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c h r i s t i a n a n t r hop ol o gic a l a n d c u lt u r a l r e v i e w / n º 8 / y e a r v i

THE DOCTRINE WITHOUT MERCY WOULD BE AN IDEOLOGY ABOUT GOD Interview to cardinal Gerhard Müller

year VI

ON THE VIOLENT THREAT OF LAICIST TERRORIST CONFUSION Interview to the Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal Vingt-Trois

THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS: THE ORIGIN OF TIMES José Granados

8

PONTIFICIA UNIVERSIDAD CATÓLICA DE CHILE

INFORMATION, THE CHURCH, GOD’S KINGDOM Giandomenico Mucci, S.J.


HUMANITAS Christian Anthropological and Cultural Review HUMANITAS REVIEW came into being to provide the University with a source of reflection and study at the service of the academic community and a wider public in general. Its objective is to reflect on the concerns and teachings of the Papal Magisterium (Decree of the Rector from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile 147/95, par. 2). EDITOR Jaime V. Antúnez EDITORIAL COMMITTEE Francisco Claro Hernán Corral Carmen Domínguez Gabriel Guarda, O.S.B. Pedro Morandé Rodrigo Polanco Ricardo Riesco Francisco Rosende Juan de Dios Vial Correa Juan de Dios Vial Larraín Arturo Yrarrázaval ASSISTANT EDITOR Paula M. Jullian

COUNCIL OF CONSULTANTS AND COLLABORATORS Honorary President: H.E. Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz, Archbishop Emeritus of Santiago de Chile. Héctor Aguer, Anselmo Álvarez, O.S.B., Carl Anderson, Andrés Arteaga, Francisca Alessandri, Antonio Amado, Felipe Bacarreza, Rafael Benguria, Rémi Brague, Jean-Louis Bruguès, O.P., Rocco Buttiglione, Massimo Borghesi, Carlos Francisco Cáceres, José Manuel Castro, Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, Guzmán Carriquiry, William E. Carroll, Inés de Cassagne, Fernando María Cavaller, José Luis Cea, Fernando Chomali, Francesco D’Agostino, Adriano Dall’Asta, José Granados, Vittorio di Girolamo, José Manuel Eguiguren, Carlos José Errázuriz, José María Eyzaguirre, Samuel Fernández, Alvaro Ferrer, María Esther Gómez de Pedro, Juan Ignacio González, Stanislaw Grygiel, Gonzalo Ibáñez, Henri Hude, Reinhard Hütter, Raúl Irarrázabal, Lydia Jiménez, Paul Johnson, Patricio Jottar, Mladen Koljatic, Jean Laffitte, Nicolás León Ross, Alfonso López Quintás, Alejandro Llano, Raúl Madrid, Guillermo Marini, Javier Martínez, Patricia Matte, Carlos Ignacio Massini, Livio Melina, René Millar, Rodrigo Moreno, Andrés Ollero, José Miguel, Mario Paredes, Bernardino Piñera, Aquilino Polaino-Lorente, Cardinal Paul Poupard, Javier Prades, Dominique Rey, Florián Rodero L.C., Cristián Rocangoglio, Alejandro San Francisco, Romano Scalfi, Cardinal Angelo Scola, Cardinal Fernando Sebastián, David L. Schindler, Josef Seifert, , Paulina Taboada, William Thayer, Olga Ulianova, Eduardo Valenzuela, Juan Velarde, Alberto Vial, Aníbal Vial, Pilar Vigil, Richard Yeo, O.S.B.

