Issue 1710

Myanmar and Bangladesh: Two nations in the heart of Asia

Pope Francis will be in Myanmar and Bangladesh for his 21st apostolic journey November 27 to December 2, 2017. These two nations, situated in the heart of Asia, have tragic, bloodstained histories since slipping the bonds of British colonialism. They sit at the junction of the major geographical blocs of South, Southeast and North Asia and have their maritime littorals about where the great Indian and Pacific Oceans meet. Bangladesh and Myanmar are in the top five of the poorest countries in Asia. In this sad classification, Myanmar ranks third poorest and Bangladesh ranks fifth poorest. Their Catholic populations are...

By: Michael Kelly, SJ

From De Ecclesia to Lumen Gentium

The schema of the preparatory doctrinal commission On November 23, 1962, while the conciliar assembly began to discuss the text on the Mass Media, the much-awaited schema De Ecclesia was distributed. For a great number of the bishops, it represented the raison d’être of the Council. In fact, many thought that the Council’s task should be to complete – and balance – the doctrine of the Church presented in the Vatican I constitution Pastor aeternus, which was entirely based on the prerogative and powers of the pope, in particular the doctrines of papal primacy and infallibility. That Council, convoked on...

By: Giovanni Sale, SJ

Peace in Colombia: Not an Objective but a Condition. Pope Francis in Colombia

Let’s say it right away: the apostolic journey of Pope Francis to Colombia (September 6-11, 2017) was really and truly a “manifesto” not only in words but also in actions and gestures. It showed that a different world is possible and indicated to the Church its own role of service as salt of the earth. The motto of the journey was Demos el primer paso, that is, “Let’s take the first step,” a quotation from Evangelii Gaudium (EG) n. 24. It is not often that the pope when traveling in one country makes reference to circumstances that concern another one....

By: Antonio Spadaro, SJ

The New Silk Road: The Global Ambitions of the Chinese Economy

In the month of May this year, in Beijing, before almost 30 heads of state and government and more than 1,000 delegates from 130 countries attending the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke to a meeting titled “The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation” to announce a major project that involves the construction of a “New Silk Road” through 65 countries. The intention is clear. By reviving the idea of the ancient “road” that joined East and West from the 2nd century B.C. to the 15th century A.D., China wants to be at...

By: Fernando de la Iglesia Viguiristi SJ

Youth, Culture and Discernment: The experience of Augustine and Basil

At a time when scientific subjects appear to have won a place of prominence in education and training, often for merely utilitarian reasons, it is more important than ever to bring young people close or closer to the humanities. This is indispensable because it enables young people to identify the necessary criteria to discern what is good and what is less good in the culture they inhabit; it provokes within them those questions and doubts that are fundamental on the journey toward maturity. In this regard, it is interesting to be familiar with the personal experiences – in school and...

By: Enrico Cattaneo, SJ

Curing the Illnesses of the Soul

At one time, when a young Jesuit finished his novitiate and started his studies of philosophy and theology, he was entrusted with the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius to be used as a rule of life. It came with a booklet in Latin: Industriae pro superioribus ad curandos animae morbos,[1] written by Fr. Claudio Acquaviva (1543-1615). Pope Francis donated a copy of a recent edition of that volume, Remedies for Curing the Illnesses of the Soul,[2] to each of his collaborators in the Roman Curia at their meeting for Christmas greetings on December 22, 2016.  Claudio Acquaviva Claudio Acquaviva d’Aragona...

By: Giandomenico Mucci, SJ

Who is the “Bad Shepherd”?

The shepherd who sells what he freely inherited When he was still Fr. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the pope wrote a paper titled “The Bad Superior and His Image.”[1] This referred, obviously, to the superior within the Jesuit order who has a precise pastoral mission. Strikingly, in that article he did not use the image of the mercenary which Jesus himself places in opposition to the good shepherd, but rather he uses the image of the one who “sells what he freely inherited.”[2] The selling of an inheritance is always a sale at too low a price. For this reason, those...

By: Diego Fares SJ

Art recounts the Plight of Refugees

Geographic maps are a mirror of time: borders and boundaries move on the chessboard of history and speak of wars, foreign occupations and international treaties. Daniel Pennac commented, “Writing history means messing up geography.”[1] Élisée Reclus, the French geographer and politician, was well aware of it in the 1950s when he penned an important work called Nouvelle Géographie Universelle. A restless personality and brilliant scholar, Reclus was forced into exile from France on two occasions because of his anarchist ideas. He spent time in Algeria, the United States, Canada and South America, and it was while in exile that he...

By: Luigi Territo, SJ
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