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Published Date : 2024-02-13
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Gestis Verbisque: The Words and Actions of the Sacraments

By: Anthony R. Lusvardi, SJ

What is baptism? This is how St. Augustine explained it to the faithful in a homily: “The bath of water with the word. Take away the water, it is not baptism. Take away the word, it is not baptism.”[1] These same words are found in documents produced under Charlemagne for the instruction of the clergy.[2] In the first millennium, instructions on how to baptize were refreshingly direct. The rite of baptism is astonishing for both its simplicity and its power....

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Michel Kichka: Jewish Cartoonist for Peace in Israel

By: Giancarlo Pani SJ

Over thirty years ago, Palestinian cartoonist Naji al-Ali, who featured in a recent article, was already calling for an end to conflict with his cartoons.[1] In Israel, too, there are Jewish cartoonists committed to peace. One of the most prominent is Michel Kichka, who was born in Liège in 1954 and emigrated to Jerusalem at the age of 20. He is the author of the recent graphic novel, The Other Jerusalem.[2] The volume is the latest in a trilogy in...

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African Missions between Universalism and Nationalism

By: Jean-Paul Savi, SJ

In 1622 Pope Gregory XV created Propaganda Fide. This Roman congregation was tasked with keeping the mission of evangelization away from political control, as had occurred under the Padroado system.[1] It was also a way for the Church to regain control of the fundamental mission of evangelization, which was by this stage established as universal and supranational. This mission was thus to be exercised without distinction of nationality. This specific character of the mission of evangelization was in line with...

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Indonesia’s Elections and the Future of Democracy

By: Heinrich Angga Indraswara, SJ

On February 14, 2024, Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country and largest Muslim democracy, conducted its fifth presidential and legislative elections since its transition from authoritarianism in the late 1990s. The presidential election involved three pairs of candidates. The first pair was composed of Anies Baswedan, former governor of the capital Jakarta and Muhaimin Iskandar, leader of the Islamic National Awakening Party. The second pairing consisted of Prabowo Subianto, a former Army general, and Gibran Rakabuming Raka, mayor of...

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The canonical equivalence between Jordan and Einstein frames

By: Gabriele Gionti, SJ

Two recent publications illustrate the range of research conducted at the Vatican Observatory, from studying the work of Galileo to developing mathematical methods for understanding the Big Bang. In April, Frs. Gabriele Gionti (S.J.) and Matteo Galaverni (Diocese of Reggio Emilia–Guastalla, Italy) of the Observatory published “On the canonical equivalence between Jordan and Einstein frames” in the European Physical Journal C. Albert Einstein’s “General Relativity” is understood as the theory of gravity that better fits the experimental as well as...

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Gaza: the War and the Humanitarian Crisis

By: Giovanni Sale, SJ

Israel’s ‘Scorched Earth’ Strategy The hope held by many, especially in the West, was that with the beginning of Ramadan in early March, a temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas would come into effect. With more than 34,000 dead (mostly civilians) and starvation now a reality, negotiators, meeting first in Paris and then in Doha, hoped to bring relief to Gaza’s population, harried by more than six months of fighting.[1] After the scheduled deadline, the Tel Aviv government, as it...

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