Council of Consultants and Collaborators Héctor Aguer: Archbishop of La Plata, Argentina. Anselmo Álvarez, OSB: Abbott emeritus of Santa Cruz del Valle de los Caídos. Carl A nderson: Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus. Andrés Arteaga: Auxiliary Bishop of Santiago. Francisca Alessandri: Associate Professor, Faculty of Journalism, UC. Antonio Amado: Associate Professor of Philosophy, Universidad de los Andes. Felipe Bacarreza: Bishop of Los Ángeles, Chile. Rafael Benguria: Associate Professor of the Faculty of Physics, UC. National award for Exact sciences (2005). Rémi Brague: French philosopher. Ratzinger Prize 2012. Jean-Louis Bruguès, OP: Archivist of the Vatican Secret Archives and Librarian of the Vatican Library, Bishop Emeritus of Angers, France. Massimo Borghesi: Italian philosopher. Senior professor of the University of Perugia, Italy. Rocco Buttiglione: Italian philosopher and politician. Carlos Francisco Cáceres: Member of the Academy of Social, Political and Moral Sciences, Institute of Chile. José Manuel Castro: Historian. MA in History, UC Cardinal Antonio Cañizares: Archbishop of Valencia, Spain. Guzmán Carriquiry: Secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. William E. Carroll: Aquinas Fellow in Theology and Science, Blackfriars. Faculty of Theology, University of Oxford. Inés de Cassagne: Argentinian writer. Fernando María Cavaller: President of the Association of Friends of Newman, Argentina. José Luis Cea: President of the Academy of Social, Political and Moral Sciences, Institute of Chile. Fernando Chomali: Archbishop of Concepción, Chile. Member of the Pontifical Academia Pro Vita, UC. Francesco D’Agostino: Professor of Philosophy of Law at the University Tor Vergata of Rome. Former President of the National Bioethics Committee of Italy. Adriano Dall’Asta: Vice President of the Christian Russian Foundation. José Granados: Vice president of the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for Studies of Marriage and the Family. Vittorio di Girolamo: Professor and Art Historian José Manuel Eguiguren: Founder apostolic movement Manquehue. Carlos José Errázuriz: Consultant of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, professor at Pontifical Università della Santa Croce. José María Eyzaguirre: Senior Professor at the Faculty of Law, UC. Samuel Fernández: PhD in. Associate Professor of Patristic Sciences at the Faculty of Theology, UC. Postgrad and Research Director. Álvaro Ferrer: Professor at the Faculty of Law, UC. María Esther Gómez de Pedro: Member of the circle of disciples of Joseph Ratzinger / Pope Benedicto XVI. Juan Ignacio González: Bishop of San Bernardo, Chile. Stanislaw Grygiel: Polish philosopher, tenured lecturer of the John Paul II Chair, Lateranense University, Rome. Henri Hude: French philosopher, former Rector of the Stanislas College, Paris. Gonzalo Ibáñez: Professor and former Rector of the University Adolfo Ibáñez. Reinhard Hütter: Theologian. Professor at Duke University. Raúl Irarrázabal: Architect. Lydia Jiménez: General Director of the Holy Mary Crusaders Secular Institute. Paul Johnson: British historian.

Patricio Jottar: Economist. MBA in Economy, IESE. Mladen Koljatic: Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Economics and business administration, UC. Jean Laffitte: Bishop of Entrevaux. Prelate of the Order of Malta. Nicolás León Ross: Former CEO of Idea-País, Chile. Alfonso López Quintás: Spanish philosopher. Member of the Royal Spanish Academy of Moral and Political Science. Alejandro Llano: Spanish philosopher, former Rector of the University of Navarra, Spain. Raúl Madrid: Professor, Faculty of Law, UC. Guillermo Marini: Associate Professor of the Faculty of Education UC. Javier Martínez: Archbishop of Granada, Spain. Patricia Matte: Member of the Academy of Social, Political and Moral Science, Institute of Chile. Carlos Ignacio Massini: Professor at the National University of Cuyo, Argentina. Livio Melina: President of the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for Studies of Marriage and the Family. René Millar: Former Dean of the Faculty of History UC. Member of the Chilean Academy of History. Rodrigo Moreno: Member of the Chilean Academy of History. Andrés Ollero: Professor of Philosophy. Member of the Spanish Constitutional Tribunal. José Miguel Oriol: President of Editorial Encuentro, Madrid, Spain. Mario J. Paredes: Director of Catholic Ministries at American Bible Society. Bernardino Piñera: Archbishop emeritus of La Serena, Chile. Aquilino Polaino-Lorente: Spanish psychiatrist. Cardinal Paul Poupard: President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Culture. Javier Prades: Dean of the Faculty for Theology at San Dámaso, Madrid, Spain. Member of the International Theological Commission. Dominique Rey: Bishop of Tréjus-Toulon, France. Florián Rodero L.C: Professor of Theology, Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum, Rome. Cristián Rocangliolo: Vice-chancellor UC. Doctor in Theology from the Universita Salesiana, Roma. Alejandro San Francisco: Professor at the Institute of History, UC. Romano Scalfi: Director of the Christian Russia Center, Milan, Italy. Cardinal Angelo Scola: Archbishop of Milan, Italy. Cardinal Fernando Sebastián: Archbishop emeritus of Pamplona, Spain. David L. Schindler: Director of the John Paul II Institute for Studies of Marriage and the Family, Washington D.C., U.S.A. Josef Seifert: Austrian philosopher. Paulina Taboada: Medical doctor, member of the Pontifical Academy Pro Vita. William Thayer: Member of the Academy of Social, Political and Moral Sciences, Institute of Chile. Olga Ulianova: Ph.D. in History, University of Lomonosov, Moscow. Researcher at the University of Santiago. Eduardo Valenzuela: Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, UC. Juan Velarde: Member of the Royal Spanish Academy of Moral and Political Sciences. Prince of Asturias Prize in Social Sciences (1992). Alberto Vial: PhD. In Philosophy by the Paris-Sorbonne University. Aníbal Vial: Former Rector of the University Santo Tomás. Pilar Vigil: Medical doctor, member of the Pontifical Academy Pro Vita. Richard Yeo, OSB: Abbott and President of the Benedictine Congregation, England.


