Issue 1707

Ten Years on from Aparecida: The source of Francis’ pontificate

The spiritual plus of Aparecida Ten years after the Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean (CELAM) that took place in Aparecida, Brazil, between May 11 and May 31, 2007, it is worth reflecting on the impact the gathering has had on the life of both the South American continent and the universal Church. The last ten years have seen a growth in Latin America’s population by about 70 million people, but on the world stage it has ceded much of its political and economic influence to Asia and Africa. Moreover, Latin America must confront...

By: Diego Fares SJ

"Which Mary?" Francis at Fatima: The wounded world, prophetic shepherds, and Mother Mary

Pope Francis’ trip to Fatima took place on May 12 and 13, exactly 100 years after the apparitions of the Virgin of Fatima. He canonized two of the three shepherd children who lived that experience in 1917: Francisco and Jacinta Marto. Lucia, the third child, died in 2005 and the cause of her beatification is ongoing. This was the fifth trip of a successor of St. Peter to Fatima and follows those by Paul VI (in 1967 on the 50th anniversary of the apparitions of the Blessed Mother), by Saint John Paul II (in 1982, a year after the attempt...

By: Diego Fares SJ


Surrogate maternity refers to the act of procreation where a woman agrees to carry to term a pregnancy and then subsequently give the newborn infant to the commissioning couple. Surrogacy is one of the most delicate and pressing issues in public debate, complicated further by the different ways it is defined; for example, “third-party reproduction,” “donor-assisted reproduce tion,” or “womb for rent.” The anthropological and ethical questions that this practice raises go to the root of the meaning of life, the body, the mother-child relationship, dignity and memory, but also of gift and reciprocity. It seems that in political debate,...

By: Francesco Occhetta, SJ

God's Sense of Humor

The subject of humor in religious literature is certainly not something new, even in our journal.[1] We believe, however, that a brief note may help our readers keep alive a fundamental dimension of human existence that seems to us in danger of being lost in our western society where daily conflicts and tensions always run the risk of becoming radicalized and exasperating. As a consequence we lose  sight of the moderation offered by humor. One might say the same thing about a nearly equivalent term, irony.[2] We hope the subject is a pleasant one for we all need humor, even...

By: GianPaolo Salvini, SJ

I, Daniel Blake: A film by Ken Loach

Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2016 Cannes Festival, Ken Loach’s film expresses indignation over the lack of respect for those on the margins of society in the United Kingdom. An elderly carpenter suffers a heart attack and is forced to resort to public assistance. He falls into a Kafkaesque network of control that renders his life impossible. He meets a single mother with two small children who are also forced to endure all kinds of humiliation. The solidarity between these people is not enough to raise them from their state of poverty. Instead of addressing the needs of...

By: Virgilio Fantuzzi, SJ

Authority, New Media and the Church

Writing about the history of the Bible in the 13th century, de Hamel notes, “The Bible, at least in Western Europe, was mostly still in Latin, by then used by fewer and fewer people. This gave it authority but obscurity.”[1] A parallel situation has emerged in the contemporary world in terms of Church authority. The Church possesses and exerts many kinds of authority, with the most serious and solemn connected to its teaching office in matters of faith and morals. Her various kinds of authority ultimately come back to a charism of the Holy Spirit, and theologians have labored to...

By: Paul A. Soukup, SJ

Bridge Diplomacy: A roundtable to mark issue no. 4000 of 'La Civiltà Cattolica'

The Embassy of Italy to the Holy See hosted a round table to mark the publication of issue number 4000 of La Civiltà Cattolica. The theme for the round table was “The gaze of Magellan – the diplomacy of bridges in a world of walls.” After greetings by the Italian Ambassador, Daniele Mancini, the May 10 event was introduced by Father Antonio Spadaro, Editor-in-Chief of the magazine. Speeches were then given by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni. The event was attended by many ambassadors, as well as members of the Church and...

By: Cardinal Pietro Parolin

Jesus Never Imposes: 'Amoris Laetitia', discernment, and Christian maturity

“It is important to observe,” writes the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, “that Amoris Laetitia (AL) reminds us above all of God’s mercy and compassion, rather than solely moral regulations and canonical rules.”[1] This is a theme that Pope Francis has been repeating since the beginning of his pontificate. In his speech opening the Pastoral Congress of the diocese of Rome,[2] he affirmed “the sensitivity with which God looks at our families helps us to direct our consciences in the same way as his.” He said that “the emphasis placed on mercy puts reality before us in a realistic way,...

By: Pietro M. Schiavone, SJ
Authors of this Edition