Francesco Occhetta, SJ

Member of the editorial board of La Civiltà Cattolica


Among the folds of the history of the end of the Eastern Bloc lies the non-violent dissidence of men like Václav Havel.  As the Berlin Wall fell and the ideology of the Soviet system crumbled along with the bricks and mortar, this intellectual and liberal playwright became president of Czechoslovakia. Havel first held office from… Read the full article


The expression “hazard a bet” is a term used by gamblers that derives from the Arabic word al-zahr (“dice”). These instruments of fortune exemplify the desire to enrich oneself without making sacrifices. The first public places for organized gambling in the Middle Ages sprang up in secluded locations, far from squares and churches, managed by… Read the full article


“On the morning of March 19, 1994, Don Peppino was in the church of San Nicola, in Casal di Principe. It was his name day, the feast of St. Joseph, (Giuseppe in Italian, or Peppino for short). He had not yet put on his priestly cassock and was in the meeting room next to his… Read the full article


In the dark world of prisons, an experience exists in Brazil that is like a ray of light: there, prisoners are not numbers, rather they are referred to by name; they have tasks to carry out; they are imprisoned in places without bars and without guards; they do not wear uniforms. In these “alternative jails”… Read the full article


Recognition is rarely given to young people’s ability to manage the rapid anthropological change that is occurring. It causes us to experience time as an eternal now and space as something to be navigated, no longer as a path composed of definite rules.[1] However, the digital Argonauts[2] – the new generation whose compasses are their… Read the full article


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


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


When in history populist movements return, they are like stormy waves crashing over governments and institutions. Their identities and political programs were brought into the open by the millions of votes received in the European elections of 2014 by various political forces that almost all coalesced into two groups in the European Parliament in Strasbourg,… Read the full article

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