Issue 1903

Money and Happiness

Money, symbol of happiness One of the most deeply rooted symbols in people’s imagination today is the association between happiness and wealth with its many derivatives (consumerism, power and accumulation). Even when the dream is never realized, the conviction remains that it is the lesser evil. As Woody Allen says, “If money can’t make us happy, forget about poverty.”[1] Nevertheless, throughout history we see how the unhindered pursuit of profit is the cause of humanity’s worst evils. Daniel Bell, in his cutting analysis of capitalist culture, shows the radical antithesis between the inclination toward personal profit, a fruit of the...

By: Giovanni Cucci, SJ

How to Communicate in a Polarized Society

How do we communicate in a polarized society? How do we promote unity, encounter and reconciliation while remaining faithful to diversity? What is the attitude, the mindset required to be good communicators in a context where polarization seeks to impose itself on every public or private discussion? Polarization is as old as humanity, but today it tends to increase exponentially in the face of large-scale changes and uncertainties. In the U.S., where nearly half of voters, both Democrats and Republicans, currently see their political opponents as a threat to the welfare of the nation, the growing polarization has given rise...

By: Diego Fares SJ

A new crisis between Russia and Ukraine

The maritime incident that occurred on November 25, 2018, in the Kerch Strait – connecting the Sea of Azov with the Black Sea – is considered by those involved, by all European governments, and others as a very grave incident. Although it may be mistaken for a simple misunderstanding of navigation law between neighboring nations, it was, instead, the first direct – though limited – confrontation between Russian armed forces and the Ukrainian navy. The Russian military, with the support of the Federal Services for Security of the Russian Federation (FSB), opened fire on three Ukrainian naval ships trying to...

By: Giovanni Sale, SJ

Human Rights in Amazonia

Pope Francis has called for a Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region to be held in October, dedicated to the theme, “Amazonia: New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology.” The goal of the Synod is to discuss how the Church can preach the message of Jesus more effectively in light of what is happening in the vast territory referred to as “Amazonia” or “Pan-Amazonia.” The discussions of the Synod are also intended to address situations analogous to those of the Amazon Basin. A further goal will be to assist the universal Church...

By: Arturo Peraza SJ

‘Every Morning the World is Created’: Nature and transcendence in the poetry of Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver passed away at age 84 in Hobe Sound, Florida, January 17, 2019. She was one of the most widely read and appreciated poets in the United States. Awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1984) and numerous other honors, including four honorary doctorates and the National Book Award (1992), Mary Oliver owed the success of her vast poetic and non-fiction output (almost 30 volumes of poetry, and prose) to her ability to touch the key questions of existence through an immediate and familiar dialogue with the reader.[1] She was the author of a clear and direct poetry that drew...

By: Antonio Spadaro, SJ

The Way of Ignatius: A Spiritual Portrait of Dialectical Oppositions

Ignatius is born in 1491: Catholic Spain is completing the Reconquista of the Iberian Peninsula and consolidating its unity and the triumph of its faith; monarchs (and Christopher Columbus too) see themselves as invested with a divine mission. Ignatius dies in 1556 at the height of the Renaissance, which has succeeded in developing a new conception of humanity and its relationship with God. Between these two dates, we see the slow evolution of a person who discovers little by little the form of life to which he is being gently led; his inspiration comes from above and leads him from...

By: Maurice Giuliani, SJ

Catholic Social Teaching in China: A Role for Business Ethics

The recent translation into Chinese of the document by the then Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, The Vocation of the Business Leader[1] (VBL), provides an opportunity for introducing Catholic Social Teaching (CST) not only to Chinese Catholics, but also to non-Catholics with the aim of promoting high standards in international business ethics. One of the most attractive aspects of the VBL document is that it focuses rigorously on the challenge of forming the conscience of those who conduct business. It does not focus on the broader range of public policy questions, such as human rights, which while usually identified...

By: Stephan Rothlin, SJ

The Priesthood of Christ and Other Religions

In recent decades Christian scholars have written much about the saving work of Christ reaching those who follow other religions. A dimension needing more consideration is that of the priesthood of Christ. How can the theology of religions be enriched by reflection on the high priesthood of Christ? We begin with the Second Vatican Council, then focus on the Letter to the Hebrews, and finish with Paul and John. Vatican II on Christ’s priesthood Writers on Christianity and other religions have remained unaware that an image used by Vatican II’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium) is highly relevant...

By: Gerald O'Collins, SJ
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