Reflecting the Mind of the
Vatican Since 1850

March 2023 Issue
Bergoglio’s Map: Literature in the formation of Pope Francis

On Monday, March 13, Pope Francis celebrated the 10th anniversary of his landmark election. Reflecting the pontiff’s own focus, the focus of this journal is all-embracing, it reaches out to the periphery – one that is geographical, as much as it is social and economic.


This unexpected pope’s sense of fraternity has given us the document Human Fraternity for World Peace and Life Together co-signed with Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of al-Azhar, one of Sunni Islam’s most distinguished clerics, as well as Fratelli Tutti. This desire for interreligious dialogue has taken him to many Muslim-majority countries, most daringly to Iraq, in March 2020.


Francis is always keen to speak about the plight of migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons, or IDPS, who are refugees in their own countries. He has been relentless in drawing attention to the tragedies they have suffered, as well as doing much as he can to aid them. This month’s edition includes Pope Francis and his Ten-Year Journey with Displaced People by Michael Schopf and Amaya Valcárcel Silvela.


Our Director, Antonio Spadaro, looks at Francis’ love of literature in Bergoglio’s Map: Literature in the formation of Pope Francis. Austen Ivereigh, the pope’s biographer, described the article as a “richly comprehensive overview of Francis’s deep immersion in literature.”


From January 31 to February 5 this year, the Holy Father traveled to the Democratic Republic of Congo and then South Sudan. His message was two-fold: Peace and Mercy, and Africa for Africans. Read an account of the journey in Let Africa be the protagonist of its own destiny!


In both countries, as is his tradition, he met with his brother Jesuits, discussing their mission and how they walk with the poor, the excluded and youth. Discover these conversations and how each country brings its own challenges in Pope Francis in conversation with Jesuits in Congo and in South Sudan.


Also in the issue:

The Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan: Two countries, many facets, Jean-Pierre Bodjko
Europe’s Crises, Étienne Perrot
Isaac and Ishmael, two brothers, so near and so distant, Vincenzo Anselmo
Embracing the Spirit: Louis Lallemant, Antonine Brouillette
One Year of the War in Ukraine, Giovannio Sale
Women Speaking in the Bible, Roland Meynet
The Solemn Opening of Vatican II, Giancarlo Pani
Jacques Maritain: 50 Years After His Death, Giovanni Cucci


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