Published Date : 2019-10-15
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The Web of Gambling

By: Francesco Occhetta, SJ

The expression “hazard a bet” is a term used by gamblers that derives from the Arabic word al-zahr (“dice”). These instruments of fortune exemplify the desire to enrich oneself without making sacrifices. The first public places for organized gambling in the Middle Ages sprang up in secluded locations, far from squares and churches, managed by so-called “dealers.”[1] The locales of these particular games have always been thought of as webs woven by powerful “spiders” to trap their prey. In The...

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Cybersex Educational Strategies

By: Giovanni Cucci, SJ

Prevention is key to combating cybersex. The clear need to encourage young people to exchange views and dialogue on the issue can be met to some extent through schools. There, educators are called upon to develop effective education programs for growth in managing affections and proper use of the internet, to reflect on its potential impact, using, for example, news stories to raise discussion in classrooms. When educators act on the issue with the collaboration of parents, it is noticeable...

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Kazakhstan’s post-Independence Fault Lines

By: Vladimir Pachkov, SJ

Kazakhstan is the largest country in Central Asia (2,724,900 square kilometers) and the second most populous, with about 18 million inhabitants.[1] It bridges Europe and Asia, not only because of its geographical position, but also by reason of its ethnic composition. In addition to hosting various ethnic groups of Central Asian origin (such as the Uzbeks), it is home to elements of European populations, such as Germans and Poles, as well as Ukrainians and Russians. Shortly before and during the...

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Brothers and Sisters, Children of the One Father

By: Saverio Corradino, SJ

The Document on Human Brotherhood, signed by Pope Francis and Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayeb in Abu Dhabi on February 4, 2019, is an important text for all, especially for Christians. It is also an invitation to consider the subject through the Bible, where there are many passages that develop the idea of brotherhood. In the New Testament, Luke in particular looks in depth at the theme of brothers and sisters, children of the same Father. The theme stands out in...

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Francis Xavier, a Missionary Beyond the Borders

By: Nuno da Silva Gonçalves, SJ

In a homily delivered in Manila on November 29, 1970, Saint Paul VI stated: “I would never have come from Rome to this far-distant land unless I had been most firmly convinced of two fundamental things: first, of Christ; and second, of your salvation.” He added: “The more distant the goal, the more difficult my mission, the more pressing is the love that urges me to it.”[1] Saint Francis Xavier could have said the same words. For him, too, the...

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Secular States and Monotheistic Religions

By: Giovanni Sale, SJ

According to Max Weber the formation of modern legal systems must be read in parallel with the process of secularization of the modern state and of civil and political society, which has separated the religious sphere from the secular, formulating new ethical and political principles to regulate the organization of the state and the coexistence of people, thus erasing from state law the original sacred elements inherited from ancient traditions.[1] This approach to the subject of the foundation of modern...

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‘The Girl with the Leica’ by Helena Janeczek

By: Giovanni Arledler, SJ

After reading Le otto montagne (The Eight Mountains) by Paolo Cognetti, 2017 Strega Prize winner and following on the study of his novel by Matteo Nucci,[1], it was impossible to ignore Helena Janeczek, popular winner of the Strega in 2018. The Girl with the Leica[2] presents the lives of Gerda Taro and her friends in the historical contexts of the last 80 years, which is in part the history of less youthful readers. It is a demanding read but the...

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Pope Francis and Fraternity

By: Diego Fares

In the vision of Pope Francis, fraternity – being brothers and sisters – has a transcendental value and a programmatic character. If you “pass by,” taking it for granted, or if you use the term lightly, almost as if saying “brothers and sisters” were enough to avoid the temptations of indifference, bureaucracy or authoritarianism, it means that fraternity’s wealth and ability to generate positive dynamics have not yet matured sufficiently. I deliberately use the evangelical expression of the parable of...

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