The Pontificate

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Published Date : 2021-12-28
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Networks and Networking as Tools, Practices and Expressions of Synodality

By: Roberto Jaramillo Bernal, SJ

In his pastoral practice and speeches, Pope Francis has insisted on an element that appears fundamental in his evangelical call addressed to the Church, viz., synodality. It cannot be said to be a perfectly understandable and univocal term, which makes the task of the present article more difficult, but nevertheless interesting. The synthesis document of the First Session of the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod – which met in Rome October 4-29, 2023[1] – refers to this concept frequently....

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‘Trust in the Lord and his Mercy’

By: Nuno da Silva Gonçalves, SJ

The Declaration Fiducia Supplicans on the pastoral meaning of blessings was published with the approval of Pope Francis by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith on December 18, 2023. The document, by opening up the possibility of blessing same-sex couples, has provoked various reactions and interpretations. We will first try to present the content of the Declaration, which, in the meantime, has been the subject of a special press release from the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the...

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‘The Church is Reawakened in Souls’

By: Andreas R. Batlogg, SJ

In 1982 the British rock group The Clash released its hit song, “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” The question can also be applied to the relationship between the faithful and the Church. In fact, here we are dealing with a relationship in crisis: what used to be considered unthinkable or a rare exception, today constitutes for many only a small step, either after years of estrangement, or because of a spontaneous, often hasty decision, fostered perhaps by negative...

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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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