Issue 1804

The Doctrine of Tribulation

 Why are we now offering our readers a text by then-Fr. Jorge Mario Bergoglio dated Christmas 1987? Before replying to this question we need to understand something about the context in which it was written. Fr. Bergoglio signed a short preface to a collection of eight letters from two Superiors General of the Society of Jesus (“Las cartas de la Tribulación,” Buenos Aires, Diego de Torres, 1988). Seven of them were by Father General Lorenzo Ricci, written between 1758 and 1773, and one was by Father General Jan Roothaan, from 1831. They speak to us of a great tribulation: the...

By: Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ

Five Years of Pope Francis: The Path of the Pontificate Gradually Unfolds

We have just celebrated the fifth anniversary of the election of Pope Francis. The question journalists are trying to respond to, gathering analyses and opinions, seems to be: How has the Church changed over the last five years? But this question risks overlooking a significant fact: the Church is always changing, for it walks the path of history with humanity. And every pontiff has influenced his times and has contributed in one way or another to the journey of the Church in the world. Like all pontiffs, Francis has felt called to express his vision on the world and the...

By: Antonio Spadaro, SJ

Poaching: a moral issue and a failure of the market

Julius Nyerere and the Arusha Declaration (1967) Mwalimu (teacher) Julius Nyerere (1922-1999), the first President of Tanzania, believed we have a moral duty to protect the resources present in our country. So Tanzania, which has an area of 945,000 square kilometers, has devoted 1200,000 sqr kms to wildlife conservation with 14 national parks, 31 game reserves and 38 game-controlled areas. The area of the country’s wildlife sanctuaries is nearly the size of the United Kingdom (232,535 square kilometers). Tanzania is not only endowed with the richest variety of fauna and flora but its successive governments have demonstrated leadership and commitment...

By: James J. Spillane, SJ

Soap Operas, more than entertainment history and development of a cult genre

Well-known to viewers around the world, soap operas have interested communication researchers almost from the beginning of their appearance.[1] The broadcast genre started in the United States, on radio, in the 1930s and by the 1940s early communication researchers were investigating the nature of the audience for soap operas, their motivations for listening to soap opera, and the satisfaction listeners gained from the soap opera. The soap opera form itself spread fairly rapidly to other countries, with some of the earliest exports going to Argentina and Brazil in the 1940s. In that period, the United States and Britain both produced...

By: Paul A. Soukup, SJ

Concerning Jerusalem as Capital

President Trump’s declaration on Jerusalem On December 6, 2017, the president of the United States, Donald Trump, officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, simultaneously declaring that he would relocate the U.S. Embassy there as soon as possible. The president announced this decision as “a long overdue step” that his predecessors were not courageous enough to take. In fact, back in 1995, during the Clinton administration, the U.S. Congress had already recognized Jerusalem as the “capital of Israel.” At the same time, they had mandated that the president sign a judicial “suspension” that kept the U.S. Embassy in Tel...

By: Giovanni Sale, SJ

 ‘Do not put us to the test’ Reflections on a difficult petition in the Lord’s Prayer

The most influential Church Fathers and countless scriptural commentators throughout the centuries have commended the Our Father for its theological richness, extolling it as the perfect prayer, especially since the Divine Master himself taught it to us. There are those who maintain that the Our Father is the culmination of every prayer contained in the Old Testament. Others define it as a synthesis of Christian catechesis presented in the form of an invocation.[1] Underlying the prayer’s exalted status is the fact that believers, whenever they recite it, repeat the very words of Jesus, making his prayer their own (cf. Luke...

By: Pietro Bovati, SJ

More Walls between People

In speeches intended to foster a climate of world peace, Pope Francis has often used metaphors referring to walls and bridges in opposition to each other. Walls are an eloquent symbol of division and incommunicability, while bridges are an equally clear symbol of encounter between different shores – between different nations, religions and people. The quotations are numerous. Best known, perhaps, is the quote from the speech given by Pope Francis (whose Latin title, Pontifex, indicates a “creator” or “builder of bridges”) at the Vatican Gardens on June 8, 2014, when meeting Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian leader Mahmoud...

By: GianPaolo Salvini, SJ

‘Detroit', a film by Kathryn Bigelow

An American story. Detroit, summer of 1967. An African-American riot is violently suppressed by the police and the army. Shot in a documentary style full of tension, the film involves the audience totally, a tribute to its effectiveness. The film Detroit, by Kathryn Bigelow, is divided into three parts and preceded by a brief prologue that summarizes the historical context of the facts that are taken into consideration. The spark that starts a fire In the years following the First World War, Detroit and its northwest industrial district welcomed a massive wave of internal immigration of African-Americans. These men, women...

By: Virgilio Fantuzzi, SJ
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