’s experience

Science Fiction and Catholic Sensibility: One man's experience

Through a personal testimony, this article offers a brief but rich reflection on fantasy literature and science fiction from a Catholic perspective. It also seeks to explain why there are so many Catholics among the best-known science fiction writers. They enable us to frame the relationship between science and religion from a particular point of… Read the full article

Between Darkness and Light: The itineraries of Leonard Cohen

Between Darkness and Light: The itineraries of Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen, the Canadian singer-songwriter, poet and author, died in Los Angeles on November 7, 2016. His latest work, You Want It Darker, was published shortly before his death. It is the decisive album that not only sums up his career and his life but challenges the sense of death as a human limit. In… Read the full article

Ten Years on from Aparecida: The source of Francis’ pontificate

Ten Years on from Aparecida: The source of Francis’ pontificate

Ten years after the Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean (CELAM) that took place in Aparecida, Brazil, between May 11 and May 31, 2007, it is worth reflecting on the impact the gathering has had on the life of both the South American continent and the universal Church. The… Read the full article

“Which Mary?” Francis at Fatima: The wounded world, prophetic shepherds, and Mother Mary

Pope Francis visited Fatima on the exact date of the centenary anniversary of the Virgin’s apparitions, May 12-13. The pope canonized two of the three shepherds, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, who in 1917 lived this experience. Occurring between the pope’s trip to Egypt and the meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in the Vatican, this… Read the full article

Surrogacy

Surrogacy

The issue of surrogate motherhood is one of the most manipulated in public debate. It often sees humanist categories give way to those of post-humanism, where public reflection accepts passively the achievements of science. When the dignity of the weakest – namely the unborn child and the pregnant mother – is damaged, how much can… Read the full article

God’s Sense of Humor

God's Sense of Humor

Humor is a fundamental aspect of human existence. It is a dimension that seems to be in jeopardy in western society as day-to-day conflicts and tensions run the risk of radicalization and exasperation. Humor is part of wisdom and is a gift of the Holy Spirit. If the basis of humor is to be found… Read the full article

I, Daniel Blake: A film by Ken Loach

I, Daniel Blake: A film by Ken Loach

Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2016 Cannes Festival, Ken Loach’s film expresses indignation over the lack of respect for those on the margins of society in the United Kingdom. An elderly carpenter suffers a heart attack and is forced to resort to public assistance. He falls into a Kafkaesque network of control that… Read the full article

Authority, New Media and the Church

Authority, New Media and the Church

Social media and search engines have changed the dimensions and understanding of the concept of authority today. This is an issue for the Church where the practice and understanding of authority are expressed in very different communication contexts. An analysis of the ecology of the media draws attention to the interactions between social practice, media,… Read the full article

Bridge Diplomacy: A roundtable to mark issue no. 4000 of ‘La Civiltà Cattolica’

Bridge Diplomacy: A roundtable to mark issue no. 4000 of 'La Civiltà Cattolica'

The Embassy of Italy to the Holy See hosted a round table to mark the publication of issue number 4000 of La Civiltà Cattolica. The theme for the round table was “The gaze of Magellan – the diplomacy of bridges in a world of walls.” After greetings by the Italian Ambassador, Daniele Mancini, the May… Read the full article

‘Amoris Laetitia’, discernment, and Christian maturity

'Amoris Laetitia', discernment, and Christian maturity

The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew has described how Amoris Laetitia reminds us above all of God’s mercy and compassion, and not just of moral norms and canonical rules. So how can family ministry be developed for the entire Church to welcome, accompany, discern, and integrate? Some criteria for applying the necessary discernment are in… Read the full article

A time of Post-Truth or Post-Conscience

A time of Post-Truth or Post-Conscience

The term “post–truth” had no sooner been born than the Oxford English Dictionary consecrated it as “Word of the Year 2016”, defining it as “circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” It is a time when information, like the rod of a pendulum,… Read the full article

Doctrine: At the Service of the Pastoral Mission of the Church

Doctrine: At the Service of the Pastoral Mission of the Church

Saint Vincent of Lerins posed the following question in the fifth century: “Can there be progress in the religion of the Church of Christ?” Today, we can phrase the question in the following way: How is the precious deposit of faith guarded and transmitted through time? How can we speak of a “development of doctrine?”… Read the full article

Egypt, Land of Civilizations and Alliances: Francis’ dramatic, therapeutic and prophetic journey

Egypt, Land of Civilizations and Alliances: Francis’ dramatic, therapeutic and prophetic journey

