Krakow, Pope Francis said: “the Church needs to grow in discernment; in her capacity to discern.”1 He emphasized the importance of priestly formation and exhorted the Jesuits to work together with seminarians, especially by “giving them what we ourselves received from Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises: the wisdom of discernment.”
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Jesuit Father Karl Rahner was one of the first to recognize that the Second Vatican Council had transformed the western Catholic Church into a world Church: “For the first time a world-wide Council with a world-wide episcopate came into existence and functioned independently.”
Does the Church have a future? What is the Church’s relationship with the passage of time, that is, to its history? The risk of going astray in answering these questions is very high. We can either fall into a merely sociological view, or make a purely abstract theological analysis, that is, embrace the ideology of the “youthfulness” of the Church with her “magnificent good fortune and progress” in times of crisis.
"Many priests think that I am too critical or too hard because I dare to say what I think, having always held positions of responsibility," says Marie Angélique Sagna Savané, a Senegalese sociologist and former politician. The 75-year-old Catholic, a former director of the UN Population Fund's office for Africa, is known as one of the pioneers of feminism on the continent. And she's not afraid to speak out for more inclusion of women in her Church's decision-making structure.
These are two transparent people whose lifestyles reveal a simplicity and authenticity that precede, or rather determine, the strategy informing their governing. Arendt marvels at the nonchalance of a pope who knows how to laugh and does so without restraint, just as Austen Ivereigh describes the closeness between the then Archbishop Bergoglio and his people.
The Abram cycle begins with a description of a family of nomads migrating to Mesopotamia a few millennia ago. Terah has three sons: Abram, Nahor, and Haran. We have no details about the relationship between these brothers, but we do know that Haran dies while his father is still alive. In addition, Sarai, Abram’s wife, cannot have children.
When we apply the term “synodality” to the Church, we do not intend to designate a more collaborative decision-making process that merely leads to choosing an option, deliberating on a measure, or issuing an instruction. Rather, it is something that makes clear a fundamental aspect of ecclesial identity: its primary communal dimension, its essential evangelizing mission under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Do we have data about the collaborators of Peter that would support an analogy between them and the Roman Curia? Do the letters of Paul testify to a variety of “co-workers” who might provide a vision illuminating the Curia and its reform? Where might we find some precedents, or at least some ancient analogy that could provide a vision for illuminating theologically a reform of the Roman Curia that would go beyond mere legal changes and a bureaucratic restructuring?
I first met Víctor Manuel Fernández– who will be created cardinal on September 30 – in Argentina in September 2014 at the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina, of which he was then rector. Exactly one year later he came to the offices of La Civiltà Cattolica in Rome to give a talk at an international seminar on “Reform and Reforms in the Church.”
A few years ago, Conrad Hackett, head of the team that published the Pew Research Center’s report on the spread of different religions, made this statement to the Wall Street Journal: “Between 2015 and 2020, Christians are projected to experience the largest losses due to switching. Globally, about 5 million people are expected to become Christians in this five-year period, while 13 million are expected to leave Christianity, with most of these departures joining the ranks of the religiously unaffiliated.”
La Croix International takes a summer break during the month of August. And during this month we bring you the best and most relevant articles published during the year that you may have missed or would like to read again. First published on May 5, 2023.
This is certainly the case in the English-speaking world where more traditionally-minded and doctrinally-unbending Church leaders have blocked even efforts to make "horizontal language" (i.e. between members of the human race, compared to the "vertical language" we use in reference to God) more inclusive.
Relations between the Holy See and China since the 19th century have seen changing fortunes: from the Opium Wars to the French protectorate over missions in China, from the dramatic Boxer Rebellion to diplomatic relations being established, from the rise to power of Mao Zedong to the reforms of the new regime, up to the dialogue of today. This intricate history can be briefly summarized by looking at its principal phases.
The preparatory phase of the Synod at the local level aroused mistrust in Rome. The fractures revealed by this vast reflection on Catholicism's future could lead to the Church's implosion. La Croix International takes a summer break during the month of August. And during this month we bring you the best and most relevant articles published during the year that you may have missed or would like to read again.
In his writings and speeches Pope Francis makes clear his desire for synodality. He has attempted to model it with the synods on the Amazon and the Family. In this article, after a cursory review of the meaning of collegiality and the long history of synodality, I want to suggest that we need a collective imagination as the basis on which to proceed. We currently lack what Charles Taylor has called a “social imaginary.
At a time when scientific subjects appear to have won a place of prominence in education and training, often for merely utilitarian reasons, it is more important than ever to bring young people close or closer to the humanities. This is indispensable because it enables young people to identify the necessary criteria to discern what is good and what is less good in the culture they inhabit; it provokes within them those questions and doubts that are fundamental on the journey toward maturity.
Epistemological reflection has long crossed paths with ethics, and vice versa, which calls into question their alleged incompatibility. Think of the analysis of moral language in analytical philosophy, or of the verifiability of value assertions carried out by neopositivism, or of the recognition of values and beliefs as found in contemporary epistemology.
Saint Vincent of Lerins posed the following question in the fifth century: “Can there be progress in the religion of the Church of Christ?” Today, we can phrase the question in the following way: How is the precious deposit of faith guarded and transmitted through time? How can we speak of a “development of doctrine?”
There is a relative absence of research into papal thought about legal matters, and it can be observed that much of the recent and contemporary debates in the Western Latin Church and in other Churches and Christian communities revolve around what is meant by “doctrinal” and “pastoral” as regards the adherence to canon law and in general to Christian teaching and practice.
Saint Paul is the apostle par excellence. When one thinks of evangelization and missionary life, one thinks of him. A man of the great cities, he lived among the capitals of the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire (Ephesus, Corinth, Antioch, Thessalonica). Born into the diaspora, he traveled to Jerusalem for his studies as a Pharisee.