Reflecting the Mind of the
Vatican Since 1850

November 2023 Issue
Church and Slavery, Yesterday and Today

On September 22 and 23, Pope Francis traveled to Marseille for the conclusion of the “Mediterranean Encounters.” As we grapple with the tragedy of migration, what prospects arise and what problematic forces oppose “brotherhood” in the Mediterranean? Fr Antonio Spadaro traveled with Pope Francis for this latest gathering of religious leaders and lay people from around the Mediterranean in Francis in Marseilles, “Open Door to The World.”


“War Erases the Future” Hamas’ attack on Israel by our Middle East correspondent, Fr Giovanni Sale, considers the possibility for a humanitarian truce and ceasefire in Gaza following the horrific violence perpetrated by Hamas on Israeli civilians and military on October 7. The Israeli Defense Force operations have commenced inside Gaza and as they advance against Hamas what price will Palestinian innocents pay?


For many centuries Christianity accepted slavery as a reality peculiar to most societies. Only slowly has the Church aligned itself with abolitionist movements. Church And Slavery, Yesterday and Today by our director, Fr Nuno da Silva Gonçalves, looks at the historical acceptance of slavery and the fight against its contemporary forms that erode human dignity. An insightful look at history and morality.


The parable of the Good Samaritan in the Gospel of Luke can be called a story of the common man speaking to the common man. A theme at the heart of Fratelli Tutti, it is also the basis for interesting studies in psychology, sociology, and philosophy. The Parable of The Good Samaritan: An example of universal fraternity and interdisciplinary dialogue, by Fr Giovanni Cucci, ponders on an experiment conducted on 67 theology students whose conclusions confirm some of the paradoxical aspects of the parable, such as the practical irrelevance of religious affiliation, the time factor, awareness, and especially the nature of compassion.


Robert Jacquinot De Besange’s Heroic Ministry in China by Joseph You Guo Jiang is an account of this Jesuits philanthropic acts that transcended nationality, race, religion, gender and party affiliation. In China during the second Sino-Japanese War Father Robert established a Civil Safety Zone in Shanghai in 1937, known as the Shanghai Safety Zone. Following his example, foreigners led by German businessman John Rabe created the Nanjing Safety Zone. Fr. de Besange’s work was recognized and praised in the Protocols and Commentaries to the Geneva Convention of 1949.


Also in this issue:

Tobit: The Book of Fraternity and Solidarity, Giancarlo Pani
Dreyer’s ‘Jesus’ – A Very Human Showing, Piero Loredan
Seeing the Word: Forms of theological memory, José Luis Narvaja
Türkiye a Century after the Founding of the Republic, Giovanni Sale
Gabriel Marcel on the 50th Anniversary of his Death, Giovanni Cucci
Is There a Lay Spirituality, Domingos Terra
20 Years After the Iraq War, Giovanni Sale


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