H U M A N I T A S

Humanitas Nº8 2016 - Year VI

english digital edition THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS: THE ORIGIN OF TIME José Granados

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Interview to the Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal Vingt-Trois ON THE VIOLENT THREAT OF LAICIST TERRORIST CONFUSION Jaime Antúnez

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INFORMATION, THE CHURCH, GOD’S KINGDOM Giandomenico Mucci, S.J.

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WHAT WILL THE CHURCH LOOK LIKE IN 2000? Joseph Ratzinger

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Interview to cardinal Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. “THE DOCTRINE WITHOUT MERCY WOULD BE AN IDEOLOGY ABOUT GOD” Jaime Antúnez

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Interview to Archbishop Kaigama, President of the Regional Episcopal Conference of Western Africa. THE THREAT OF ISLAMIC TERRORIST GROUPS TO CHRISTIANS IN AFRICA IS A HUMANITARIAN DISASTER Maria Gil / Paula Jullian

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SHAKESPEARE AND THE IMAGE OF HOLINESS Clare Asquith

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AGING, A VOCATION- THE TIME OF FULFILMENT Dominique Rey

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Louis Martin's Prophetic Testimony Canonization October 2015 LOVE’S TRACENDANCE AND MENTAL ALIENATION

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THE WORLDVIEW EFFECT IN THE WORK OF GAUDÍ Javier Monserrat

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NEWMAN AND ELGAR ON THE AFTERLIFE OF GERONTIUS M. Katherine Tillman

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BACH, MUSIC FOR GOD M. Isabel Irarrázabal

98

notes

WHY POPE FRANCIS IS WAGING WAR ON THE DEVIL Fr. Thomas Rosica

Front cover: Fragment of the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

Summary Editorial Notes The Pope in his own words The Church and the world Books About the authors

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3 7 108 120 130 138 148

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See the Digital Version of English and Spanish edition on our page www.humanitas.cl

HUMANITAS

Serving the encounter of faith and culture

HUMANITAS (ISSN 07172168) publishes articles by its regular, national and foreign collaborators as well as authors whose subject matter is in harmony with the goals of HUMANITAS. The total or partial reproduction of articles published by HUMANITAS requires authorization, with the exception of commentary or quotes. Design and production: María Pía Toro | Abril Diseño Letters: HUMANITAS / Centro de Extensión de la Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile / Av. Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins 390, 3rd floor / Santiago / Chile Tel: (56 - 2) 354 65 19 - Fax: (56 — 2) 354 37 55 — email: humanitas@uc.cl

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HUMANITAS

Summary n°8 (First Semester 2016) English Digital Edition

THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS: THE ORIGIN OF TIME, by José Granados, DCJM. The terrifying majestic figure of Christ the Judge in the Sistine Chapel that condemns the reprobate to burning for eternity has lived on in the imagination of many of the faithful. However, this is not the only way of understanding Jesus’ gesture in Michelangelo’s celebrated work. In fact, His raised hand can indicate both a rejection of evildoers and a signal for the saints to ascend and come to him. This view provides a better explanation of an undeniable fact in the whole of the painting: Christ is presented as a dynamic center, which sets the whole scene in motion. Is this the explanation of the posture and gesture of Jesus in the fresco? Humanitas 2016, VIII, pp. 12 INTERVIEW TO THE ARCHBISHOP OF PARIS, CARDINAL VINGT-TROIS, by Jaime V. Antúnez. On the violent threat of laicist confusion Cardinal Archbishop of Paris, has dedicated his life to work for the family: in the French episcopacy, in the Pontifical Council for the Family in Rome and, more recently, in the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family in 2014, where Pope Francis named him delegate president. It is within this context that the Cardinal refers to family, whose crucial role in humanity’ s fate seems to have been the reason why Pope Francis dedicated his first Synod to this matter. Humanitas 2016, VIII, pp. 17 INFORMATION, THE CHURCH, GOD’S KINGDOM, by Giandomenico Mucci, S.J. In our days we see that many observant Catholics, both close to and distant from the Church, feel unsettled or confused, the former more than the latter, when the media report on scandals in the ecclesiastical world, real or supposed, or when undeniable sins are committed by devout Catholics or members of the clergy. With timely and thrilled complacency, information outlets often disregard the values of truth and justice, generating bewilderment among believers, especially those with little critical criterion or mature judgment to valuate the information they receive. Humanitas 2016, VIII, pp. 22 WHAT WILL THE CHURCH LOOK LIKE IN 2000?, by Joseph Ratzinger. Nearly fifty years ago, in 1969, and almost a decade before being appointed bishop by Paul VI, the then priest and theology Professor in Tübingen and later in Regensburg, Dr. Joseph Ratzinger, broadcast a series of lectures in a radio show in his country. They were compiled and published by the Munich based publishing company Kösel-Verlag. Here HUMANITAS reproduces the fifth broadcast which has great interest in the life of Church in our millenium and which has proved highly current for our days. Humanitas 2016, VIII, pp. 30

