Fr. Joseph Shih, SJ, meets me just a few meters from the Vatican at the entrance to the St. Peter Canisius Jesuit Residence. La Civiltà Cattolica has already published two of his articles but I have never met him. The man is 90 years old, and he gives me a warm, smiling welcome. His face carries the marks of a life of many moments, and the traces that remain communicate an experience of serenity and deep peace. I ask him about himself; I want him to tell me who he is.
Catholicism has a long and at times checkered history in China. This article briefly examines the history of the church’s contribution to Chinese society and then considers contemporary Chinese society and the Church’s role. The author discusses – The Meaning of Life – Materialism and the formation of laity – Faith and spiritual formation for Chinese Catholics – The role of Catholic clergy, nuns and laity returning for overseas – The impact of the internet – Dialogue with local culture.
Who were the important figures in the development of Christianity in China, and what was their influence? The answers to these questions are usually found by focusing on the lives and work of famous missionaries such as Matteo Ricci. This article has taken an alternative approach by focusing not on the missionaries, but on the Chinese Christians, not just on individuals or the elite, but on the men and women who made up Christian communities. By highlighting these other aspects of the Church in China, the article shows how the creation of the first Catholic communities came about, from which the current communities derive their identity.
Some 30 Heads of State and Government gathered in Beijing for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s May announcement of the construction of a “New Silk Road,” a route that will travel through 65 countries.Recapturing the idea of the ancient “road” that united East and West from the 2nd century B.C. to the 15th century A.D., with this project China seeks to be the driving force of future globalization. The economic model that has brought about China’s surprising development in recent decades deserves closer attention as we try to frame the opportunities and risks of this “new” Chinese economic activism.
First published in 1850, La Civiltà Cattolica made its mark over a period when the very meaning of communication changed, over and above its modalities. In today’s culture, shaped by social networks and new digital media, communication means less and less transmitting news and more being witnesses to and sharing visions and ideas with others. So one of the first consequences is the need for the message to spring forth clearly from the page, sharing the intellectual experience, both moral and spiritual.
'La Civiltà Cattolica' intends to share with its readers an intellectual experience illuminated by the Christian faith profoundly grafted onto the cultural, social, economic, and political life of our times. Its contribution is serious and educated but not elitist or for specialists.
Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism in the USA:
A surprising ecumenism
In God We Trust. This phrase is printed on the banknotes of the United States of America and is the current national motto. It appeared for the first time on a coin in 1864 but did not become official until Congress passed a motion in 1956.
A motto is important for a nation whose foundation was rooted in religious motivations. For many it is a simple declaration of faith. For others, it is the synthesis of a problematic fusion between religion and state, faith and politics, religious values and economy.
The issue of sexual abuse of minors by clergy is constantly in the media spotlight. There is no doubt that the protection of children and youth remains a central problem in the Church. Pope Francis has continued and intensified the line of his predecessor, especially with the establishment of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (Pontificia Commissio pro Tutela Minorum). He created, at the level of the universal Church, the structural and material conditions needed to accelerate, with consistency and efficiency, the protection of children throughout the Catholic Church
In a meeting with Pope Francis, a victim of sexual abuse said with profound sadness and desperation: “Jesus had his mother nearby when he faced suffering and death. But my mother, the Church, left me all alone in my time of pain.”
These few words express the horror of abuse, especially the sexual abuse of minors in the Church. They show how much the Church’s attitude and that of her leaders needs to change.
Five years after his election Pope Francis has decided to publish his third apostolic exhortation, titled Gaudete et Exsultate (GE). As the subtitle explicitly states, its theme is “the call to holiness in today’s world.” The pontiff launches a plain, essential message, indicating that what counts, what is the essence of Christian life – to use the terminology of St. Ignatius of Loyola – is to “seek and find God in all things,” following the instruction of his invitation to Jesuits: curet primo Deum. This is the heart of every reform, both personal and ecclesial: put God at the center.
An authentic historical consciousness can best be described as a passionate concern with the present, a compassionate interpretation of the past and taking both into a creative anticipation of the future. It is about discovering where we came from, so as to realise who we are and how we got here as we reach out to construct our future.
The Jesuit contribution to nation building in India is a saga in itself. Three Defining moments brought new paradigms: The struggle for a democratic India, Vatican II and rearticulating the Jesuit mission in terms of faith culture inculturation and dialogue, and engaging with the laity.