Published Date : 2021-09-17
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Cultural Challenges during Vatican II

By: Bartolomeo Sorge, SJ

The early 1960s, a time of cultural upheaval The cultural challenges facing the Church and the Second Vatican Council in the early 1960s did not come as a surprise.[1] They were the culmination of the long evolution of modern Western culture, the origins of which go back to the Enlightenment. These challenges had emerged with the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution and were then brought into focus in the 19th century by the great modern philosophical currents (German Idealism,...

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The Question of Vocations: Old and new issues

By: Marc Rastoin, SJ

The now clearly fragmented nature of the global Catholic world means that there are some very diverse situations regarding vocations to consecrated celibacy, both for  diocesan clergy and for those in religious life. Asia and Africa have slow but steady growth, while vocations continue to decline in the northern hemisphere and, in an almost similar way, in Latin America. Bishops, as well as superiors of religious orders, are writing letters to raise awareness of the issue.[1] Everywhere there is talk...

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On Inner Abandonment – Canticle V

By: Jean-Joseph Surin

Jean-Joseph Surin (1600-65), a French Jesuit, was ordained priest in 1626. He taught in Rouen and Bordeaux and was an exorcist in Loudun. He was one of the great mystics of the 17th century. Many were influenced by him: from Bossuet to Fénelon, from Teresa of Lisieux to Raïssa Maritain. His works spread far and wide. They include The Spiritual Catechism, The Foundations of the Spiritual Life and Spiritual Canticles (1657).     I want to go out in the...

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Reading the Sighs and Signs of Our Times

By: Joseph Lobo, SJ

The concept “signs of the times” was introduced into official Catholic terminology by Pope John XXIII in the 1961 apostolic constitution Humanae Salutis (HS): “We know that the sight of these evils so depresses the minds of some people that they see nothing but darkness, which they think entirely envelops the world. We, on the other hand, love to reaffirm our unshakable confidence in the divine Savior of the human race, who has by no means abandoned the mortals he...

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The Kalmyks: Buddhists of Europe

By: Vladimir Pachkov, SJ

When we talk about traditional religions that have been rooted for centuries in Europe, obviously we think first of all about Christianity, Judaism, and also Islam. Buddhism is considered a religion of  South and East Asia: one immediately thinks of India, the birthplace of this religion, but also of China, Japan, Korea and their cultures, which seem quite exotic in the eyes of  Europeans. However, in Europe – if we mean Europe in a geographical sense, that is, as that...

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