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INTERVIEW TO CARDINAL GERHARD MÜLLER, by Jaime V. Antúnez. The cardinal Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, visited Chile for a few days. Cardinal Müller was appointed to this post by Benedict XVI, who knew him well as Archbishop of Regensburg and president of the “Benedict XVI Institute,” established in his archdiocese and famous among other reasons for its University. He is the editor of the Pope emeritus’ Opera Omnia, whose 16 substantial volumes are being translated into several languages. Humanitas 2016, VIII, pp. 42 INTERVIEW TO ARCHBISHOP KAIGAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE REGIONAL EPISCOPAL CONFERENCE OF WESTERN AFRICA. Invited to Chile by the charity Aid to the Church in Need (AIS) the Nigerian Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama recently visited some South American countries to take part in a number of activities to raise awareness of the ordeal Catholics are going through in the northern regions of Nigeria. He is Bishop of Jos, a diocese at the centre of the conflict area, where the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram is expanding. He has raised his voice to denounce the violence Christians are suffering and the constant threat to their lives. Humanitas 2016, VIII, pp. 46 SHAKESPEARE AND THE IMAGE OF HOLINESS, by Clare Asquith. In her article, the autor puts forward the theory that Shakespeare was an underground Catholic, on the grounds of certain hints found in some of his works. She claims he uses common codes used by Roman Catholics in times of the English Reformation. She presents such views in what she sees as six major incarnations of the figure of holiness, surrounded by sacramental and biblical imagery and by means of figures which embody beauty, truth, goodness and constancy of the Bride of Christ. Humanitas 2016, VIII, pp. 52 AGING, A VOCATION: THE TIME OF FULFILMENT, by Dominique Rey. We know the symptoms of old age. When aging, people may come to feel more and more helpless, useless or isolated, left behind in a society that develops at a hectic pace. In some cases the elderly may even get an impression of worthlessness and being overpassed by younger people who push them aside into retirement. Such considerations have led some gerontologists to make a further division of old age into a period when there is some vitality and the one when one becomes more passive and dependent on the others. A new state in life we have to learn to live. Humanitas 2016, VIII, pp. 64 LOVE’S TRACENDENCE AND MENTAL ALIENATION (Louis Martin’s Prophetic Testimony Canonized October 2015). Louise Martin’s example invites us to go one step further and move forward in our appreciation of the capability of exemplary sainthood in the midst of a mental misery that is not “madness.” In fact, it is generally acknowledged that a minimum degree of psychological integrity is necessary for the fruits of the Spirit to manifest themselves visibly. Humanitas 2016, VIII, pp. 68

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THE EFFECT OF GAUDÍ’S WORLDVIEW ON HIS WORK, by Javier Monserrat, S.J. The article takes us on a journey into the life and work of Gaudi, the artist who stamped the mark of a renewed man after his encounter with the faith. He brought together what seemed impossible: light and mystery. He reconciled a modernist architecture with his naturalist ideal. Gaudí’s work is magical; it is a message that is not offered to us by Gaudí, but by nature itself, showing us that its complex psycho-biophysical process of autogenesis culminates in the mystery of Christ. Now, in June 2016, on the commemoration of his 90th anniversary, his life and work will be celebrated, in the hope of his close beatification. Humanitas 2016, VIII, pp. 74 NEWMAN AND ELGAR ON THE AFTERLIFE OF GERONTIUS, by M. Katherine Tillman. According to Plato, the stories of the afterlife of the immortal soul are “worth the risk of believing”. We are asked to take that risk upon entering the dream-story of the going forth of Gerontius (the old man), of every-man and-woman through the gateway of death unto the threshold of eternity. “The Dream of Gerontius” by Newman, set to music by Elgar, is the dream-story of the Soul’s initiation, through judgment and purgation, into a new life. Humanitas 2016, VIII, pp. 93 BACH, MUSIC FOR GOD, by M. Isabel Irarrázabal. More than two hundred and fifty years ago, in the afternoon of 28th July, the great German musician, Johann Sebastian Bach, left this world. His deep longing for the intangible and hereafter, which accompanied him throughout his life, was captured in the musical notes of his works’ and texts: the Sehnsucht of eternal rest. Humanitas 2016, VIII, pp. 98 NOTES WHY FRANCIS IS WAGING WAR ON THE DEVIL, by Thomas Rosica. The Pontiff has spoken about Satan more than any other recent Pope. He isn’t trying to scare us, but to inspire us to fight a daily spiritual battle. In his daily homilies, addresses and tweets, Pope Francis returns with surprising frequency to one topic: the devil. Francis’ s devil has many names: Satan, the Accuser, the Evil One, the Father of Lies, the Ancient Serpent, Tempter, Seducer, Great Dragon, Father of War, Father of Lies, Father of Hate, the Enemy, Darkness, Prince of this World and just plain Demon. Humanitas 2016, VIII, pp. 108

