On May 12, 2016, at a meeting of the International Union of the Superiors General of Women’s Religious Orders, one sister asked Pope Francis why women were excluded from decision-making processes in the Church and from preaching at Eucharistic celebrations. In asking, she cited his words, “the feminine genius is needed in all expressions of the life of the Church and Society.”
News in Vocations
The word “spirituality” refers to something in the world of experience. It is the life of the Spirit in us (cf. Gal 5:25). But it is something that is not limited to mere personal experience: it also includes reflection on what is experienced. Spirituality, then, is also attentive knowledge of what happens in that life of the Spirit in us.
In some countries a form of religious-cultural nationalism is back in vogue. Religion is exploited both to obtain popular support and to launch a political message that is identified with people’s loyalty and devotion to a nation. It is taken for granted that people have in religion a common identity, origin and history, and that these support an ideological, cultural and religious homogeneity that is strengthened by geopolitical boundaries.
Visiting the so-called “rooms” or “chapels” of St. Aloysius Gonzaga in Rome, to a certain extent one can measure the distance – about four and a half centuries – between our time and his. But he also seems very present, because some things belonging to him – the crucifix, objects for daily use, the letters written in a beautiful script – seem to indicate to the visitor (as if the statue which portrays him very naturally, located in the great hall, is about to come to life and continue one of his favorite talks) the primacy of God over all of reality and, consequently, how little weight we must give to all the rest.
On December 17, 2022, Pope Francis signed a decree stating that Matteo Ricci lived the Christian virtues in an “heroic” manner, i.e. in an eminent and exemplary way, and can therefore be venerated by Christians. This is a first official recognition by the Church, which may be followed by even more solemn ones, namely, beatification and canonization, should God deign to permit this.
The Catholic Delegation for Cooperation (DCC), the first international voluntary service to be set up in France, sent an email to its entire network at the end of June with an urgent appeal. It's looking for young adults who are willing to go on one of three long-term service missions the DCC is carrying out in the Holy Land beginning in September.
The Belgian Trappist abbey of St. Sixtus has concluded a deal directly with Dutch off-licenses to keep middlemen from selling their popular Westvleteren beer there at exorbitant prices. The smallest of the Belgian Trappist breweries, which houses about 20 monks, brews 7,500 hectolitres of beer annually to cover its costs. That comes out to about 50 brewing days a year.
Embracing a Catholic identity, however, is a whole lot more than simply being a card-carrying member of the church. Some may settle for a Baptism, wedding, and funeral in the church and feel they’ve gotten the best of it. But if you choose to live all the moments in between from the perspective of the Catholic worldview, you can enhance your life with incredible spiritual richness.
In his address to the participants at the International Peace Conference at Al-Azhar (Cairo, Egypt) on April 28, 2017, Pope Francis reminded his listeners that dialogue on a global level may occur if three basic duties are observed: the duty to respect one’s own identity and that of others, the courage to accept differences, and the willingness to recognize the sincerity of the intentions of other people.
The Second Vatican Council (1962-65) recovered a deep vision of the Church, reflected on religious liberty, relations with other Christians, relations with the Jewish people, as well as other issues. What principles guided the council’s discernment in its decision-making? This article will seek to respond by looking at the final texts of the council, rather than at the history of their composition and subsequent reception.