Issue 1901

Fake News and the Bible: Which word is credible?

The internet allows us to access a wealth of information that was unthinkable a few decades ago. On the web and on social networks this information is created and exchanged in real time. A user may be disoriented when faced with such a quantity of news and data that corresponds to multiple points of view, each of which attempts to establish itself as truth. In this chaos, the news that makes the most noise and the opinions that acquire greater consensus and more “likes” are considered to be true. In a quagmire from which it is difficult to extricate oneself,...

By: Vincenzo Anselmo, SJ

A Church that ‘spends time with the future’: The Synod of Bishops on young people, faith and vocational discernment

A rainy day in Krakow… On July 30, 2016, rain was falling in Krakow as the World Youth Day was taking place. The pope, as he often does on his travels, met with a group of 28 Jesuits at the archbishop’s residence. He concluded the conversation, saying: “Today the Church needs to grow in its ability to discern spiritually.”[1] Two months later, on October 6, 2016, he announced that in Rome, October 3-28, 2018, the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops would be held on the theme “young people, faith and vocational discernment.” It is important to...

By: Antonio Spadaro, SJ

Music against the Mad Cry of War: Mary Gauthier and Michele Gazich

War songs The album Rifles & Rosary Beads is Louisiana folk singer Mary Gauthier’s latest album. The singer-songwriter has had a complex life, marked by suffering and pain after her parents abandoned her as a child. A life of many excesses followed, before she found her salvation and identity through music. Rifles & Rosary Beads was composed with veterans of the war in Iraq. Its civil and social themes evoke the roots of folk and blues music. The album came about through an intense collaboration with Songwriting with Soldiers, an association that helps veterans combat post-traumatic stress disorder and reintegrate...

By: Claudio Zonta SJ

Studying Facebook: Research on the social network that has changed communication

Even before Facebook garnered intense media and government attention in early 2018 over its dealings with Cambridge Analytica, communication researchers had already examined Mark Zuckerberg’s social network for many of the same reasons that made it attractive to that private firm. In particular, they took the opportunity of using its enormous cache of data and information about individuals to learn more about communication processes, not in laboratory settings, but in the wider world.[1] This data attracts communication researchers looking for examples that represent normal human interactions, most of it available without the deceptions involved in the Cambridge Analytica procedures. A...

By: Paul A. Soukup, SJ

A ‘Protocol’ for the Good Spiritual Battle: Chapter Five of 'Gaudete et Exsultate'

At the heart of the apostolic exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate (GE) are the Beatitudes, a veritable “program of holiness.”[1] It is interesting to note how Francis, in speaking of holiness, uses the word “protocol,” which indicates a procedure, a series of steps and actions to complete. Francis re-reads the lives of the saints in the light of this practical key at the close of the chapter on the Beatitudes: “The powerful witness of the saints is revealed in their lives, shaped by the Beatitudes and the criterion of the final judgement.[2] Jesus’ words are few and straightforward, yet practical and...

By: Diego Fares SJ

The Current Situation in Nicaragua

The current situation in Nicaragua sparks a lot of concern. Many ask themselves how it is that President Daniel Ortega, who in the 1970s fought to bring down the Somoza dynasty, now tries to establish his own dynasty and is repressing the popular protest that would like to keep him from doing so. Anger is expressed in the same neighborhoods, in the same cities, and with the same strategies of roadblocks and urban barricades that Ortega had used in those times. President Ortega has governed Nicaragua for 22 years. Under his first mandate he governed from 1979 to 1990, and...

By: Antonio Spadaro, SJ

Urban Catholicism in China

The rapid transformation of Chinese Catholicism and its adaptation to the new urban environment has been brought about by a wide range of participants and not just by the clergy. This article explores the motivations, organization and influences of one specific type of promotion of Chinese Catholicism: the entrepreneurial lay Catholics who have migrated from the rural countryside to the constantly growing Chinese cities. The hundreds of thousands of Catholics who left their villages after the 1980s were in search of better opportunities. Today, many of them are well-established urban dwellers, translating their Catholic commitment into a new lifestyle. What...

By: Michel Chambon

Preparing the Meeting of Bishops on the Protection of Minors

The meeting and the start of its preparations Faced with widespread and growing discomfort following new reports and revelations of very serious cases of sexual abuse involving members of the clergy, on September 12, 2018, at the end of one of the meetings of the Council of Cardinals – at the time the so-called C9 – it was announced that the Holy Father had decided to call a meeting in the Vatican for February 21-24, 2019. The meeting would be a broad approach to the theme “The Protection of Minors in the Church.” On November 23, 2018, the meeting was...

By: Federico Lombardi, SJ
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