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EDITORIAL

THE RETURN OF HUMANITAS REVIEW

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fter over a year of recess, the journal humanitas review makes its return with its 8th issue and the intention of resuming its regular periodicity. In 2016, humanitas celebrated its twentieth anniversary of an uninterrupted journey in Spanish, which was marked by a large number of activities and publications. On this occasion, our publication received warm greetings and tokens of appreciation from all over the world, including the blessing of the emeritus Pope Benedicto XVI. Among others, we are particularly grateful to his Most Rev. Ex., Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, for his encouraging words and appreciation for the contribution our journal makes. The contents here published are valued as a manner of involvement in the dynamics of the pontificate of the first Latin-American Pope, His Holiness Francisco, and may be seen as an undertaking to keep a closer approach between the North and South American churches – a desire that Saint John Paul II expressed in his Apostolic Exhortation “Ecclesia in America”. This edition of humanitas review comes to enrich the infinite virtual space with a selection of noteworthy articles. Among these, three stand out for their particular prophetic force, in its deepest biblical sense, and sharp accounts of the present time and of the resulting consequences therefrom. A highlight in this volume are the words of His Eminency, the Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, delegate president of the first Synod of the Family. In an interview he granted to the director of humanitas at his residence in Paris, he outlined some of the dominating cultural and political drawbacks that are undermining the family in the French society, and all over Europe at large. He sets this reality against that of the migrant population, whose strong family bonds he highly regards –a contrast we can consider as a clear sign of the times. Concerning the dreadful terrorist attacks that took place in Paris, he referred to what he views as a Manichean feature behind Salafi Islamism and expressed his concern of the threat this misleading fundamentalism poses on Christians. In order to keep from it, he sees the need to engage in a serious consideration of a well-grounded eschatology, as proposed by Joseph Ratzinger.

HUMANITAS Nº 8 pp. 7-8

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Likewise, Giandomenico Mucci offers an enlightening theological reflection on the Church, seen with the eyes of faith, against the disturbing image often portrayed in the media. He argues that the Ecclesia Immaculata, in which Christ lives and which safeguards the mystery of Redemption, in its historical reality, may also be called Ecclesia Deformata, despite the fact the seed of the Kingdom of God dwells in Her and that through Her Head, She communicates Her saving action sacramentally. In keeping with the above, humanitas review has also retrieved a masterful meditation delivered by the then Prof. Dr. Joseph Ratzinger nearly fifty years ago, when he held the chair of theology at the University Tubingen. In those days, on the face of the upcoming millennia of the Church, he reflected upon its manifestation and the way still to go with a shrewd and inspired prophetic realism that is likely to astonish the reader. As a journal on Anthropology and Christian Culture, the review joined in the commemoration of the 400 years of the death of two of the greatest literary masters of all times: Shakespeare and Cervantes. While the Spanish edition, humanitas 81, pays homage to the Spanish genius, the English version does so to the Stratford-upon-Avon playwright, whose works uphold deep traces of the inculturation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Church. On the same line, the religiosity in the masterpieces of other renowned artists, Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Gaudi and Edward Elgar, are also discussed. Along with the contents outlined above, the reader is also presented with a array of themes which include a section on growing old with a testimony of Saint Louis Martin (the recently canonised father of Therese de Lisieux) some reflections on forgiveness, framed in the year of mercy and, on a different note, the ‘war’ Pope Francis is waging against the devil. These, among many other topics of great depth, that comprise the wide-ranging sequence of subjects covered in this relaunch issue, which intends to keep going on a regular basis.

JAIME V. ANTÚNEZ Editor of humanitas review

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THE APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION AMORIS LAETITIA BY POPE FRANCIS

ON LOVE AND JOY: A REFLECTION Taking a distance without rushing into its application to particular cases

Starting by chapter 8, the most controversial one of the apostolic exhortation, dealing with the situations of the crisis in couples, is not the best way to approach it. This would be as if looking at a landscape by the wrong end of the binoculars. If you believe that Christ The Pope is realistically aware -once again- of the likely narrow does not cease to lead interpretations the text may be given and foresees the difficult His Church, never stops reception it may have. However, he is not prejudiced against pouring forth His Holy those who might not welcome his views in the matter. Probably Spirit and that He will some will fail to grasp his insights or appreciate the direction never leave Her to its this new impulse he is giving to the Church. Thus he remarks, own fate. “I understand those who prefer a more rigorous pastoral care which leaves no room for confusion” (n. 308). Yet, he requests Catholics to trust him follow him in his views.

