Published Date : 2020-03-15
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The Berlin Conference and Civil War in Libya

By: Giovanni Sale, SJ

The Berlin Conference on Libya, attended by representatives of 11 countries (mostly heads of government) and major international organizations, January 19, 2020, produced a joint declaration that supports the efforts of the United Nations for a lasting truce, for enforcement of the arms embargo and for the dismantling of militias supported by foreign powers who are fueling a “proxy war” in the country. So far several points set out in the communiqué have not been acted upon. The truce, signed...

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Women and Men in the Church

By: Federico Lombardi, SJ

We should be grateful to Anne-Marie Pelletier for her recent book L’Église, des femmes avec des hommes, which collects and develops several lines of reflection on the relationship between women and men in the Church that she had already initiated in previous writings.[1] This issue is topical and of crucial importance. After all, the popes have been talking about it for decades, and John XXIII had rightly identified the new awareness of the dignity and responsibility of women among the...

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Abandoning the Myth of Nuclear Deterrence

By: Drew Christiansen SJ

When the U.S. bishops began drafting their ground-breaking pastoral letter on nuclear weapons, “The Challenge of Peace,”[1] in the early 1980s, Bill Spohn, a brother Jesuit and a fellow ethicist, was a colleague on the faculty of the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. All faculty members at that time were engaged in dialogues with parishes and schools around the San Francisco Bay area. We expounded the criteria of the “Just War,” probed the morality of nuclear warfare, and led...

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The Beginning of the Universe and the Question of God

By: Gabriele Gionti, SJ

The vision of the universe from the Old Testament to St. Thomas Aquinas The Old Testament view of the universe is greatly influenced by the fact that the Jewish people were heirs to Semitic culture. For this reason we cannot separate the vision of the cosmos of the Old Testament from that of the surrounding Semitic cultures. That conception saw the earth as flat. The sky that overlooked it was the “natural” place where God was. However, in a close...

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Coronavirus Policy: Activating the antibodies of Catholicism

By: Antonio Spadaro, SJ

The coronavirus COVID-19 is spreading around the world, generating a syndrome of universal contagion. Humanity's system of worldwide interconnection gives us a paradoxical experience: the more connected we are, the more contact can turn into contagion, communication into contamination, influences into infections. The apocalypse is at hand. Antibodies are triggered, which go crazy and become an immune system against everything we fear, do not recognize, or cannot control. Viruses have long been a feature of our landscape: from the biblical...

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Our Concern for the Future: One year on from the signing of the Human Fraternity Document

By: Laurent Basanese, SJ

“Dialogue is not a magic formula,” declared Pope Francis at the San Luigi Pontifical Theological Faculty of Southern Italy, on June 21, 2019.[1] In reality, it requires efforts, meetings, “geological patience” – in the words of the great Dominican Islamist, Georges Anawati – and above all, concrete acts. The Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together of February, 2019, signed by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Ahmad al-Tayyeb, has entered the delicate phase of...

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Three Biblical Cities

By: Pino Stancari, SJ

Within the bible we can see cities as symbolic representations of three different ideas. These three city figures are arranged along an itinerary that corresponds substantially to the development of the whole history of salvation.  Cain and the birth of the city The first time there is talk of a city in the bible is when Cain is struggling with the anguish that made him restless and always fleeing from relations with others after having shed the blood of Abel...

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The Culture of Tolerance

By: Giancarlo Pani SJ

The issue of tolerance and intolerance has, for centuries now, been one of the most debated issues.[1] A number of important events occurred in 2019 that touch on this problem in a new way. Two in particular should be mentioned: the Year of Tolerance proclaimed by the United Arab Emirates, and the publication of the Abu Dhabi Document. The UAE declared 2019 the Year of Tolerance and drew up a Declaration of Principles of Tolerance, based on the 1996 UN...

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Terrence Malick’s ‘A Hidden Life’

By: Jean-Pierre Sonnet, SJ

Terrence Malick’s latest film A Hidden Life has now been released on the big screen. Previewed at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, it won the Ecumenical Jury Prize and the François-Chalais Prize. A Hidden Life reveals the power cinema has to become epiphany, to be light about light. While the work represents the director’s return to a more structured narrative (after the experimental period of 2011-17), it also radically prolongs the art that underlies all of Malick’s films: from Badlands...

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Protection of Minors and the Pope’s steps forward after the February 2019 Meeting

By: Federico Lombardi, SJ

The Holy Father’s decision to exclude accusations, trials and decisions regarding sexual abuse committed within the Church from the “pontifical secret” was published on December 17, 2019. The decision resonated widely and many people have hailed it as a very important step forward – some have even called it historic – in the fight against these very serious crimes. Twelve months after the Meeting on the Protection of Minors in the Church (February 21-24, 2019)[1] it is right to take...

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