Reflecting the Mind of the
Vatican Since 1850

May 2023 Issue
The Church Against the ‘Unjustifiable’ War

Pope Francis visited Hungary, April 28-30, and despite a busy schedule he found time to meet with his brother Jesuits. ‘This is God’s Style’: Pope Francis’ conversation with Hungarian Jesuits by our editor Antonio Spadaro, ranges over many subjects. There were pastoral questions about youth and also the treatment of those who committed sexual abuse; the Pope discussed his time as Jesuit provincial in Argentina, during the dark days of the junta; and, they canvassed the relationship between the Church and the modern world.

 

“For me the key word is “testimony.” Without testimony, without witnessing, nothing can be done. You end up like that beautiful song by Mina: “parole, parole, parole…” (words, words, words). Without testimony nothing happens. And testimony means consistency of life” Pope Francis said at the meeting.

 

The invasion of Ukraine has re-opened the debate about the acceptability of war to resolve conflicts between nations. This immediately brings us to issues such as the arms race and use of nuclear weapons. On the 60th anniversary of Pope John XXIII’s encyclical Pacem in Terris, Giovanni Cucci discusses war and peace in The Church Against the ‘Unjustifiable’ War, that also discusses Pope Francis’ view of an “unjustified war.”

 

Is Jesus Christ, the Son of God but also the Son of Man the same and identical person? This uniqueness of the person of Christ arose at the very beginning of Christian thought. On the one hand, there are the divine names or epithets attributed to him: Word, Only Begotten, Wisdom, Power. Then, there is his human side: hunger, thirst, sadness, “fear and anguish” (Mark 14:33). How can all these different conditions be applied to a single being? Enrico Cattaneo answers this in The Unity of Christ and the Paschal Mystery.

 

In an effort to reconstruct an honest account of the genocide in Rwanda, Marcel Uwineza examines the historic reasons for the genocide as well as considering the responsibilities of the Catholic Church, in Healing a Wounded Church: Lessons from Post-Genocide Rwanda. He posits that its failure to be impartial “cost the Church its independence and prophetic voice, leaving it impotent in the face of the increasing violence committed.” What lessons can we learn from this?

 

Father Thomas H. Smolich, has led Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) since October 2015. In this interview with Father Smolich titled Toward an Ever-Wider ‘We’, we review his service and he describes JRS’ mission and modus operandi. He shares his thoughts on the war in Ukraine, in the broader context of crisis situations around the world and the shortcomings of a perpetuating model of emergency assistance.

 

Also in the issue:

Peter Steele, Jesuit Poet (1939-2012)
Thought Therapy: The Revival of an Ancient Practice, Giovanni Cucci and Betty Varghese

‘The Fabelmans’ – Love Film, Love Life, Piero Loredan
Lebanon in Crisis, Gabriel Khairallah
The Tunisia of Kais Saied, Giovanni Sale
Shaping Work Culture, Étienne Perrot
The Silence of God, Joseph Lobo
A Bridge to Walk: An interview with Msgr. Stephen Chow, Bishop of Hong Kong, Antonio Spadaro

 

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