Pope Francis’ apostolic journey to Egypt lasted just 27 hours; a journey taken in response to the invitation from various leaders of the country’s political and religious life that sometimes coexist in tension. Expectations were well summed up by the visit’s official motto: “Pope of Peace in Egypt of Peace” and by the accompanying image… Read the full article

Against the “unhappy consciousness” in Christianity

Against the

Originality of a Theological Tradition All doctrines of the faith are the result of efforts made by Christians over the centuries to counter various and varied attacks, both internal and external. Doctrine has been defined this way since the beginning. Consider the Greek Fathers Athanasius (295–373), Basil (330–379), Gregory of Nazianzus (329–390), and Gregory of… Read the full article

Fan Shouyi: The first Chinese person to tell of the West 

Fan Shouyi: The first Chinese person to tell of the West 

Many people are familiar with European missionaries like Matteo Ricci (1552–1610) who served as cultural bridges between China and the West. Not only did they bring Western knowledge and Christianity to China, translating with Chinese literati important works of philosophy, theology and science. They also brought knowledge of China to the West, through letters, reports,… Read the full article

Fifty years after the Six-Day War

Fifty years after the Six-Day War

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Six–Day War of 1967 that was fought between the State of Israel and the neighboring Arab countries (Egypt, Syria and Jordan), it makes sense to retrace the events that led to a conflict that altered the modern history of the Middle East and marked the emergence… Read the full article

Russia between Europe and Asia: Looking East in search of itself?

Russia between Europe and Asia: Looking East in search of itself?

After looking for decades to the West, Russia has recently found itself in a new situation on the international chessboard, especially since the Ukrainian crisis started in 2014. A partnership with China, based not only on mutual benefit but also on common values, seems to indicate a turn to the East, toward a Greater Asia… Read the full article

A Cultural Spring for Iranian Women Artists

A Cultural Spring for Iranian Women Artists

The narration of conflicts is entrusted to geopolitical analysis and news coverage. But there is a lens capable of giving us facts and unmediated interpretations, an inverted view that crosses the border between life and its representation: art, and those forms of artistic resistance that give voice and shape to the unspoken, the whispered, the… Read the full article

Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism in the USA: A surprising ecumenism

Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism in the USA: A surprising ecumenism

Antonio Spadaro S.J., Editor-in-chief of La Civiltà Cattolica Marcelo Figueroa, Presbyterian pastor, Editor-in-chief of the Argentinian edition of L’Osservatore Romano In God We Trust. This phrase is printed on the banknotes of the United States of America and is the current national motto. It appeared for the first time on a coin in 1864 but did not become… Read the full article

Fifty years on from Populorum Progressio: The Fulfillment of its Prophecy

Fifty years on from Populorum Progressio: The Fulfillment of its Prophecy

The world of Bretton Woods The encyclical Populorum Progressio (PP) was published on March 26th, 1967, just as the decade of the sixties was coming to an end. It was an extraordinary time. After rebuilding the wreckage left after World War II, national economies, especially in Europe, were suddenly and steadily growing. At that point,… Read the full article

The French Presidential Election and the Future of Europe

The French Presidential Election and the Future of Europe

In the end, Emmanuel Macron emerged victorious from the French presidential election, winning the run–off with 66.1 percent of the vote, against the 33.9 percent obtained by his opponent, Marine Le Pen. The new French president won 20,703,631 votes, while the National Front leader received 10,637,183. At over 25 percent, abstention reached its highest level… Read the full article

Christians and Muslims in Tomorrow’s Europe

Christians and Muslims in Tomorrow’s Europe

On May 6, 2016, Sadiq Khan was elected Mayor of London by 57 per cent of the electorate, making him the politician with the third largest personal democratic mandate in Europe. Much of the publicity that attended his victory focused on his religious affiliation; he was now, after all, Europe’s highest profile Muslim politician. Although… Read the full article

Astrobiology and Us. Social and political implications of a “new” science

Astrobiology and Us. Social and political implications of a “new” science

During the academic year 2015/16, an international group of twelve professors, including ten theologians, sponsored by the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton (New Jersey, USA), reflected on astrobiology – a rapidly developing field of interdisciplinary scientific research – and in particular on its social implications.1 Responsive interaction between theologians and astrobiologists allowed the group… Read the full article

Happiness: A Delightful Foretaste of Eternity

Happiness: A Delightful Foretaste of Eternity

A universal experience that eludes definition Happiness is hard to define precisely. It has a vast array of synonyms with slightly different meanings that can take us in different directions (wellbeing, satisfaction, gratification, pleasure, joy, contentment). At the same time, people of all ages and cultures are familiar with it; happiness is understood all over… Read the full article