Being a Catholic is somehow like flying on a plane

You have to trust the pilot, in this case the Pope. We are not bound to believe him infallible at all times, in fact most of the time we must believe otherwise. However, if you believe that Christ does not cease to lead His Church, never stops pouring forth His Holy Spirit and that He will never leave Her to its own fate, then you must trust, respect and thank Her for her teachings and guidance, even when you may find them difficult to take in. We should rejoice in such difficulties, which are but signals of a favorable personal crisis which will serve for our own growth. Unless we do so, we run the risk of getting tangled in the controversy. We need to take a step back so as to look at this remarkable text with some perspective, which deserves a heartfelt attention and a sincere highmindedness.

A Thomistic text

From the point of view of the practical philosophy (where my training, competence and perspective lie), I clearly note an Aristotelian or Thomistic orientation in this text, as in the overall thought of the Holy Father. The name

HUMANITAS Nº 8 pp. 9-11

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of Thomas Aquinas is repeated five times throughout the document and no less than 10 texts by him are referred to, along with a book about love by Father Sertillanges, O.P., a Thomist theologian, which is also quoted (note 139). In times when Thomism (what the mass media would call ‘conservative’) is making a significant return, Francisco’s magisterium has been denounced -by some more papist than the Pope himself- and equated to the progressives’ attainments after Vatican II. Undoubtedly the situation is complex and paradoxical since the preconceived notions are not enough to understand what Francis wants to say. We just need to follow a concrete intuition which does not stick to the current categories. The concept of happiness (e.g. n. 149), focused on joy, and the virtue of prudence (especially in ch.8) pervade his moral thought. These two virtues stand along with the notion of friendship that underlies the definition of love (n. 120) and of conjugal love (n. 123). These fundamental I clearly note an notions of practical wisdom are reexamined here with a renewed Aristotelian or Thomistic perspective of the faith. orientation in this text… The reference to St. Thomas then, is neither casual nor tactical, The name of Thomas but genuine and substantial since his definition of happiness ‘the Aquinas is repeated five enlargement of the heart’ (n. 126) is adopted in the exhortation. times throughout the Naturally, the notion of law is also present -though subordinated. document and no less than 10 texts by him are The conscience is not regarded here in its relationship with the referred to. law as a universal principle, but in connection with prudence (or lack of it) in one’s actions. The natural law, as referred to here (n. 305), hinges on the “heart” as conveyed in the Epistle to the Romans, 2, 15 (n. 222). This law is not a purely rational legislation which sets obligations a priori (as opposed to the rationalistic and Kantian or Jansenist conception of the law), but “a source of objective inspiration” for Man as a decision maker.

A moral of joy and a spirituality of cheerfulness - Both natural and supernatural

Francisco’s thought on matters of moral theology pertain to what I would call a very natural supernatural eudaemonism (from Greek eudaimonia = happiness). Joy is viewed as happiness. The term “joy” is repeated over 55 times along the text, so a good way to understand this exhortation would be by identifying the diverse senses and coherence in the use of this word. Basically, it refers to the joy of loving, which for the largest majority of humans is first experienced in the family. Disgrace, conversely, results from emotional disappointments and difficulties within the family, either in the couple or between parents and children. This eudaemonism is supernatural as we all know from our personal experience how difficult it is to love, especially in the family, and therefore

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to be happy. Such difficulty has got deep roots and entails a sort of illness, worse than physical or mental ailment; this disease is called original sin (cf. The name of God is mercy). The path to happiness is not an easy one; it often gets mixed up with the therapeutic (salvation) or liberation (redemption) ones in search for the cure of this disease. Christ is the doctor. The Church is the field hospital (n. 291). The remedy is called cross. The cure is called resurrection. This eudemonism is also quite natural, it is about bringing joy to everyday life and to those around us. Evangelization is nothing but this effort to make joy alive so as to live accordingly in this time and later on in eternity. Christ’s religion brings joy, even in the midst of sorrow and hardships, what makes it a religion authentic and alive, hence we call it the good news; “evangelium” in Greek. The joy of loving within the family is the prolongation of the The Pope’s insistence joy of the Gospel. The essence of Christian life and its goal are on mercy is easily identical: the joy of loving. This is the sign of the life in the Spirit understood: without hence the evangelization is nothing but to make others aspiring mercy, we turn dry, hard to the fullness of Christ’s joy. and sad. It is only by his The Pope’s insistence on mercy is then easily understood: mercy that we may take without mercy, we turn dry, hard and sad. It is only by his mercy up the cross fully without that we may take up the cross fully -without which Christianity traumatizing or making is not such- without traumatizing or making us flee from pain. us flee from pain.

