Issue 2008

The ‘Third Society of Jesus’: Jesuits from Vatican II to the present

Looking at the more than four centuries of the history of the Society of Jesus, we are all used to talking about the “first” or “ancient” Society of Jesus (from the time of its foundation in the 16th century to its suppression in 1773) and the “second” or “new” Society (from its restoration in 1814 to the present day). But in more recent years we have also begun to speak of a “third” Society, generally active during the period from the Second Vatican Council until today. There have been many  substantial changes in the life of the world and the...

By: Federico Lombardi, SJ

Connection and Compassion: A Biblical reflection

Compassion and interconnection In the fourth Gospel Jesus often speaks in theological terms of interconnection. In John 15 he speaks of it as “witness of the Spirit.” He explains it with the simile of the vine and the branches.[1] Jesus is the true vine. The Father is the vine grower (v. 1) who removes the branches that do not bear fruit, and prunes (literally “cleanses,” kathairei) the branches that bear fruit. The verb “ to clean” also appears in the fourth Gospel during the washing of the feet (John 13:10), when Jesus says to his disciples: “One who has bathed...

By: Pino di Luccio, SJ

‘I Believe in the Holy Spirit’

The pastor who says, “I believe in the Holy Spirit,” should ask himself some fundamental questions to discover the action of the Spirit among his faithful. In concrete terms he will ask: “How is the Lord present in the life of my people? How do my people welcome his presence? How do my people confess the Holy Spirit?” And in that questioning he will have to keep in mind how “confessing” is not only a manifestation of a belief, but a living-it-out in that behavior that makes a person good or bad; he will remember also that “confessing” is praying,...

By: Miguel Ángel Fiorito, SJ

The Netanyahu-Gantz Government and the future of the West Bank

A new government for Israel After 508 days of political stalemate, on May 17, 2020, the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, voted in a new government of national unity, with 73 votes in favor and 46 against. It is Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu’s fifth premiership.[1] This time, however, he will have to share the office of prime minister with former rival Benny Gantz, leader of the Blue and White Party, who will take the leadership of the government on November 17, 2021. In fact, he also took the oath of office on May 17 as “alternate prime minister” and Minister of Defense....

By: Giovanni Sale, SJ

The Universalism of the Bible

The Bible presents a universalistic vision of God and the world. The strength of its universalism has made it the most translated, most widely read book of all time. The main factors in its spread are the Jewish diaspora and the Christian missions around the world. The universalism of the Bible is reflected in the expansion of the Christian Churches, of which it is the founding document. Today there is an interreligious and ecumenical scholarly community that studies and spreads the Bible.[1] Universalism in the Bible “In the beginning God created heaven and earth,” says Genesis, so the Bible begins...

By: Dominik Markl, SJ

Authority and Abuse Issues among Women Religious

A largely unexplored theme The Church has often dealt with the issue of abuse, even in recent times, both at the level of reflection and in terms of operational measures and protocols.[1] However, the focus is mostly on the sexual and psychological abuse of children by ministers of the Church, especially priests. These are undoubtedly the predominant concerns, but they are certainly not the only ones. One issue that has not received sufficient attention so far is abuse within women’s congregations. For the most part it does not take the form of sexual violence and does not involve minors; however,...

By: Giovanni Cucci, SJ

Beethoven: "To play without passion is inexcusable"

Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn on December 16, 1770, and died in Vienna on March 26, 1827. Hence December 2020 will mark the 250th anniversary of his birth. Among the great musicians of 19th-century Germany, Beethoven is certainly the best known and most popular. It has been said of him that “he is the core around whom concerts are organized all over the world.”[1] While musicologists consider him “under the visual angle of the so-called pure music,” and for them, perhaps, his supremacy remains unshakable,[2] his popularity is immense even outside the realm of musical specialists. There is...

By: Giandomenico Mucci, SJ

A Breach in the Way we Think About Reality

The question of post-truth goes beyond the definition in the Oxford English Dictionary: “Objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal beliefs.”[1] The so-called “objective facts” imply the possibility of being recorded and quantified. Today we see that the possibility of quantifying in real time the truth as to whether or not a large number of people approving of a statement or fact can, in fact, transform that “quantified emotion” into something “real” in terms of “public image” and “votes” for or against what is approved or disapproved. In the same way, the...

By: Diego Fares SJ
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