Issue 2104

The Ministry of Women in the Liturgy: ‘Sound Tradition’ and ‘Legitimate Progress’

On the occasion of the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Pope Francis promulgated a document by which he recognized the possibility for women to exercise the instituted ministries of lector and acolyte. It is well known that earlier legislation, established by Paul VI with a similar measure, reserved these ministries to male laity. In order to grasp the importance of these two documents, on which we will dwell later, let us first take a look at the prehistory and evolution of a service that the Church has always provided for the Word of God and the table of...

By: Cesare Giraudo, SJ

Interpreting Reality

This previously unpublished text is a set of notes intended for further study. It can be dated between the end of 1987 and the middle of 1988, when Fr. Bergoglio was working on his thesis on Romano Guardini and was examining the use of Marxist analysis in the interpretation of reality, which he saw as an example of how obsolete categories are eventually superseded by reality.[1] Bergoglio opens with a quote from an article by Alberto Methol Ferré on how the Church saw the issue of relations with the working class, which had come to the fore of its concerns...

By: Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ

The Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons Enters into Force

The United Nations has aspired to the abolition of nuclear weapons since its inception. The first UN General Assembly called for “the prohibition of the use of atomic energy for military purposes and the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and of all other major weapons adaptable now or in the future to mass destruction.” In his 1963 encyclical Pacem in terris, Pope John XXIII declared that the ultimate goal of his call for nuclear disarmament was “to abolish them entirely.” A few months later, U.S. President John F. Kennedy, with the Cuban missile crisis only months behind him,...

By: Drew Christiansen SJ

For an Ecological Conversion

Covid-19 and the global risk society Covid-19 has forced humanity to face a global crisis that seemed unimaginable in our contemporary high-tech globalized world. It has affected schools, churches, sports, markets, and so on, bringing to a halt the ordinary habits and activities of all social organizations in every nation and region of the world. If we were under the illusion that technology and modern science had driven all the spirits out of the forests and controlled every aspect of human society, we were wrong.[1] They have not yet provided us with a panacea in response to the virus. The...

By: Seil Oh, SJ

The Spiritual Aftermath of Covid-19

A catastrophe can shape the way a generation thinks, as can be testified by children who are born after a war, mothers who see their children fleeing poverty, and the millions of refugees in the world today. In the history of humanity, wars, pandemics and famines, as recurring phenomena, require an adequate understanding of their causes and consequences, otherwise there is a high risk of repeating mistakes, losing our way and becoming shipwrecked again. In the specific case of pandemics, repercussions can be even more deleterious, because the culprit is not the aggressive neighbor or the absence of rain: the...

By: Álvaro Lobo Arranz, SJ

The Government of Italy

On February 17, 2021, the new Italian government led by Mario Draghi won a confidence vote in the Senate with 262 votes in favor, 40 against and 2 abstentions. The next day, in the Chamber of Deputies, he received 535 votes in favor, 56 against and 5 abstained. Draghi thus was able to form the third government of the 18th legislature, following the resignation of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who was in his second term. Draghi’s appointment came after a series of consultations conducted first by the Head of State, Sergio Mattarella, and then by the President of the Chamber,...

By: La Civiltà Cattolica

The West and Russia: Why do we not understand each other?

Cultural roots of a confrontation After the end of the Soviet Union, both the pro-Western Russian elite and the vast majority of the population harbored the hope of becoming part of the Western community, or rather, of becoming part of Europe again, after having traveled their own path since the October Revolution. There was a belief that this would be a natural path for Russia. However, after all the vacillating of the 1990s, it became clear during Vladimir Putin’s second term that this path was by no means a foregone conclusion. Europe did not want Russia, and Russia no longer...

By: Vladimir Pachkov, SJ

Fratelli Tutti: An encyclical for other believers?

Benedict XVI gave us a new expression to describe a Jewish or Muslim person: “other believer.” It indicates a person who does not believe exactly what we believe, but who is also a believer. Benedict XVI said: “May Jews, Christians and Muslims find in other believers brothers and sisters to be respected and loved, and in this way, beginning in their own lands, give the beautiful witness of serenity and concord between the children of Abraham.”[1] The question then arises for us: Are we able to speak in such a way that other believers understand us? When we present our...

By: Felix Körner, SJ
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