Issue 1801

The Spiritual Wounds of Sexual Abuse

In a meeting with Pope Francis, a victim of sexual abuse said with profound sadness and desperation: “Jesus had his mother nearby when he faced suffering and death. But my mother, the Church, left me all alone in my time of pain.” These few words express the horror of abuse, especially the sexual abuse of minors in the Church. They show how much the Church’s attitude and that of her leaders needs to change. An especially poignant, religious-spiritual factor comes into play when the perpetrator is a man of the Church. When someone is abused by a biological father, there...

By: Hans Zollner SJ

The Simple and Truthful Language of Jesus: Aids for discerning deceptive speech

“When Jesus spoke, he used simple words and he also used images that were examples taken from daily life in order to be easily understood by all. This is why they listened to him willingly and appreciated his message that directly touched their heart. It was not a complicated language that was difficult to understand, like that used by the doctors of the law of that time, which was not easily understood, was very rigid and distanced people. With this language, Jesus made the mystery of the Kingdom of God understood; it was not complicated theology.”[1] In a Sunday Angelus...

By: Diego Fares SJ

Politics and Neighbors: Where integration takes root

In 1958 Eleanor Roosevelt wrote: “Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home … the neighborhood the person lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere.”[1] Ten years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Roosevelt – who had played a major part in drafting the text – chose to remind the political establishment that the...

By: Francesco Occhetta, SJ

'Magnum Principium' and the Inculturation of the Liturgy after the Council

God and the assembly: the surprise of speaking the same language The Second Vatican Council’s Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium proclaimed a “great principle” in article 36, recognizing the right of each liturgical assembly to pray to God in its own language. Historians remind us that the problem of liturgical language had already been faced and successfully resolved in the middle of the ninth century thanks to Saints Cyril and Methodius. Responding to those who limited to only three the languages “in which it is licit to praise God, specifically Hebrew, Greek and Latin” – those used for the inscription on the...

By: Cesare Giraudo, SJ

North Korea and the Nuclear Crisis

For months now, global public opinion has been living in fear of a possible nuclear war; a fear at times irresponsibly amplified by both the media and the continuous threats of war and mutual insults launched by the two protagonists of the moment, the president of the United States, Donald Trump, and the supreme leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un. There are no precedents in recent history for such exchanges, or rather ad hominem insults. In the years of the Cold War, even at the most critical moments, the political clash between the two superpowers (U.S. and USSR) was mediated...

By: Giovanni Sale, SJ

What Becomes of Religion in a Post-Apocalyptic World?

In recent decades, there has been a literary genre that has developed exponentially: the post-apocalyptic genre. These are works of a cultural nature, particularly films and novels, that describe the human condition following a major catastrophe, which, regardless of the reasons that caused it (wars, deadly viruses, climate change, extraterrestrial invasion and so on), has destroyed civilization as we know it and has left a small group of survivors who are in search of a way to salvation. Although there were some works of this type prior to 1945, it is a widespread opinion that the accumulation of atomic bombs...

By: Marc Rastoin, SJ

Toward a Fully Chinese and Fully Catholic Church: The path indicated by Benedict XVI and Francis

The Chinese people and its great country occupy an important place in the heart of Pope Francis, whose vision is open to the world. He has in fact spoken about China many times in tones of cordial admiration and real trust. It is enough to remember his words when flying over China while going to and from Korea,[1] and above all in the interview he granted to Francesco Sisci of the Asia Times.[2] There is no doubt that he would be delighted to finally set foot on Chinese soil. It is also true that the interest of Francis is shared...

By: Federico Lombardi, SJ

The Bible: A Library Written by Migrants

We have all seen too many migrants being pulled out of the sea: men, women and children who have drowned during their journeys. Many schools now have refugees in the classrooms: children and young people who by the grace of God have survived the crossing. And in many European countries there are now many who are born with migrant backgrounds. These are sufficient reasons to reflect on flight and migration. A look at the history of humanity shows to what level we are all migrants. In the Bible we can see how frequently people thought of fleeing and migration already...

By: Dominik Markl, SJ
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