Issue 1703

Protecting Children in the Church

The issue of sexual abuse of minors committed by clergy is constantly returning to the forefront of media attention. Recently, through various news outlets and publications, this focus has been particularly sustained in Italy, France and Argentina. There is no doubt that the protection of children and youth against sexual violence remains a central problem in the Church, and in society. Catholics who closely identify with the Church and its mission remain deeply disturbed by this. This concern was expressed once again by the pope on at least two recent occasions: in the conversation with superiors general of male religious...

By: Hans Zollner SJ

Women and the Diaconate

On May 12, 2016, at a meeting of the International Union of the Superiors General of Women’s Religious Orders, one sister asked Pope Francis why women were excluded from decision-making processes in the Church and from preaching at Eucharistic celebrations. In asking, she cited his words, “the feminine genius is needed in all expressions of the life of the Church and Society.”[1] In reply, Francis mentioned the presence of women deacons in the ancient Church: “it seems that the role of the deaconesses was to help with the baptism of women, with their immersion [...] and they also anointed female...

By: Giancarlo Pani SJ

The Figure of the Bishop According to Pope Francis

In his opening address to the 68th General Assembly of the Italian Episcopal Conference in May 2015, Pope Francis asked the bishops not to be “pilots” but real “pastors.”1 On many occasions the pontiff has appealed to bishops to be “bishops who are pastors, not princes,” making references to images he had already used when he governed his previous diocese. In 2006, while giving a retreat for the bishops of Spain, in his introductory meditation on the Magnificat, he spoke of “feeling ourselves to be collaborators, not owners, humble servants like Our Lady, not princes.” Concluding the retreat, he said...

By: Diego Fares SJ

The Border as a Bridge: Migration in Latin America and the Caribbean

The issue of migration has been emerging strongly in the last few years as a critical reality in the entire world; it is bringing up major challenges for national governments, for societies and their organizations, and for international institutions.1 The dynamics of globalization have created a paradoxical situation. While seeing a remarkable opening of national borders for the transit of goods and resources protected by economic agreements and free-trade treaties, we are also witnessing a rigid closure in regards to the crossing of people. We find ourselves, therefore, in a situation where the world’s economic flows are free and protected...

By: Mauricio Garcian Duran, SJ

Venezuela: The Misery of King Midas

How does an oil-rich nation like Venezuela, enjoying one of the most advantageous geographical locations in continental America and having achieved a high level of development in the second half of the twentieth century, turn into a society on its knees, begging for humanitarian aid, medicine, and food? How is it possible for one of the first representative democracies in Latin America to become so bitterly divided? The fate of Venezuela brings to mind the myth of King Midas: a man who could turn anything into gold just by touching it, but who also ended up miserable, unable even to...

By: Arturo Peraza SJ

Louis Lebret: The Legacy of the Mentor of "Populorum Progressio"

July 20, 2016 was the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Fr. Louis Lebret. This Dominican from Brittany is not very well-known. However, we have no doubt that the grand mentor of Populorum Progressio deserves attention and study. Therefore, in this article we will discuss his life, thought and spirituality, providing a contribution towards recognizing the value of his legacy. Life Louis Lebret was born on June 26, 1897 to a family linked to the sea, in the town of Minihic sur Rance, close to Saint-Malo, in the French region of Brittany. His father was the head shipwright at a...

By: Fernando de la Iglesia Viguiristi SJ

The World of Almodóvar

Julieta (Emma Suarez) lives in Madrid with her daughter Antia (Blanca Pares). Both suffer in silence over the loss of Xoan (Daniel Grao), father of Antia and husband of Julieta. But sometimes pain divides people, instead of uniting them. On the day Antia turns eighteen years old, she abandons her mother without giving her any explanation. Julieta starts searching for Antia by all means available, but the only thing she manages to discover is how little she knows about her daughter. A mother’s heart The film Julieta by Pedro Almodovar examines a mother’s fight to survive uncertainty. Little by little,...

By: Virgilio Fantuzzi, SJ

Mysticism Without God

“Mysticism presents itself as the space where a speculative study of religious facts meets the need to live religious experience in the milieu of the advanced secularism of western society.”1 The men and women of our secularized society still live under the action and sign of rasonnierende ffenlichkeit (public reasoning) of Kantian memory, which makes the truth the result of a rational, discursive and collective work of the whole of humanity. This does not mean that this culture of formal rationality, typical of the Enlightenment, is not today undermined by the return of the irrational and of individualism, or by...

By: Giovanni Cucci, SJ
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