Benedict XVI and Relativism in the Life of the Church

Benedict XVI and Relativism in the Life of the Church

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s homily during the Mass for electing a Roman Pontiff1 on April 18, 2005, gave a clear description of the Church’s doctrinal situation in recent years. He called attention to the problem of relativism and outlined the journey that the Church would have to take in order to avoid being distracted by ideologies… Read the full article

Mission in Secularized Japan

Mission in Secularized Japan

Analyzing the Japanese words used to indicate the concept of “mission” may help to better facilitate understanding of what mission should be, the perception of which has become even more acute over the last 50 years. In fact, every definition entails a model or a paradigm of how to carry out a missionary activity. Vatican… Read the full article

Corruption that Kills: Floribert Bwana Chui’s story

Corruption that Kills: Floribert Bwana Chui’s story

The story of Floribert Bwana Chui, a young Congolese customs officer, is the story of a man assassinated for not having succumbed to corruption.1 Looking at his life and death helps us to understand new forms of martyrdom: this is a silent sacrifice far from the interest of the media that disturbs the social and… Read the full article

Silence: Interview with Martin Scorsese

Silence: Interview with Martin Scorsese

It was March 3 when I rang the doorbell at the Scorsese home in New York. It was a cold day but bright. It was 1 p.m. I was welcomed into the kitchen, like in a family. I was asked if I wanted a good cup of coffee. “Italiano,” is added. I accept. I was… Read the full article

Catholicism in 21st Century China

Catholicism in 21st Century China

Christianity first came to China over one thousand years ago but it did not last long. Alopen, a Syrian monk, introduced Nestorian Christianity in the Tang Dynasty and founded several monasteries and churches. Nestorian Christianity reemerged in the Mongol era in the early 14th century. Nestorian Christianity declined in China substantially in the mid-14th century…. Read the full article

Armed Conflicts in Africa

Armed Conflicts in Africa

Observing the situation of many African states, one becomes aware of lacerated societies, or at least of societies in “high tension” where the main issue at stake is one of internal cohesion. Many states resemble aggregates of entities forced to live together while doing their utmost to affirm their own uniqueness. Thus, the political space… Read the full article

The Mission in 17th-Century China

The Mission in 17th-Century China

The mission in China in the 17th century still draws the attention of many scholars, such as historians of science, theologians and missiologists today. This mission, which in the first hundred years was predominantly led by the Jesuits, was noteworthy in several regards: the Jesuit missionaries adopted a policy of accommodation to Chinese culture: they… Read the full article

Growing in Discernment: Aids for Growing in the Ability to Discern

Growing in Discernment: Aids for Growing in the Ability to Discern

In a private meeting with Polish Jesuits in Krakow, Pope Francis said: “the Church needs to grow in discernment; in her capacity to discern.”1  He emphasized the importance of priestly formation and exhorted the Jesuits to work together with seminarians, especially by “giving them what we ourselves received from Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises: the wisdom of… Read the full article

Europe Deserves to be Built

Europe Deserves to be Built

On March 25, in the Renaissance setting of Rome’s Campidoglio, 27 leaders of European Union countries and three representatives from its Brussels–based institutions, Jean–Claude Juncker, Donald Tusk and Antonio Tajani, gathered to sign a common declaration for the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaties of Rome. As the Italian Prime Minister, Paolo Gentiloni,… Read the full article

The Priest and the Maturity of All Things

The Priest and the Maturity of All Things

“The ultimate destiny of the universe is in the fullness of God, which has already been attained by the risen Christ, the measure of the maturity of all things.” Here, I am citing Pope Francis from his encyclical Laudato Si’ (LS), n.83, and, in turn, his footnote which makes explicit reference to the origin of… Read the full article

Bob Dylan The Song is Still Blowing in the Wind

Bob Dylan The Song is Still Blowing in the Wind

It is not an easy undertaking to size up the elusive, contradictory character of Bob Dylan. A minstrel, a poet, perhaps even a prophet, but most surely an artist who is beyond the time he is living in. This complexity is evident in Dylan’s compositional language: his songs are sometimes narrative and they nail the… Read the full article

Sadness: Precious Teachings from this Emotion

Sadness: Precious Teachings from this Emotion

Sadness, along with the vast array of synonyms which are difficult to distinguish precisely, is certainly not a desirable or attractive feeling. As a result, since World War II, we have tried to eradicate this feeling, to propose a vision of existence that symbolizes perfect serenity. The article shows the attempts of this exclusion and… Read the full article

