Issue 1707

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

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 conference was a key event not just because of the contents of the nal Document but also for the process that actually produced the text. We reconstruct the most important passages of that experience, highlighting the continuity between Paul VI’s Evangelii Nuntiandi, the Aparecida Document...

By: Diego Fares SJ

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

Pope Francis visited Fatima on the exact date of the centenary anniversary of the Virgin’s apparitions, May 12-13. The pope canonized two of the three shepherds, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, who in 1917 lived this experience. Occurring between the pope’s trip to Egypt and the meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in the Vatican, this visit had a special value for at least three major reasons. First of all, it was a prayer for peace; second, it is the first time that children who were not martyrs have been proclaimed saints: the most important of Fatima’s secrets is that things...

By: Diego Fares SJ


The issue of surrogate motherhood is one of the most manipulated in public debate. It often sees humanist categories give way to those of post-humanism, where public reflection accepts passively the achievements of science. When the dignity of the weakest – namely the unborn child and the pregnant mother – is damaged, how much can the subjective desire of the commissioning couple become a right in a democratic order? An anthropological approach to surrogate maternity faces the question at the very heart of science: how it can be useful to humanity without abusing the human person.  

By: Francesco Occhetta, SJ

God's Sense of Humor

Humor is a fundamental aspect of human existence. It is a dimension that seems to be in jeopardy in western society as day-to-day conflicts and tensions run the risk of radicalization and exasperation. Humor is part of wisdom and is a gift of the Holy Spirit. If the basis of humor is to be found in the law of contrast and in the convergence of opposites – Luke’s Gospel is rich with examples – it must be concluded that God is an insuperable master of humor. He chose what is weak in the world to confuse the strong. For this...

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

Social media and search engines have changed the dimensions and understanding of the concept of authority today. This is an issue for the Church where the practice and understanding of authority are expressed in very different communication contexts. An analysis of the ecology of the media draws attention to the interactions between social practice, media, cultural ideas, individuals, leaders and other realities that determine our understanding of the world. Applying this analysis to ecclesial communication throws light on how people today interpret authority in the Church.

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

'Amoris Laetitia', discernment, and Christian maturity

The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew has described how Amoris Laetitia reminds us above all of God’s mercy and compassion, and not just of moral norms and canonical rules. So how can family ministry be developed for the entire Church to welcome, accompany, discern, and integrate? Some criteria for applying the necessary discernment are in the text of the apostolic exhortation. To tune in with God’s will and reach a full discernment, the Church also has at its disposal the experience of Ignatius of Loyola among other riches drawn from tradition.

By: Pietro M. Schiavone, SJ
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