Issue 1711

Venezuela Sinks to New Depths

The drifting Venezuelan crisis of the first part of 2017 signaled the coming of more dramatic events. On July 30, 2017, in violation of the Venezuelan constitutional norms and against the will of the majority of the population, the Constituent National Assembly (CNA) was established. Despite various attempts at mediation, particularly by the Holy See, the government in office does not appear to be giving up on its increasingly authoritarian model of governance. The national government lacks a serious desire to negotiate a political solution to the institutional crisis in Venezuela. If the political actors today, especially the Venezuelan government,...

By: Arturo Peraza SJ

Discern and Accompany: Indications from 'Amoris Laetitia'

Miserando atque eligendo is the motto chosen by Jorge Mario Bergoglio for his episcopal crest, and he has kept it as pope. It refers not only to the mercy of God but also to the fact that God chooses Bergoglio – just as each one of us – in a singular, personalized and personalizing way. It is the merciful love of the Father with which God loves his Son – in the terminology of Romano Guardini – as “the concrete-living person,” and God loves each and every one of us individually in Christ as “concrete-living persons” in our own unrepeatable...

By: Juan Carlos Scannone, SJ

Korea’s Present and Future: An interview with Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-joong

The mission of the Church in Korea; the meaning and context of the escalating tension around North Korea, aware of the interests of the superpowers; the need for a new and mutual trust between the Holy See and China after an era of colonialism and an age of persecutions; the important and positive challenges that the Asian continent brings to the Church and the world: these are some of the issues of a far-reaching conversation between the president of the Korean Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-Joong, and the editor-in-chief of La Civiltà Cattolica, Fr. Antonio Spadaro. This interview presents...

By: Antonio Spadaro, SJ

Christian Art and Contemporary Culture: Between decline and hope of redemption

The relationship between Christianity and the visual arts has been configured in the European world, albeit between alternate events, as the story of a close and fruitful alliance. However, the alliance between art and faith seems to have increasingly unraveled over the centuries. Specifically, starting with the 18th century and the coming of the Enlightenment, the artistic inspiration that arose from the experience of Christian faith has gradually lost the creative and propulsive ability that had been the source of extraordinary pictorial, sculptural and architectural realizations. The Church cannot remain indifferent to this epochal crisis, to this lack of a...

By: Andrea Dall'Asta, SJ

Parliamentary Elections in Germany

Angela Merkel has received her fourth mandate as Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany. There was little doubt about the outcome, yet this result was accompanied by new factors. In fact, what emerged from the recent German parliamentary elections is anything but an outright victory: a defeat in terms of votes for the coalition that supports the premier; the defeat of the Social Democratic Party of Martin Schulz that has moved into opposition; and the rise of the extreme right of the Alternative for Germany (AFD), which threatens to be a combative opposition. Undoubtedly, the question of refugees deeply...

By: Andreas R. Batlogg, SJ

Moments of Doubt

The first spiritual work of mercy Counseling the doubtful is a spiritual work of mercy widely attested to since the origin of Christianity.[1] It demonstrates the intellectual and wisdom dimension of the discipleship of Jesus and of the works of charity, a charity exercised in the service of truth, as recalled by Pope Benedict XVI in the encyclical Caritas in veritate. Humans thirst for truth and cannot live without it; anyone who does not find truth has a life not worth living, even if surrounded by many good things. Therefore, counsel is a concrete act and the first work of...

By: Giovanni Cucci, SJ

Young People, Faith and Discernment: The 2018 Synod and indications of an incomplete document

On January 13, 2017, the preparatory document for the next Synod of Bishops was presented. The synod will discuss “Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment”[1] and will take place in October 2018. The document is innovative and could be useful during the period of consultation with the People of God. The simplicity of its structure – an introduction, three parts that apply the method “see-judge-act” and a questionnaire – is the fruit of a mature discernment and not the development of an abstract or idealistic model. The document admits to being “incomplete” from its very opening, and it is proposed...

By: Diego Fares SJ

Christians in Muslim Lands: An ancient, contrasting and multifaceted story

Life for Christians in countries with a Muslim majority is often difficult. It is not simple even in countries that do not adhere to an integralist ideology that exploits Islam for political purposes. Some observers point out that these Christians risk being second-class citizens at the very best. Nevertheless, Christians continue to live – and in the past they have lived for extended periods of time – in kingdoms or countries that are officially Muslim, even with a socially inferior status. Throughout history, conditions have often changed, and no doubt there has been a certain level of tolerance in some...

By: Marc Rastoin, SJ