Reflecting the Mind of the
Vatican Since 1850

July 2023 Issue
Jesus Mocked

Son of God, Savior of the World are familiar titles of glory that characterize the figure of Jesus. Enrico Cattaneo considers the less visible, insulting terms his opponents employed to describe him. In Jesus Mocked, we find that Jesus was accused of being an impostor, an evildoer, a glutton and a drunkard, possessed by demons, a madman, a blasphemer, a troublemaker, son of an unknown father, a Samaritan. This was part of that “emptying” to which Christ subjected himself, “becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:8)

 

There is a lively, ongoing discussion about whether the Catholic community should always respond to injustice in nonviolent ways, or whether we should uphold the tradition of ‘just war’. Nonviolence and the Just War Tradition: Toward the future is David Hollenbach’s response to this question in light of the pope’s recent statements that give strong support to nonviolence, but also affirm that armed defense of the innocent can only take place under strictly defined conditions.

 

Today we continue to hear the many cries that human beings address to God in their suffering. Alberto Cano Arenas proposes five useful steps for pastoral ministry to help those wounded and in pain restore their relationship with the divine in The Book of Job as a Path of Transformation. Because ours is a God who does not abandon human beings, but responds to them when He calls them, and listens to them in their suffering.

 

Priestly Loneliness and Disquietude: A structural problem? by Giovanni Cucci presents research done on the priestly life, conducted mostly among diocesan priests. It reveals how this malaise, loneliness, profoundly affects the quality of their life and presbyteral ministry, identifying possible common elements that point to a structural interpretation. In particular the formation that shapes the priest.

 

Some Catholics fear that synodality involves too much change, while others rather fear its lack. Jos Moons, from the Catholic University, Leuven, reasons in Pope Francis, the Holy Spirit and Synodality that greater faith in the Holy Spirit helps us to better understand synodality, and thus overcome our fears. Since the Holy Spirit’s active involvement in the Church, a synodical Church appreciates both what Christ revealed and what the Spirit continues to reveal.

 

Unlike other great brethren of his time, Jesuit Martino Martini is not famous for his activities in China, as for his outstanding contribution to the knowledge of China in Europe. The completion of the publication of Martini’s Opera Omnia is an opportunity for Federico Lombardi to look back at the life and work of this seventeenth-century missionary in Martino Martini: The Jesuit who introduced China to Europe.

 

Also in the issue:

Turkey and the May 2023 Elections, Giovanni Sale
Blaise Pascal’s ‘Thoughts on Religion’, Georg Sans
James Lee Burke: Raconteur of life on the margins, Diego Mattei
The Astalli Center 2023 Annual Report: Activities and Services of the Jesuit Refugee Service in Italy, Camillo Ripamonti
The New Context of International Trade, Fernando de la Iglesia Viguiristi
Fundamental Rights from John XXIII to Francis: A Conversation with Giovanni Maria Flick, Antonio Spadaro
Reforming the United Nations: An interview with Sandro Calvani, Antonio Spadaro

 

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