All this exemplified in a especially enlightening quote

Number 317 may be seen as the culmination of the text: “If a family is centred on Christ, he will unify and illumine its entire life. Moments of pain and difficulty will be experienced in union with the Lord’s cross, and his closeness will make it possible to surmount them. In the darkest hours of a family’s life, union with Jesus in his abandonment can help avoid a breakup. Gradually, «with the grace of the Holy Spirit, [the spouses] grow in holiness through married life, also by sharing in the mystery of Christ’s cross, which transforms difficulties and sufferings into an offering of love”. Moreover, moments of joy, relaxation, celebration, and even sexuality can be experienced as a sharing in the full life of the resurrection. Married couples shape with different daily gestures a “God-enlightened space in which to experience the hidden presence of the risen Lord.”

HENRI HUDE Member of the humanitas Board

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the resurrection of jesus: the origin of time BY JOSÉ GRANADOS, DCJM

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hen the fresco of the Last Judgment was first unveiled in the Sistine Chapel, Paul III fell to his knees in an act of humble reverence, fearful before the majestic figure of Christ the Judge.1 This impression of a terrifying Christ that condemns the reprobate to burning for eternity has lived on in the imagination of many of the faithful. However, this is not the only way of understanding Jesus’ gesture in Michelangelo’s celebrated work. In fact, His raised hand can indicate both a rejection of evildoers and a signal for the saints to ascend and come to him. This view provides a better explanation of an undeniable fact in the whole of the painting: Christ is presented as a dynamic center which sets the whole scene in motion. Is this the explanation of the posture and Michelangelo’s gesture of Jesus in the fresco? original intention This interpretation gains credence if we consider seems to have been that Michelangelo’s original intention seems to have as some preparatory sketches indicate— not been —as some preparatory sketches indicate— not so much to portray the so much to portray the Last Judgment as to paint the resurrection of Jesus from among the dead.2 If Last Judgment as to paint the resurrection this is so, then the artist wished to focus precisely on the body of the Redeemer and on that of the of Jesus from among 2 the dead. If this is so, others who had resurrected. The focal point of the then the artist wished work would then be the vivifying force that springs from Christ’s flesh and which makes everything to focus precisely revolve around Him. on the body of the

Redeemer and on that of the others who had resurrected. The images of this article correspond to fragments of the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

HUMANITAS Nº 8 pp. 12-16

1 C f,. T. Verdon, Michelangelo teologo: fede e creativitá tra Rinascimento e Controriforma, Milano 2005, 130. 2 C f. M. B. Hall, “Michelangelo’s ‘Last Judgment’; Resurrection of the Body and Predestination”, The Art Bulletin 58 (1976) 85-92: “It is not anger but Michelangelo’s characteristic energy that he [Christ] embodies. Christ’s gesture does not consign the damned to Hell, but rather puts into motion the process we see taking place before us” (p. 89).

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This is why this body is not wholly in accordance with Greek aesthetic canons.3 Even though the head given to Jesus is that of Apollo, the torso does not match the perfect forms of the ancient god. Christ does not exhibit the untouchable distance that characterizes the appearance of Zeus’ son.

This is why this body is not wholly in accordance with Greek aesthetic canons.3 Even though the head given to Jesus is that of Apollo, the torso does not match the perfect forms of the ancient god. Christ does not exhibit the untouchable distance that characterizes the appearance of Zeus’ son. The artist’s intention was to portray the Christian body, shaped so with views to communion and intended to disseminate and convey life, light, and spirit. Only thus is it possible to explain the magnetic attraction Jesus’ resurrected body exerts over the other bodies in the Sistine Chapel. Only thus can we visualize the force emanating from him toward the four corners of the picture. The dynamism that His resurrected body instills in the scene illustrates the Christian view of history. The Resurrection is not only the point of destination of the centuries, like a checkmate after a long string of chess moves; rather, it is the driving force that has guided everything since the beginning. For

3 C f. J. W. Dixon, The Christ of Michelangelo: An Essay on Carnal Spirituality, Atlanta GA 1994; cf. T. Verdon, Michelangelo teologo, 125.

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The dynamism that His resurrected body instills in the scene illustrates the Christian view of history. The Resurrection is not only the point of destination of the centuries, like a checkmate after a long string of chess moves; rather, it is the driving force that has guided everything since the beginning.

