2007 Archives | La Civilta Cattolica
Issue 2007

Death in the Digital Age

Our ambivalent relationship with death A revealing test of how much digital technology has changed our way of life is our relationship with time. It has been established that our awareness of time diminishes as we navigate; we find ourselves at the end of the day without being aware of its actual duration, just as it is equally difficult to remember what we saw during the hours spent in front of the screen. Everything seems to flatten out in the instant, with no memory and no sense of duration. This concentration on the present dimension of time was not born...

By: Giovanni Cucci, SJ

Modi’s India: Between Hindu Traditionalism and Coronavirus

Two serious emergencies are currently rocking India. One is medical, the coronavirus emergency. The other is political, and involves changes to citizenship laws. They are of a different nature and concern different areas, even if somehow connected. They are dangerous, insidious developments challenging the survival and unity of the second most populous country in the world and he third largest economy in Asia, after China and Japan. India has a population of about 1.3 billion people, half of whom are under 25 years old. The country has a volatile economy and a large part of the population (mainly rural) lives...

By: Giovanni Sale, SJ

Rembrandt, the Artist in the Mirror of the Word

Als Ich Can (How can I): these are the words engraved on the frame of the first self-portrait in history, a work by Jan van Eyck.[1] Three words and a challenge to generations of artists to measure themselves against this challenging artistic claim. In the case of the great Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-69), his success was exceptional; the painter brought this painting genre to a level of perfection that had never been reached before in the art of self-portraiture. As a beggar, or as the Prodigal Son, a monarch with a scepter in his hand or in military...

By: Lucian Lechintan, SJ

Syria and Turkey Battle for Idlib Province

Nine Years of War in Syria Nine years have passed since the Syrian conflict began, since the optimism of the 2011 Arab Spring turned into tragedy. For Syria, it all began on March 15 of that year, when protesters took to the streets in Daraa, in the southwest of the country. Soon protests – mostly peaceful – spread throughout the country, demanding an end to the 40-year rule of the Assad family. The state police, as always, reacted violently against unarmed people, and within a few weeks the death toll was in the hundreds. In response, many opponents of the...

By: Giovanni Sale, SJ

Church Numbers in the World

The vitality of the Church and, above all, the faith that animates her pastors and her faithful cannot be measured by numbers and statistics. Only God knows the mysterious and unique relationship that unites him to people who profess themselves Catholic. This is what constitutes the essence of the faith. Yet the Church, like every visible human reality, cannot live outside the dimensions of space and time and should not refrain measuring her own quantitative dimensions in some way, without expecting them to convey more than they can offer. For this reason the Central Office of Statistics of the Church...

By: GianPaolo Salvini, SJ

John Paul II Communicator

Karol Wojtyla was born on May 18, 1920. On the hundredth anniversary of his birth, memories and tributes have rightly multiplied for this great witness of faith, already raised to the honors of the altars. I wish to add a small voice to this great choir by remembering with simplicity and emotion some experiences lived in his service in the Vatican communications field. A confident vision of communication and the media John Paul II showed himself to be a great communicator from the very first moment of his pontificate, as soon as he appeared at the Loggia of the Blessings...

By: Federico Lombardi, SJ

Against Religious Nationalism

In some countries a form of religious-cultural nationalism is back in vogue. Religion is exploited both to obtain popular support and to launch a political message that is identified with people’s loyalty and devotion to a nation.[1] It is taken for granted that people have in religion a common identity, origin and history, and that these support an ideological, cultural and religious homogeneity that is strengthened by geopolitical boundaries. In reality, in today’s globalized world, there is no geographical entity that can be defined as a “nation” that has within it a single homogeneous identity from a linguistic or religious...

By: Joseph Lobo, SJ

A Universal Wage: An urgent social debate

In his Letter to the People’s Movements published on Easter Day, April 12, 2020, Pope Francis called for the establishment of a “universal basic wage”: “This may be the time to consider a universal basic wage which would acknowledge and dignify the noble, essential tasks you carry out. It would ensure and concretely achieve the ideal, at once so human and so Christian, of no worker without rights”[1]. The proposal has not failed to elicit both enthusiastic and critical reactions. Does this statement mean that the Holy Father embraces the cause of a universal income to be paid to all...

By: Gaël Giraud, SJ
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