Reflecting the Mind of the
Vatican Since 1850

February 2024 Issue
‘Trust in the Lord and his Mercy’

On Dec. 18, 2023, the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith published the Declaration Fiducia Supplicans on the pastoral meaning of blessings. By opening up the possibility of blessing same-sex couples, the document has provoked various reactions and interpretations. In this article, Trust in the Lord and His Mercy, Fr Nuno da Silva Gonçalves – our director – presents the content of the Declaration, its reception and the pastoral issues raised.


In an era marked by complexity, vulnerability and uncertainty, Fr Julio L Martinez reflects on one of the main pastoral challenges in Towards an Outgoing Moral Theology. Fr Julio suggests moving away from sterile and exhausting debates to allow Pope Francis’ magisterium to guide theology as it continues to open up to the conflicts of the Church and the world.


After dealing with the theme of desolation, a second contribution, The Discernment of Spirits II presents the other great pillar of Ignatian spirit discernment: consolation. More alluring and desirable than its “mirror sister,” consolation, is not without its pitfalls and dangers for those seeking God’s will. Fr. Giovanni Cucci and Fr. Massimo Marelli share their valuable experience of those indications proposed in St Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises.


In pastoral practice and speeches, Pope Francis has proclaimed synodality is fundamental in the evangelical call addressed to the Church. Networks and Networking as Tools, Practices and Expressions of Synodality by Fr. Roberto Jaramillo Bernal, Sec. for Social Justice and Ecology of the Society of Jesus, considers new expressions of communion. He shows how networks and networking also help us achieve the very expression of what we are called to be and do: the people of God walking together.


Pope Francis insists that sexual abuse should never be separated from abuses of power, authority and conscience. Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences at Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Fr. José Manuel Martins Lopes, broadens the discussion in harmony with what the Pope proposes, in this article, Abuse in the Name of God?


Presidential Elections in Argentina. The Paradoxes and Challenges of a Country in Crisis, by Fr Eduardo Daniel Alonso provides an overview of the electoral history of Argentina from the return of democracy in 1983 to the present, paying particular attention to the analysis of the election result that brought Javier Milei to the presidency in November 2023. It goes on to explain the social and economic situation and domestic political considerations, emphasizing dialogue is the solution to the risk of social and political violence.


Also in the issue:

Law and Peace, Fr. Ottavio De Bertolis
Houthi Fighters Launch Attacks in the Red Sea, Fr. Giovanni Cucci
Artificial Intelligences and Embodied Intelligences: What Frontier? An Interview with Fr. Paolo Benanti, Fr. Nuno da Silva Gonçalves, SJ
The Religious Dimension of Russia’s ‘Turn to the East’, Fr. Vladimir Pachkov
Psychogenealogy: An Aid to Physical and Mental Health, Fr. Giovanni Cucci and Betty Varghese
Postdigital Schooling, Fr. Klaus Mertes
The ‘Family’ as a Philosophical Issue in China, Fr. Benoit Vermander, SJ


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