Zygmunt Bauman: The Sociologist who Scrutinized the Times

Zygmunt Bauman: The Sociologist who Scrutinized the Times

On January 9, 2017, Zygmunt Bauman passed away. He was a Polish sociologist of British citizenship and was one of the best-known interpreters of postmodernism. The news was given by the Polish daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza. Bauman was 91 years old and had lived a life “sated of days,” as Scripture says, not only for… Read the full article

Protecting Children in the Church

Protecting Children in the Church

The issue of sexual abuse of minors committed by clergy is constantly returning to the forefront of media attention. Recently, through various news outlets and publications, this focus has been particularly sustained in Italy, France and Argentina. There is no doubt that the protection of children and youth against sexual violence remains a central problem… Read the full article

Women and the Diaconate

Women and the Diaconate

On May 12, 2016, at a meeting of the International Union of the Superiors General of Women’s Religious Orders, one sister asked Pope Francis why women were excluded from decision-making processes in the Church and from preaching at Eucharistic celebrations. In asking, she cited his words, “the feminine genius is needed in all expressions of… Read the full article

The Figure of the Bishop According to Pope Francis

The Figure of the Bishop According to Pope Francis

In his opening address to the 68th General Assembly of the Italian Episcopal Conference in May 2015, Pope Francis asked the bishops not to be “pilots” but real “pastors.”1 On many occasions the pontiff has appealed to bishops to be “bishops who are pastors, not princes,” making references to images he had already used when… Read the full article

The Border as a Bridge: Migration in Latin America and the Caribbean

The Border as a Bridge: Migration in Latin America and the Caribbean

The issue of migration has been emerging strongly in the last few years as a critical reality in the entire world; it is bringing up major challenges for national governments, for societies and their organizations, and for international institutions.1 The dynamics of globalization have created a paradoxical situation. While seeing a remarkable opening of national… Read the full article

Venezuela: The Misery of King Midas

Venezuela: The Misery of King Midas

How does an oil–rich nation like Venezuela, enjoying one of the most advantageous geographical locations in continental America and having achieved a high level of development in the second half of the twentieth century, turn into a society on its knees, begging for humanitarian aid, medicine, and food? How is it possible for one of… Read the full article

Louis Lebret: The Legacy of the Mentor of “Populorum Progressio”

Louis Lebret: The Legacy of the Mentor of

July 20, 2016 was the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Fr. Louis Lebret. This Dominican from Brittany is not very well–known. However, we have no doubt that the grand mentor of Populorum Progressio deserves attention and study. Therefore, in this article we will discuss his life, thought and spirituality, providing a contribution towards recognizing… Read the full article

The World of Almodóvar

The World of Almodóvar

Julieta (Emma Suarez) lives in Madrid with her daughter Antia (Blanca Pares). Both suffer in silence over the loss of Xoan (Daniel Grao), father of Antia and husband of Julieta. But sometimes pain divides people, instead of uniting them. On the day Antia turns eighteen years old, she abandons her mother without giving her any… Read the full article

Mysticism Without God

Mysticism Without God

“Mysticism presents itself as the space where a speculative study of religious facts meets the need to live religious experience in the milieu of the advanced secularism of western society.”1 The men and women of our secularized society still live under the action and sign of rasonnierende ffenlichkeit (public reasoning) of Kantian memory, which makes… Read the full article

A Conversation with Cardinal Schonborn on ‘Amoris Laetitia’

A Conversation with Cardinal Schonborn on 'Amoris Laetitia'

When conversing with the Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, a space for calm and attentive reflection is created. Personifying lucidity of thought and spiritual depth, he follows the charism of the Order of Preachers, the Dominicans, and our conversation could be summarized in Aquinas’ motto, Contemplataaliistradere, “transmit to others the things that have been… Read the full article

Features of a Sustainability Science

Features of a Sustainability Science

In 2020 the success or failure of the twenty-first meeting of the Commission of Parties of the United Nations (COP21 Paris) will be remembered as it gave the responsibility to each nation to go home and review commitments.[1] Over 110 countries signed up to the Nationally Determined Contributions scheme.[2] The year 2015 was also notable… Read the full article

The Election of Donald Trump

The Election of Donald Trump

Surprise and astonishment was the almost universal response to the results of the presidential election in the United States. Practically all the experts were wrong in predicting that Hillary Clinton would be the next president of the United States. Why were the polls and pundits wrong? Why did Donald Trump win? What does this say… Read the full article

