Reflecting the Mind of the
Vatican Since 1850

October 2023 Issue
Synod 2021-24: Advancing Vatican II

Father Nuno da Silva Gonçalves, La Civiltà Cattolica’s new director, writes to greet and thank subscribers and readers for their trust and support, in his letter Spreading a Message of Hope. He reminds them that they are at the center of the daily work done by the journal; work that is always in faithful and creative harmony with the Pope and the Holy See. In a society that is divided, wounded and in need of peace and reconciliation, Fr. Nuno calls on us to engage in a Christian reading of today’s world, with an eye to the future.


Fr. Giacomo Costa, Special Secretary of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, is certain that the Synod 2021-24 constitutes an opportunity to actualize and relaunch the Second Vatican Council. It re-proposes the question of the Church’s missionary identity and invites us to find ways to proceed. Fr. Giacomo’s article “Synod 2021-24: Advancing Vatican II” discusses the exercise of authority in a Church understood as the people of God. It looks at: decentralization that, at the different ecclesial levels, dynamically articulates synodality and collegiality; evangelical ways of welcoming that can translate God’s unconditional love for all his sons and daughters; and, experimentation with forms of ecclesial discernment that involve the different charisms and vocations of the members of the people of God.


This year marks the centenary of writer Italo Calvino’s birth. Restless, intellectually lively with a multifaceted creativity, in private life he was a shy man of few words. Very few authors had the opportunity to know the world of books like Calvino did, as both a writer and a publisher. As Mario Barenghi has observed, Calvino is a self-presenting writer. He is an author who, like few others, has reflected on his own production. So those who wish to analyse  him, do so by resorting to his theoretical writings and essays. This is what Fr. Diego Mattei sets out to do in A Hundred Years With Italo Calvino.


From Aug. 31 to Sept. 4, Pope Francis visited Mongolia, where Catholics make up just 0.04 percent of the population. “Inhabiting the Earthly home by Embracing Heaven”: Francis’ Apostolic Journey to Mongolia by Fr. Antonio Spadaro tells how the Pontiff’s words often referred symbolically to the ger (yurt), the tent of these nomadic people; in a land where the Church is growing like a small seed. The article describes the stages of the journey and passages of Francis’ speeches, who is very fond of small but dynamic churches because they are places of prophecy for the universal Church.


Contrary to popular belief, the globalization of markets is neither homogeneous nor spontaneous. Rather, it has a beginning, a history, and may end because of the ecological disaster caused in the main part by the Global North. In Globalization and Ecological Transition, Gaël Giraud asks what is the future of globalization? What institutions are necessary to implement an ecological transition? The author is a professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy and director of the Environmental Justice Program at Georgetown University, Washington.


Also in the issue:

Violence Transformed by Art: Five women artists, Bert Daelemans, SJ
Is India Already a Superpower?, Fernando de la Iglesia Viguiristi, SJ
Does Meritocratic Confucianism Have A Future?, Benoit Vermander, SJ
A Brief Pastoral Approach to the Book of Job, Alberto Cano Arenas, SJ
The Symbolic Universe of Cormac McCarthy, Antonio Spadaro, SJ and Paolo Pegoraro
The Renewal of a College of Cardinals Always Ready for its Service, Federico Lombardi, SJ
Palliative Care: Cultural and ethical significance, Carlo Casalone, SJ


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