Published Date : 2021-11-16
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Justice: An uncomfortable virtue

By: Giovanni Cucci, SJ

A mirror to our complex society Among the cardinal virtues (prudence, justice, fortitude, temperance), the only one currently under philosophical investigation is justice, thanks mainly to its being proposed by a new contractualism. This is an attempt to present it without using a metaphysical and religious perspective, but identifying evaluation criteria that allow each person to decide as “a free and equal rational being.”[1] It is a proposal for our complex society, where a shared vision of life is lacking....

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Faith on the Ward: Pastoral care and health workers

By: Alberto Cano Arenas, SJ

From health care ministry to pastoral care with health care workers The health professions, like so many other vocations, can be a privileged springboard and an open pathway to God. Doctors, psychologists, nurses and those involved in care reflect on the profound mystery of the human being who suffers and loves, resists and hopes, trusts and fights. They touch the very mystery of God, even if only for a moment. This is the basic thesis of this article, which we...

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Paul Ricœur in the Magisterium of Pope Francis

By: Andreas Lind, SJ

Several studies have been published in recent years on the “genealogy” of the thought of Jorge Mario Bergoglio. In this regard, a book by Massimo Borghesi has exerted a strong influence.[1] The implicit background against which Bergoglio’s thought is set seems to be inspired above all by the anthropology of Romano Guardini and the interpretation that the philosopher Gaston Fessard gave of the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Since becoming pope, Francis has revealed that, in addition to...

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Toward a Culture of Care: COP26 climate and policy issues

By: Gaël Giraud, SJ

The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26) takes place from October 31 to November 12, 2021, at the Scottish Event Campus, Glasgow, UK. It was postponed by a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Extreme climate events are becoming more numerous and intense and the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Working Group One has just published an alarming report. This conference, organized together with Italy, marks a crucial step in the implementation of the Paris Agreement....

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The Beauty of Physics

By: Paolo Beltrame, SJ

The greatest poet of the English language Whenever physicists confer, they are likely to declare their belief in the beauty of the laws of nature. It must also be acknowledged that passion for beauty and search for harmony are part of the very essence of being human. Now, after these initial assertions, two things should be highlighted. The first is a question: Isn’t an “act of faith” – such as that in the beauty of natural laws – exactly what...

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The Martyrdom of Fr. Olivier Maire

By: Giancarlo Pani SJ

A new link has been added to the chain of murders that is bloodying the Catholic Church, particularly in France. In Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre, in Vendée, on August 9, 2021, a religious priest, Fr. Olivier Maire, was killed by a Rwandan asylum seeker, whom he was hosting in his home and whose needy situation he had taken to heart. The victim, 60 years old, was ordained priest in 1990 after studying biology, belonged to the Montfortian Congregation. Maire was known for his...

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A Theology of Memory in Response to Clerical Sexual Abuse

By: Marcel Uwineza, SJ

On October 5, 2021, the Report of the Independent Commission on Sexual Abuses in the Church in France was published. It was requested by the French Bishops’ Conference and is now available for in-depth examination so that more effective strategies can be taken in the fight against abuse. The Report shows that over a period of 70 years some 3,000 priests and religious sexually abused minors or vulnerable persons. A total of 216,000 people in France today (with a margin...

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‘Summer of Soul’: A Celebration of Black Culture

By: Mariano Iacobellis, SJ

The small rural county of Bethel in New York State was chosen to host a musical event, from August 15-18, 1969, that has gone down in history as Woodstock. Three days of “peace and rock music” that became a legend, with countless films and documentaries dedicated to this hippie event par excellence. Meanwhile, only 160 kilometers away, Mount Morris Park (now renamed Marcus Garvey Park) in the heart of Harlem hosted the Harlem Cultural Festival to celebrate the best of...

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Spiritual Parents

By: Miguel Ángel Fiorito, SJ

The term “spiritual” is one of those words which, although it had a profoundly rich meaning in the early days of Christianity and in all the great epochs of the history of the Church, every now and then it becomes weakened  by more superficial meanings, or is transformed into a synonym of largely negative terms – such as “incorporeal, immaterial” – and becomes just one of many edifying words, a synonym of “religious” or “supernatural.”[1] For Origen, the spiritual person...

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Sociological and Political Aspects of Cryptocurrencies

By: Étienne Perrot, SJ

A new appetite for cryptocurrencies arose last year, and it has not diminished during this course of 2021. Why? These currencies are more secure, being now better supervised by the public authorities, but they still scare political leaders who react by imposing  increasingly intrusive regulations. They are also looking to launch their own cryptocurrencies, the central bank digital currencies. The main technical aspects of these cryptocurrencies are easy to summarize. Their base is the blockchain, which is a technology for...

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Iran, Russia and China: Is there a ‘new Mongolian empire’ on the horizon?

By: Vladimir Pachkov, SJ

Thomas Flichy de La Neuville’s book Chine, Iran, Russie: un nouvel empire mongol? was published in 2013.[1] At the time the question was largely hypothetical. Today it appears to be a real possibility, particularly after China and Iran signed a treaty on April 27, 2021, firming the bilateral relations between these three Asian powers as they develop a triangular relationship. Underpinning it are both mutual interests and resistance against common adversaries. The sheer weight of all three countries – China,...

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What is the Synodal Journey? The thought of Pope Francis

By: Santiago Madrigal, SJ

“For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission” is the title of a journey solemnly begun on October 9-10, 2021, in Rome, and then again on October 17 in each particular Church around the world. On March 7, 2020, the announcement had been made that Francis wanted to hold the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 2022 on the theme: “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission.” At the end of last May, Cardinal...

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Ecological Reflections on the Fukushima Wastewater Spillage

By: Seil Oh, SJ

It has been 10 years since an unpredictable earthquake and subsequent tsunami caused an accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. On April 13, 2021, Japan decided to discharge “water still potentially radioactive from the Fukushima nuclear power plant” into the ocean,[1] as this would be “the best way to dispose of tritium and traces of other radionuclides in the water.”[2] The first test releases could begin within two years, and it will probably take decades to dispose of...

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By: Domenico Pizzuti, SJ

The Dictionary of Politics, edited by Bobbio, Matteucci and Pasquino, published in 1976, did not contain an entry on “citizenship.”[1] At the time it was a consequence of the existence of the state. It was only in the 1990s that scholars began to elaborate on the idea. In the interim, what had changed? The new political climate raised questions about the role of citizens and the very meaning of citizenship, highlighting the fact that citizenship is not an accidental, but...

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