The Pontificate

Published Date : 2021-12-28
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Farewell Letter

By: Antonio Spadaro, SJ

“This is not a pipe (Ceci n’est pas une pipe).” In his famous 1929 painting depicting a pipe, Magritte inscribed these words in a simple, cursive font. The great Surrealist painter was sending the viewer a message as surprising as it is obvious: representation is not the object that represents. The same can be said of the journal you are now reading. Civiltà Cattolica is not an object, that is, it is not to be identified with its paper or...

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Pope Francis, the Holy Spirit and Synodality

By: Jos Moons, SJ

When Pope Francis talks about synodality, he often stresses the importance of the Holy Spirit. For example, he describes the Spirit as the “great protagonist of the Church,”[1] repeatedly urges us to listen to “what the Spirit is saying to the Churches” (Rev 2:7)[2] and affirms that we must welcome the newness that the Spirit can bring.[3] Theologians have set themselves to respond to this task. A recent theological conference on synodality, held at the Gregorian University, April 27-29, 2023,...

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Francis’ Vision for a Renewed Theology

By: James Hanvey, SJ

“I think that the study of theology is of the greatest importance. It is an indispensable service to the Church.”[1] The past ten years of the papacy of Pope Francis have been a time of extraordinary activity and challenge for the Church. Whether involved with internal renewal and synodality, with the urgency of apostolic outreach to other faiths, or opposing conflicts and the ever-widening consequences of the ecological crisis, the pope has been concerned with the Church’s mission. His easy...

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The Atlas of Francis: The Vatican and international politics

By: Cardinal Pietro Parolin

On March 13, 2023, to mark the 10th anniversary of the election of Pope Francis, La Civiltà Cattolica organized a presentation of Fr. Antonio Spadaro’s volume “L’atlante di Francesco. Vaticano e politica internazionale” (The Atlas of Francis. Vatican and International Politics). The President of Italy’s Council of Ministers, the Hon. Giorgia Meloni, and the Secretary of State of the Holy See, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, were guests of honor. Below we publish the text of His Eminence’s speech.  I would like...

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What is God’s Time? Mercy in the Pontificate of Francis

By: Antonio Spadaro, SJ

Ten years after the election of Pope Francis, it seems appropriate for us to return to one of the pillars of his pontificate: mercy. It can be identified as the “name of God,”[1] but also as God’s “time.”  That mercy has been a pillar of his pontificate can be deduced, first of all, from the fact that on the eve of the Fourth Sunday in Lent, at St. Peter’s, on March 13, 2015 – the second anniversary of his election...

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Benedict XVI In Memoriam

By: Federico Lombardi, SJ

The Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away on December 31, 2022, at the age of 95, at the Mater Ecclesiae convent in the Vatican, to where he had retired after retiring from the papacy and where he spent the last years of his long life in retreat and prayer. A significant exception had been the trip he made to Regensburg from June 18-22, 2020, to visit one last time his beloved elder brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, just days before his...

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