Issue 2009

Francis’ Government: What is the driving force of his pontificate?

After seven years of this pontificate, what is its driving force? Some commentators and analysts have wondered if Francis’ drive still exists; others have tried to reflect on its substance. The question could be re-phrased as follows: What kind of government does Francis exercise, and how do we interpret it in the light of these seven years? I intend to address this question here, examining the meaning of his way of governing, which comes from his personality, his own life and formation.[1] Let us take a step back to the time of the Council of Trent. Some Jesuits were present...

By: Antonio Spadaro, SJ

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd was developed in the 1950s in Rome by Sofia Cavalletti, a scholar of the bible and Judaism, with Gianna Gobbi, a Montessori educator, who were preparing together a small group of children for First Communion. They had been asked to do so  by Adele Costa Gnocchi, one of Maria Montessori’s most far-sighted collaborators, who had opened a Children’s House in the center of Rome for the education of little ones. Costa Gnocchi had long intended to renew an experience that had begun many years earlier in Barcelona and that for various reasons could not...

By: Giancarlo Pani SJ

Pope Francis and the Idea of Progress

“Progress” is one of the most commonly used words. It is practically synonymous with improvement, refinement or evolution, while its correlative, “regression,” indicates a backward movement , decay or return to a less advanced or primitive stage. The need for progress is inherent in human nature. It takes place through human activities in the historical and social environment, which, in turn, is transformed and modified. History is made up of the relationships that people establish among themselves and with the environment, seeking to develop their potential, progressing. The limits of progress are ultimately the limits of human nature, which can...

By: Giandomenico Mucci, SJ

Jesus of Nazareth, Son and Spouse of Israel

The multiple challenges of human nature assumed by the Son In contemplating and reflecting on the mystery of Jesus Christ, every age emphasizes certain dimensions in relation to its precise historical context and the challenges it poses to the Church’s evangelizing mission. This happened in the patristic era when the Church had to face the challenge of Neoplatonic triadic philosophy. Trinitarian theology and patristic Christology were born in response to this challenge. They re-read the mystery of the Incarnate Son in the light of the metaphysical categories of nature and person matured through critical confrontation with Neoplatonism. They constituted the...

By: Mario Imperatori, SJ

Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Beauty, science and art will always triumph

Environmental art On May 31, at the age of 84, Christo Vladimirov Javacheff died. Known as Christo, he was one of the major exponents of Land Art, although the artist actually preferred to speak of Environmental Art. This is the message from the artist’s press office: “Christo lived his life to the fullest, not only dreaming up what seemed impossible but realizing it. Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s artwork brought people together in shared experiences across the globe, and their work lives on in our hearts and memories. Christo and Jeanne-Claude have always made clear that their artworks in progress should be...

By: Andrea Dall'Asta, SJ

Where’s the peace? Colombia without FARC-EP

On November 24, 2016, in Bogota’s Colón Theater, a peace agreement was signed between the Colombian Government and the guerrillas of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia—Ejército del Pueblo (FARC-EP).[1] Seven months later, on June 27, 2017, the world witnessed the official demobilization of this armed group in a public event during which the UN verification mission confirmed the delivery of 7,132 weapons since March 1, 2017,[2] the date on which the disarmament process had begun. Once this phase was over FARC-EP disappeared as a guerilla movement and became a political party, taking the name Fuerza Alternative Revolucionaria del Común...

By: José Darío Rodríguez Cuadros, SJ

In Search of Identity in Post-Soviet Central Asia

In his book on Central Asia’s golden age, Lost Enlightenment, Stephen Frederick Starr recounts an event that occurred during the civil war in Tajikistan in the 1990s.[1] One day, in Dushanbe, the country’s capital, Starr was crossing one of the city’s central streets when he saw some government soldiers with a brand new flag. He asked them what flag it was, and they told him proudly that it was the new banner of the Republic of Tajikistan. It depicted a crown and seven stars. When asked about the meaning of these symbols, the soldiers could not answer the question, but...

By: Vladimir Pachkov, SJ

Spirituality and Psychology

Many people in the Church in France are concerned about the dangers of deviation and manipulation present in certain retreats, meetings or prayer groups that offer “psycho-spiritual” therapies. These practices, coming largely from overseas, raise fundamental questions: Should we recognize boundaries between the spiritual and the psychological? Which ones? On what basis? Such perplexity and bewilderment invite us to establish reference points that are as clear as possible on a complex, controversial terrain. In this article I intend to show that this is a typical question of the modern era and that, certainly, the spiritual and psychological elements are mixed...

By: Dominique Salin, SJ
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