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Published Date : 2021-07-15
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The Urgency of Universal Access to the Covid-19 Vaccine


By: Fernando de la Iglesia Viguiristi SJ

Over the past year, the Covid-19 pandemic has put our health at risk, brought the global economy virtually to a standstill and disrupted our lives in ways we never imagined. The magnitude of the global catastrophe prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to commission an independent panel of experts to assess the situation. The panel was chaired by former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.[1] The concluding report states that the current situation...


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Turkmenistan


By: Vladimir Pachkov, SJ

Turkmenistan is one of the most mysterious countries in the world. The reason is simple: it is not easily accessible to outsiders. Although the history of civilization in the region of present-day Turkmenistan is almost as old as that of the agricultural centers of the Middle East, the Turkmen tribes – who would later come together to form the Turkmen people – began to spread here only between the 11th and 12th centuries. Between the 17th and 19th centuries, Iran...


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Beyond Nihilism


By: Giovanni Cucci, SJ

One of the effects of the current pandemic has been the calling into question of a general silence on the “ultimate questions.” The nihilistic vision of life, which was made famous by Nietzsche’s philosophy and has frequently returned in updated versions, considers such questions definitively outdated and meaningless. According to this philosophical approach, the truth cannot be attained, because there are no stable values. This is a consequence of the death of God and a fragmented vision of time and...


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Pope Francis and his Messages to Latin America


By: Diego Fares SJ

Francis and Latin America Before being elected as the first ever Latin American pope, on March 23, 2013, Jorge Mario Bergoglio had spent 76 years almost continuously in Latin America. He acknowledged this in his opening greeting, saying he had been chosen from “the ends of the earth.” It was an unprecedented event in the 2,000 year history of the Church. (Another milestone was that a Jesuit had been elected bishop of Rome), but over the years it has proved...


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‘Before I Die’


By: Claudio Zonta SJ

The wall, often a symbol of division, can become an expression of life, reflection and art. Such is the case of the Before I Die Project by Candy Chang,[1] a street artist who transformed the wall of an abandoned house in New Orleans into an artistic and existential space that helps us “grapple with mortality and meaning as a community today.” Street art can become not only a form of social expression, but also of introspection: it stands on the...


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10 Years after the Arab Springs


By: Giovanni Sale, SJ

The Insurrections of the Arab Spring The uprisings that engulfed the Arab world in the winter and spring of 2011 were some of the most important historical events of recent times. The first began on December 17, 2010, following the protest of a young Tunisian street vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi, who set himself on fire in front of the seat of government in Sidi Bouzid, following repeated mistreatment by the local police. The gesture was full of symbolic value and triggered...


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‘Nomadland’


By: Claudio Zonta SJ

Nomadland, winner of a Golden Lion, Golden Globes and Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Directing and Best Actress in a Leading Role, is based on journalist Jessica Bruder’s 2017 investigative book of the same name. Director, Chloé Zhao, is a US-based, Chinese writer and producer, with two critically acclaimed movies to her credit. Both Songs My Brothers Taught Me (2015) and The Rider – A Cowboy’s Dream (2017) are marked by dramatic events that immerse and challenge their protagonists...


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Synod Time for a ‘restless’ Italian Church


By: Antonio Spadaro, SJ

From May 24 to 27, 2021, the Italian Episcopal Conference held their 74th General Assembly. Pope Francis opened it with a prayer and a dialogue with the bishops present. The work of the Assembly, under the guidance of Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, focused on the theme: “Proclaiming the Gospel in a time of rebirth. Starting a synodal journey.” In his introduction Cardinal Bassetti defined this journey as “a necessary process that will allow our Churches in Italy to continue to adopt...


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Muon: As long as there is error there is hope


By: Paolo Beltrame, SJ

“Physics could be seen as a game of chess played by the gods, with us observing the movements of the pieces on the chessboard without being aware of the rules of the game but with a burning desire to discover them”: so said the great American physicist and genius Richard Feynman.[1] Sometimes, first you discover a law and then you better understand its deeper reasons. However, the most interesting things happen when you observe what you did not expect: as...


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‘Magnetism’


By: Luigi Territo, SJ

The pilgrimage to Mecca as mandated by the Quran (2:119; 3:90; 14:38; 22:28; 9:3), is an experience of purification and an opportunity to meditate on the “last day” and on divine judgment. Many ḥadīth refer to the pilgrimage, and often these texts emphasize the modalities, obligations and dispensations of the precept, along with references to the rites performed by Muhammad on the occasion of his visits to the holy House. In his work Magnetism (2012), Ahmed Mater[1], an artist of...


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The Israel-Gaza Strip Conflict


By: David Neuhaus, SJ

Laylat al-Qadr (Night of Power) is one of the holiest times in the life of Muslim Jerusalem. In normal times, hundreds of thousands of Muslims stream from all parts of Palestine and Israel to the Haram al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary, a spacious compound in the Old City that includes the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque), to mark this holy night. The night commemorates the first revelation of the Quran to Islam’s prophet, Muhammad. Coming toward the end...


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Nothing Is As It Seems


By: Mariano Iacobellis, SJ

French playwright Florian Zeller’s directorial debut, The Father, is an elegant and emotionally devastating chamber film which is essential viewing. Based on the play of the same name, The Father places at the center of its plot a man determined to refuse all assistance from his daughter as he ages. Committed to making sense of his changing circumstances, he begins to doubt his loved ones, his mind and the fabric of his reality. The Father is not the first film...


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Pastoral Care for Climate Displaced People


By: Camillo Ripamonti, SJ

After the Pastoral Guidelines for Refugees (2013) and those for Internally Displaced Persons (2020), it is the turn of a new document, a tool for awareness and action, Pastoral Orientations on Climate Displaced People.[1] As Pope Francis recalled on the occasion of Earth Day, April 22, 2021, “the things that we have been saying to one another must not fall into oblivion. [...] Time is pressing and, as Covid-19 has taught us, yes, we have the means to rise up...


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Making Theological Hope a Historical Hope: Cardinal Eduardo Pironio (1920-1998)


By: Diego Fares SJ

The parents of Eduardo Pironio arrived in Argentina in 1898. They came from Friuli and settled in the town of Nueve de Julio, in the middle of the Pampas. Giuseppe, his future father, was born in Percoto, a hamlet of Pavia di Udine, and was just over 20 years old when he married Enrichetta Buttazzoni from Camino, who was just 18. They decided to emigrate to South America, like many Italians of the time, and with other Friulians embarked from...


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