The Posting of Luther’s 95 Theses: History or Legend

The Posting of Luther’s 95 Theses: History or Legend

The Protestant Reformation began five hundred years ago, on October 31, 1517. According to historiographical accounts, on that day, the eve of the Feast of All Saints, Martin Luther, a young Augustinian professor of the convent at Wittenberg, is said to have nailed his 95 Theses on indulgences to the door of the castle church.[1]… Read the full article

Architect Tadao Ando: Master of Paradox

Architect Tadao Ando:  Master of Paradox

One of the most influential architects today, the Japanese autodidact Tadao Ando (1941, Osaka) is a master of paradox. His works intermingle simplicity with mystery, globalization with roots, dead matter with personality, rationality with wild nature. No wonder that many of the most recent monographs on contemporary sacred space include references to his oeuvre.[1] His… Read the full article

Important Figures of the Early Church in China: The Role of Christian Communities

Important Figures of the Early Church in China: The Role of Christian Communities

About 50 years ago George H. Dunne, SJ wrote a successful book on the story of the Jesuits in China in the early seventeenth century, which he entitled Generation of Giants. Like many mission histories he focused on well-known missionaries, such as Matteo Ricci, and showed how they influenced the development of Christianity in China…. Read the full article

Justus Takayama Ukon: The Great Japanese Missionary of the Sixteenth Century

Justus Takayama Ukon: The Great Japanese Missionary of the Sixteenth Century

Four hundred years have passed since the death of Justus Takayama Ukon, remembered and revered in Japan not only as a martyr, but also as a great witness to the Christian faith, which he practiced in connection with the mission of the Society of Jesus. He was the greatest Japanese missionary of the sixteenth century… Read the full article

Pope Francis at 80: A Leader on the World Stage

Pope Francis at 80: A Leader on the World Stage

On December 17, 2016, Pope Francis turned eighty. Despite the weight of his responsibility, he continues to show boundless energy as he carries out the Petrine ministry he was called to exercise three and a half years ago. This milestone in his life offers us a fitting occasion to reflect on his moral authority as… Read the full article

The Quality of Mercy in Shakespeare

The Quality of Mercy in Shakespeare

Upon inaugurating the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis quoted The Merchant of Venice, by Shakespeare. During the dramatic court scene, the heroine, Portia, defended the merchant Antonio against Shylock’s legalistic fury, saying the “quality of mercy is not strained; it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath.” This appeal to mercy… Read the full article

Emotion and Reason: A Potential Dialogue

Emotion and Reason: A Potential Dialogue

The relationship between reason and emotion is not an easy one, but it cannot be conceived of in terms of an antithetical opposition, or of an elimination of one of the two polarities. When we put this into perspective, to be impoverished is precisely the power that we would want to guarantee. The close relationship… Read the full article

Dom Hélder Câmara: A Sign of Contradiction

Dom Hélder Câmara: A Sign of Contradiction

The process of Dom Hélder Câmara’s beatification, who was archbishop of Recife and one of the most famous ecclesial figures of the last century, has recently commenced. This article traces his life, which lasted for most of the century, and details his accompaniment as protagonist of all the historical and ecclesial events which took place… Read the full article

Inculturation in Asia and Reform of the Church

Inculturation in Asia and Reform of the Church

Inculturation and Reform Our reflection outlines how evanglization connects inculturation to reform of the Church and focuses on the Church in Asia. In the name of aggiornamento, critical areas are identified for inculturation in relation to religious dynamics in Asia. The proclamation of God’s historical revelation in Jesus Christ, its reception in faith and its… Read the full article

My Father was a Stranger: Biblical Teaching on Migrants

My Father was a Stranger: Biblical Teaching on Migrants

The sage Qoheleth said: “There is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said ‘See; this is new?’ It has already been; in the ages before us” (Ecc1. 1:9-10). It is inevitable; however; that we all forget the events of the distant past, and then we find ourselves in… Read the full article

Take the Gospel with Tranquilizers: A Conversation with the Superiors General

Take the Gospel with Tranquilizers: A Conversation with the Superiors General

“The Pope is late,” they tell me at the entrance to the Vatican’s Paul VI Audience Hall on November 26, 2016. Inside, in the place where Synods are held, 140 Superiors General of the Male Religious Orders and Congregations (USG) are waiting. They are gathered at the end of their 88th General Assembly. Outside a… Read the full article