Issue 2004

Cross and Resurrection

“Before the festival of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end” (John 13:1). With these words John’s Gospel opens its account of the Passion, the fulfillment of a life spent for humankind in sharing and in loving in total obedience to the Father to the extreme gift of himself. “It is finished!” (John 19:30), Jesus says on the cross, as a seal on an offering that knows no reservations. Some manuscripts of the Vulgate...

By: La Civiltà Cattolica

What is Man? An Itinerary of Biblical Anthropology

“What is Man?” (Ps 8:5). An itinerary of biblical anthropology is a new document from the The Pontifical Biblical Commission (DPCB), currently it is available only in Italian from the Libreria Editrice Vaticana. The study was requested by Pope Francis, who considered it necessary to bring clarity to issues of great importance for contemporary culture, drawing light from the Bible. There are many interesting aspects and innovations in the document; this contribution aims to illustrate them. A first innovative element is immediately evident in the fact that the document is much more voluminous than previous pronouncements by the same Commission....

By: Pietro Bovati, SJ

Syria and Coronavirus: No Time to Waste

On March 22, 2020, the government in Damascus announced the first case of contagion – a citizen from abroad – and followed up with drastic measures: schools, universities and mosques closed; public sector staff and working hours cut back; tight restrictions on travel; the military draft suspended and parliamentary elections postponed from April 13 to May 20. The picture is alarming. According to the UNICEF Representative in Syria, Fran Equiza, military action has shut down the Allouk water station in the Kurdish northeast, with enormous health consequences. Will the new Syrian amnesty reduce prison overcrowding? Last year’s amnesty freed 204...

By: Antonio Spadaro, SJ

The Poetry of Reconciliation: Weaving Healing Narratives

The wind of reconciliation has been blowing across Africa and other parts of the world recently. In April, 2019, for instance, Pope Francis performed a gesture that went viral on social media. During the conclusion of a “diplomatic and ecumenical” retreat of the South Sudanese leaders at the Vatican, the pope went down on his knees and kissed the feet of President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his rival, Riek Machar, among others. Earlier, on March 9, 2018, Kenya breathed a sigh of relief as two main political rivals, President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader, Raila Odinga, brought an end to...

By: Wilfred Sumani, SJ

COP25: Lessons on the Climate Crisis

COP25, the 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, took place from 2 to 15 December 2019 in Madrid, a last-minute substitute after Chile withdrew as host due to unrest in its capital city, Santiago, the proposed venue. The Madrid meetings nevertheless proceeded under the presidency of Chile. This was the fourth such meeting following COP21 in Paris in December 2015. What was the goal of COP25? Was the goal met or even surpassed, or did the meeting fall short? Pope Francis offered an urgent, comprehensive message to the COP25 participants, addressed to...

By: Card. Michael Czerny, SJ

Life in the Time of Coronavirus

A few years after receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, the Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez published his novel Love in the Time of Cholera.[1] Years earlier, the Swedish doctor Axel Munthe, who came to Naples in 1884 to treat the victims of a cholera epidemic, wrote his Letters From A Mourning City.[2] In both cases, an epidemic caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae is the background for deeply human stories (imaginary in Márquez’s novel and real in Munthe’s letters). Márquez and Munthe invite us to contemplate how it is possible to live “in the time” of an...

By: Andrea Vicini, SJ

Is there Hope for the Future without Religion?

Reviewing a recently published volume that translates as Journey to the End of the West: Secular divergence and the rise of nationalism,[1] Sabino Cassese has written: Darkness falls. The West disappears. We have all suddenly become racist or nationalist. Fates diverge. The human person is pushed to the sidelines. A sense of irresponsibility spreads. Society turns into a thousand recesses; it no longer has room for common goals. Well-being, solidarity and the rule of law all lag behind. Democracy is weakening. New leaders advocate authoritarian politics. People dissociate themselves from the past and the memory of war fades. The emphasis...

By: Giandomenico Mucci, SJ

‘Tolo Tolo’: A Journey between Dreams and Fortune

Tolo Tolo is the latest film written, directed and starring actor Checco Zalone (whose real name is Luca Medici). It deals with the theme of forced migration. Due to the drama and topicality of the subject, it has been controversial, polarizing opinion. The backstory is set with the telling of the disastrous business venture of Pierfrancesco Zalone – more commonly known as Checco, and therefore with an explicit reference to the comedian’s own life – who, unlikely as it sounds, has decided to open a sushi restaurant in the town of Spinazzola. Overwhelmed by debt, he flees to Africa, leaving...

By: Claudio Zonta SJ
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