Published Date : 2020-08-15
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Connection and Compassion: A Biblical reflection

By: Pino di Luccio, SJ

Compassion and interconnection In the fourth Gospel Jesus often speaks in theological terms of interconnection. In John 15 he speaks of it as “witness of the Spirit.” He explains it with the simile of the vine and the branches.[1] Jesus is the true vine. The Father is the vine grower (v. 1) who removes the branches that do not bear fruit, and prunes (literally “cleanses,” kathairei) the branches that bear fruit. The verb “ to clean” also appears in the...

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‘I Believe in the Holy Spirit’

By: Miguel Ángel Fiorito, SJ

The pastor who says, “I believe in the Holy Spirit,” should ask himself some fundamental questions to discover the action of the Spirit among his faithful. In concrete terms he will ask: “How is the Lord present in the life of my people? How do my people welcome his presence? How do my people confess the Holy Spirit?” And in that questioning he will have to keep in mind how “confessing” is not only a manifestation of a belief, but...

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The Netanyahu-Gantz Government and the future of the West Bank

By: Giovanni Sale, SJ

A new government for Israel After 508 days of political stalemate, on May 17, 2020, the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, voted in a new government of national unity, with 73 votes in favor and 46 against. It is Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu’s fifth premiership.[1] This time, however, he will have to share the office of prime minister with former rival Benny Gantz, leader of the Blue and White Party, who will take the leadership of the government on November 17, 2021....

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The Universalism of the Bible

By: Dominik Markl, SJ

The Bible presents a universalistic vision of God and the world. The strength of its universalism has made it the most translated, most widely read book of all time. The main factors in its spread are the Jewish diaspora and the Christian missions around the world. The universalism of the Bible is reflected in the expansion of the Christian Churches, of which it is the founding document. Today there is an interreligious and ecumenical scholarly community that studies and spreads...

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Authority and Abuse Issues among Women Religious

By: Giovanni Cucci, SJ

A largely unexplored theme The Church has often dealt with the issue of abuse, even in recent times, both at the level of reflection and in terms of operational measures and protocols.[1] However, the focus is mostly on the sexual and psychological abuse of children by ministers of the Church, especially priests. These are undoubtedly the predominant concerns, but they are certainly not the only ones. One issue that has not received sufficient attention so far is abuse within women’s...

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Beethoven: “To play without passion is inexcusable”

By: Giandomenico Mucci, SJ

Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn on December 16, 1770, and died in Vienna on March 26, 1827. Hence December 2020 will mark the 250th anniversary of his birth. Among the great musicians of 19th-century Germany, Beethoven is certainly the best known and most popular. It has been said of him that “he is the core around whom concerts are organized all over the world.”[1] While musicologists consider him “under the visual angle of the so-called pure music,” and...

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A Breach in the Way we Think About Reality

By: Diego Fares

The question of post-truth goes beyond the definition in the Oxford English Dictionary: “Objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal beliefs.”[1] The so-called “objective facts” imply the possibility of being recorded and quantified. Today we see that the possibility of quantifying in real time the truth as to whether or not a large number of people approving of a statement or fact can, in fact, transform that “quantified emotion” into something “real”...

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What Does the Future Hold for Europe?

By: Marc Rastoin, SJ

The Covid-19 crisis has brought to the fore a key question of recent years. It is the crucial question for Western European countries: Is there still a future for the European Union? For this Union that gives weight and backbone to a hard-to-define geographical Europe? One can almost hear the words that the Lord spoke to the prophet Jeremiah in the time of exile and despair: “There is hope for your future, says the Lord” (Jer 31:17). In the face...

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Story and Metaphor in ‘Querida Amazonia’

By: Jean-Pierre Sonnet, SJ

Pope Francis’ exhortation Querida Amazonia (QA) surprises in many ways. Poetry occupies a particularly surprising place. Where previous popes accustomed us to philosophical and theological references, Francis offers extracts from poems. These create unexpected clearings in the text, unusual breaths in a document of the Magisterium. Sixteen writers and poets of South American origin or adoption are quoted; their texts have their greatest effect in Spanish and Portuguese.[1] If they resonate in other languages, it is thanks to the tireless...

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Asthma and Grace: An interview with Martin Scorsese

By: Antonio Spadaro, SJ

"Life is not something that takes us by surprise, but an astonishing mystery that inspires poetry in us," said Pope Francis in a recent audience. And he continued: "When a person lacks that poetic dimension, let's say, when poetry is missing, his soul limps."[1] That's why I thought of contacting the director Martin Scorsese: life has provoked poetry in him. In the meetings I had with him in Rome and New York we talked a lot about life and poetry,...

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