Issue 2105

Populism and Terrorism, the Illegitimate Heirs of Nihilism

The 21st century is no longer a child. However young it may still seem to us, the global events that we have lived through have already made this century as dramatic as the last one. Probably in the annals of history its beginnings will be remembered for the global challenges that characterized them, such as the economic crisis, climate change and Covid-19. If we look back, we can see two endemic evils that our democracies have suffered from and that somehow may yet resurface: terrorism and populism. It is no exaggeration to state the need to carefully study their causes...

By: Álvaro Lobo Arranz, SJ

The Future of the Parish: Pastoral Conversion to the Gospel

Pope Francis has dwelt at length on the “pastoral conversion” of the parish. In Evangelii Gaudium (EG), quoting Vatican II, he wrote, “‘Every renewal of the Church essentially consists in an increase of fidelity to her own calling […] Christ summons the Church as she goes her pilgrim way… to that continual reformation of which she always has need, in so far as she is a human institution here on earth’ (Unitatis Redintegratio, 6). [...] I dream of a ‘missionary option,’ that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times...

By: Giancarlo Pani SJ

The Gospel Beyond Idle Gossip: Pope Francis' Dante

As provincial of the Argentine Jesuits, Pope Francis asked his confreres to allow themselves to be “founded” in the Lord to avoid being “led astray” by other ideas and doctrines that do not build up but rather “undo the solid foundation of a priestly heart: doctrines that do not nourish God’s faithful people. Dante’s reflections here remain relevant today.” The then-Father Bergoglio next quoted Dante’s Canto XXIX of Paradise (109-114): “Christ did not to his first disciples say, / ‘Go forth, and to the world preach idle tales,’ / But unto them a true foundation gave; And this so loudly sounded...

By: Antonio Spadaro, SJ

Xu Guangqi: A great Chinese Catholic at the service of his people and his country

One of the districts of the great metropolis of Shanghai, bustling with life and dense with skyscrapers, is called Xujiahui (or, in other script, Zikawei). At the crossroads of the main streets are perfectly manicured bulletin boards with a plan of the district and an explanation of its name (“Property of the Xu family at the junction of two rivers”) and the places of historical interest. At the edge of a major artery, one comes across a powerful modern bronze statue in the middle of a flower bed; it depicts a wise and authoritative man, seated and dressed in traditional...

By: Federico Lombardi, SJ

Joseph loved Jesus with a Father’s Heart

“With a father’s heart [...] Joseph loved Jesus”: so begins the Apostolic Letter Patris Corde, which commemorates 150 years since Pius IX proclaimed Saint Joseph “Patron of the Universal Church” on December 8, 1870, to emphasize “his central role in the history of salvation.”[1] Pope Francis speaks from “the abundance of his heart.” In this time of crisis and pandemic, our lives are sustained by ordinary people who do not appear in the headlines yet mark our lives: “Doctors, nurses, storekeepers and supermarket workers, cleaning personnel, caregivers, transport workers, men and women working to provide essential services and public safety,...

By: Giancarlo Pani SJ

In Memory of Fr. GianPaolo Salvini, SJ (1936-2021)

Father GianPaolo Salvini passed away on the morning of Sunday, March 21, 2021, at the Infirmary of the Jesuit Roman Houses due to complications of the blood cancer from which he had been suffering for some years . He had been the director of La Civiltà Cattolica for over 26 years – longer than any other director in the magazine’s 170 years – and had continued to make a valued contribution until his final months. Our debt to him is great and full of esteem and gratitude. We deeply regret his loss. He had just turned 85, having been born...

By: La Civiltà Cattolica

Myanmar Steps Back into Darkness

Since the February 1 coup, the Tatmadaw – the official name of Myanmar’s armed forces – has escalated its crackdown on citizens protesting against the military takeover that ousted Myanmar’s democratically elected government. Unfortunately, this brutal reaction is only the latest in a series of repressive moves across Southeast Asia in recent years as political groups, backed by powerful militaries, intervene in government. Such dictatorships have arrested the growth of participatory democracies in countries close to Myanmar, including Thailand and Cambodia. The enduring authoritarian governments in Laos and Vietnam do nothing to enhance democracy or the respect for human rights, while nations such as...

By: Michael Kelly, SJ
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