Issue 2002

Cultural Anemia

Anemia is a blood-depleting condition that keeps sufficient oxygen from reaching body tissue. “Cultural Anemia” is a concept used to describe the arrogance and superficiality that traverse our society which are among the causes of both a certain anti-educational phenomenon and the loss, for politics, of its true identity, which is the service of the common good. The Church tries to promote cultural commitment. However, because of the prejudices some people never abandon, she is misunderstood in this effort. If she calls attention to history, she is accused of being fixated on the past; if she theologically rethinks her pastoral...

By: Giandomenico Mucci, SJ

Václav Havel: The Power of the Powerless

Among the folds of the history of the end of the Eastern Bloc lies the non-violent dissidence of men like Václav Havel.  As the Berlin Wall fell and the ideology of the Soviet system crumbled along with the bricks and mortar, this intellectual and liberal playwright became president of Czechoslovakia. Havel first held office from 1989 to 1992, being reelected for two terms as president of the Czech Republic from 1993 to 2003. Forty years after the publication in Italy of Havel’s book The Power of the Powerless, and 30 years after his election as president of Czechoslovakia, there are...

By: Francesco Occhetta, SJ

Nonverbal Communication

Human communication inevitably and inseparably combines nonverbal and verbal elements. Most people intuitively understand this and, even if they take the processes for granted, they seldom have any difficulty communicating. However, the study of the nonverbal part of communication struggles with two problems of definition. People tend to define it negatively: either as “communication without words” or as “body language,” that is, communication performed by the body without grammar or vocabulary. A recent handbook settles for this definition: nonverbal communication “encompasses almost all of human communication except the spoken or written word . . . [W]e define [nonverbal communication] as...

By: Paul A. Soukup, SJ

Experience Being Disciples: The Letter of Pope Francis to Priests

Pope Francis penned a Letter to Priests to thank and encourage them.[1] It was dated August 4 last, the liturgical memorial of the Curé d’Ars. Finding ourselves among the addressees, we believe that this letter, addressed to a particular group – all the priests of the world – deserves a response more than a comment, to share the echoes of these words in our hearts. First of all, reading this letter arouses in us priests gratitude to the pope for his concern. With this letter Francis came to look for us where we are, battered and on the side of...

By: Diego Fares SJ

100 years after 'Maximum Illud': Mission in the Catholic Magisterium

To celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the apostolic letter Maximum Illud, Pope Francis declared October 2019 as an Extraordinary Month of Mission. This gives us cause to review the missiological journey that the Catholic Church has made from the promulgation of Maximum Illud in 1919 to the promulgation of Evangelii Gaudium in 2013, an apostolic exhortation on the missionary activity of the Church in our times. The methodology used in this paper is to present briefly the contents of the documents chosen,[1] bearing in mind the context in which they were written, discovering the changes, and thereby the development of...

By: Bryan Lobo, SJ

Anticipating China’s Future: The Legacy of Jesuit Bishop Jin Luxian

A Pastoral Perspective The 400th anniversary of the founding of the Catholic Church in Shanghai was celebrated just over a decade ago, in 2008. That date coincided with the baptism of Xu Guangqi, a member of the Hanlin Academy. He was received into the Church by Father Lazzaro Cattaneo, one of the Jesuits who accompanied Father Matteo Ricci to China. Bishop Jin Luxian, who in his 91 years had personally witnessed as well as shaped nearly a quarter of that 400 year history,[1] used the occasion not only to celebrate Shanghai’s Catholic past, but also to mark out the path...

By: Stephan Rothlin, SJ

Uzbekistan: A Key Central Asia Nation

There has been a change of power recently in the main countries of former Soviet Central Asia. In effect, power has been transferred from the people who led these countries when they were still presidents of local communist parties to a new generation of leaders. Nursultan Nazarbaev, Kazakhstan’s first president, has resigned; in Uzbekistan, a change of power took place after the death of Islam Karimov, and the new government has embarked on a course of reforms that are bearing fruit in the economic sphere,[1] hoping that they will go beyond simply adapting the system to the needs of economic...

By: Vladimir Pachkov, SJ

Defy the Apocalypse

The Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989. From that day on Berliners started dismantling a symbol that had held them hostage for almost 30 years; it was an emblematic moment in the sunset of totalitarianism. It marked the beginning of what promised to be a new era characterized by intensifying globalization. Yet today, as Pope Francis often tells us, this new era has been marked by indifference and conflict. Before the backdrop of a dismantled wall, many more barriers have arisen in the world.[1] The pontiff, meeting with a group of Jesuits, spoke frankly: “there are walls that even...

By: Antonio Spadaro, SJ
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