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THE HEART OF ‘QUERIDA AMAZONIA’
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Published Date : 2020-05-15
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Raphael: Lights and Shadows in the Life of a Genius 


By: Giancarlo Pani SJ

In his New Year’s greetings to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See, Pope Francis recalled the fifth centenary of the death of Raffaello Sanzio (Raphael), “the great artist from Urbino, who died in Rome on April 6, 1520”, and reflected: “he left us a vast legacy of inestimable beauty. Just as an artist’s genius can blend raw materials and different colors and sounds to create a unique work of art, so diplomacy is called upon to harmonize the...


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The Mediterranean, a Frontier of Peace


By: Paolo Bizzeti, SJ

Sixty bishops from twenty countries attended The Mediterranean, a Frontier of Peace[1], a meeting from February 19 to 23, 2020, not by chance in Bari, the setting in 2018 of a significant ecumenical prayer meeting that had seen the patriarchs and heads of the Churches of the Middle East gather around Pope Francis.[2] With the pope’s encouragement, and on behalf of the Italian Episcopal Conference, Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti had invited the patriarchs and bishops of the countries bordering the Mediterranean...


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China and Covid-19


By: Benoit Vermander, SJ

China, the first country hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, is also the first nation to try to return to a certain normality. It is therefore, and doubly so, a laboratory, and what happens there is of primary interest to the entire planet. Moreover, the specificities of its political and social system raise many questions about how the pandemic affects and will continue to affect its internal equilibrium and its international position. All of these factors will determine how global society...


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Africa: A continent on the move


By: Giovanni Sale, SJ

It is often said that Africa is “a continent on the move.” Before European colonization there were no real borders on the continent, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, let alone “walls” or containing barriers, as unfortunately we know them everywhere today. There were, instead, empires whose geographical extent and borders varied, as well as acephalous societies, states without an established head or capital.[1] The only truly fixed and determined political reality for the inhabitants was membership of a clan or a...


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Do Nothing: A precious and arduous activity


By: Giovanni Cucci, SJ

The difficulty with being by yourself A time of enforced rest – such as the period of isolation to cope with the coronavirus pandemic – can also provide a valuable lesson. Many have reflected on the significance of this serious epidemic in this respect. Among the many ideas, we would like to take up one well known in the spiritual tradition: take time simply to do nothing. You can occupy time, kill, fill or cheat it, perhaps by sitting in...


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‘The Life of the World to Come’


By: Giandomenico Mucci, SJ

“The life of the world to come.” This detail in the profession of faith concludes the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed proclaimed at Mass on Sundays and on other solemnities. It is perhaps recited by the faithful without particular attention and without too much weight given to these words. “Eternity” is a word that has fallen into disuse. It has been observed, on the basis of some surveys, that the percentage of those who believe in a life beyond death is lower than...


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The Heart of ‘Querida Amazonia’: ‘overflowing en route’


By: Diego Fares SJ

How does Francis propose to solve problems, and in particular those posed by the Amazon? The answer is found in a Spanish word that recurs five times in the Apostolic Exhortation Querida Amazonia that is the motor or, rather, the beating heart of the text.  It is essentially Pope Francis’ own way of seeing. The term is (in Spanish) desborde or, as a verb, desbordar. It is hard to translate it into other languages using the same word. It suggests...


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CoronaCheck and Fake News


By: Antonio Spadaro, SJ

With the spread of the Covid-19 virus, there has been a spike in disinformation about its origin, diffusion and effects. False and misleading claims concerning the 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic are documented in the Wikipedia entry “Misinformation related to the 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic.” People have died from taking drugs passed off as useful. The information verification process has been in trouble for some time, and the pandemic has made the problem plain for all to see. Infodemia and data verification The...


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The Donatist Temptation: Controversy in Catholic China


By: Benoit Vermander, SJ

The Peace of Maxentius in 307 and the consequent official cessation of persecution led to a violent conflict in the Church. Led by Bishop Donatus, the “pure ones” refused the re-admission of the “traitors” (those who had handed over their sacred books and vessels) and the “lapsed” (those who had “fallen” during the persecution, beginning with the bishops). They wanted in particular to forbid them any priestly function. In various forms, the conflict lasted until the sixth century.[1] One of...


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The ‘Weakness’ of Christ. An argument for His truth


By: José M. Millás, SJ

Sometimes we meet people who have had a good Christian formation, but who have become agnostics over time. We might think that these are exceptional cases. However, we are convinced that these cases are a symptom of an obvious fact: in traditionally Christian countries there is a crisis that affects both the faith and the life of the baptized. They stop practicing, become agnostics, and either  live as such, or seek alternatives to a Christian religion that has lost its...


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Europe and the Virus


By: Card. Jean-Claude Hollerich

Mortality was a world away, disasters were elsewhere, far from our own world that seemed to keep us safe. Death was present, but consumerism and the good life distracted us, suppressing the fear of death in our hearts. An entire generation in Europe grew up in this shallow world and knew no other. Of course, economic crises sometimes troubled our security, but going out of an evening, traveling, a passion for consumerism all eclipsed our questioning and eclipsed our doubts...


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Daniel Pennac and Federico Fellini: Life is Dream


By: Claudio Zonta SJ

With his latest novel La Loi du rêveur (The Law of the Dreamer), Daniel Pennac crosses paths  with Italian film director Federico Fellini (2020 is the centenary of his birth).[1] The common thread that links the two characters, both present in the novel, is the importance of the oneiric element in their respective lives. Fellini kept a journal of his dreams from the previous night – which would be published posthumously with the title Libro dei sogni (The Book of...


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Starting anew after The COVID-19 Emergency


By: Gaël Giraud, SJ

At the cost of unprecedented suffering to a significant part of our populations, we now realize in many developed world countries, from a health point of view, we do not have adequate infrastructure and public resources for this era and this crisis. How can we address these challenges in the 21st century from a public health perspective? This is what many countries have had to accept and implement in a few weeks in the face of a pandemic that, as...


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Pope Francis and the Coronavirus Crisis


By: Antonio Spadaro, SJ

An interview on ‘the courage to look ahead’ The whole planet is experiencing a crisis. At this most serious moment there is a need for guidance to accompany us and help us understand the meaning of what we are living through. In this situation we need voices that are able to speak to everyone, leaders able to understand what is happening, but also to point the way to the post-coronavirus future. The pope is “confined.” For a pontiff who from...


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