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this reason, Easter is set neither as just another time among times nor as a new one beyond and detached from time. On the contrary, it brings along a new way of understanding time whose light will illuminate all other moments in history. Paschal time thus is the time of the glorious resurrected flesh, from which the dynamism of the centuries springs, from their dawn to their consummation. As the resurrected body of Christ is called “spiritual body” (1 Cor 15:44), we could also speak of a “spiritual time,” that is, one that is fully animated by the Spirit. And since the Spirit is the efficient cause of history since its origins, this spiritual time could explain the formula of all time, its ultimate reality, purified from all chaff. The first confessions of faith in the resurrection of Jesus were forged in the liturgical assembly. They are a testament of the happiness derived from the surprising event of Easter and the vital transformation it represented for believers: the same Jesus of Nazareth who had preached in Galilee and who had been executed under Pontius Pilate had been raised by the Father and was sitting to His right. A human story had reached an unmatched summit and dragging other stories in its wake. The times walked toward Him, awaiting His glorious second coming. The resurrection must convey meaning to the whole of time, from its beginning to its end. If it is a resurrection of the flesh, it must also be a resurrection of time, because the flesh is shaped on time and feeds on time: it is a memory of the origin, the seal of God’s faithful promise, a spring of future fruitfulness. The keys that the risen Jesus Christ holds in his hands, the keys to death and to the abyss according to the Apocalypse (Ap 1:18), must not only reveal the meaning of each event in the history of the world (showing what was hidden in it). It must also transform history, purifying it from evil and allowing it to reach its plenitude, so that it can be admitted into the eternal.


INTERVIEW TO THE ARCHBISHOP OF PARIS, CARDINAL VINGT-TROIS

on the violent threat of laicist confusion

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ardinal André Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris, has dedicated his life to work for the family: in the French episcopacy, in the Pontifical Council for the Family in Rome and, more recently, in the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family in 2014, where Pope Francis named him delegate president. It is within this context that the Cardinal refers to family, whose crucial role in humanity’s fate seems to have been the reason why Pope Francis dedicated his first Synod to it. “There is a considerable anthropological debate going on around the world, mainly motivated by international organizations that promote a model that is exactly the opposite to the one embraced in the Christian Revelation. To this, we must add that the family We must add that is the most universally shared human experience: across different the family is the most cultures and traditions, it is always the core of human experience.” universally shared Together with these factors, he asserts, we find in Pope Francis human experience: across a conviction that Christian tradition can provide humanity with different cultures and something very important in this respect: that the Christian traditions, it is always experience of family does not only have an internal value for the core of human experience. Christianity, but it is worthy as a contribution to global society. When asked about the family situation in France, the Archbishop of Paris states that today’s French society is living a paradoxical situation. On the one hand, there is something that ensures national cohesion —something which politicians call “living together,”— something which may have even strengthened with the attacks in the French capital in 2015. But, he states, “the same society, simultaneously, rejects any ability of generating a common good, without taking into account as an ethical reference anything more than personal desire”. The paradox is that two non-theorised convictions oppose each other: on the one hand, the sense of a necessary solidarity and, on the other, the inability of going beyond whatever is not mere personal desire. The debate on marriage and family lies exactly within this paradox, he explains. In polls, a great majority of young people answer that the most important thing to achieve a successful life is family. However, if, at the same time, they are asked specific questions, they are unable to adhere to the necessary conditions for a family to exist. “They have, simultaneously, a sort of attachment, without any reflection, to the value of family, while lacking the cultural foundation to ensure the HUMANITAS Nº 8 pp. 17-21

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The chapel of the archbishop's palace in Paris was built in 198283 by the then Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger. The inner art and decoration was designed by his friend the sculptor Jean Touret.

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fulfilment of this value,” he declares. Answering the question on the debate that led to the approval of homosexual “marriage,” he adds that the factor that made this legislative operation possible —which not even homosexuals expected— involves this same phenomenon. “If family is a good in itself —as it was argued— it must be available to everyone, and, therefore, it must be at the disposal of all desires, including those of whom do not wish to adhere to any commitment to the family model.” In France’s serious current situation he finds the same dilemma: “there are politicians who eloquently defend the value of the Republic, of ‘living together,’ of national cohesion, of solidarity, but who disintegrate and destabilise all the elements that, due to their nature, tend to build a sense of solidarity and cohesion.” If the family weakens, he notes, each newly born child will be an autonomous power in the social structure, becoming uncontrollable. “We are in a situation in which the individual is fending for himself, and where the solidarity structure has In polls, a great majority nothing else to do. In this sense, immigrants, in all their different of young people answer categories, affected by the frailty of their situation, have the need that the most important for family - a value which in their case is reinforced by a strong thing to achieve a family tradition.” Political commentators hide, in Cardinal successful life is family. Vingt-Trois’ opinion, the reason why six million people in the However, if they are last regional elections voted against them: “There is a silent asked specific questions, doubt about politicians’ ability to maintain solidarity structures, they are unable to among which we find the family.” adhere to the necessary

Laicism vs. “Positive Laicism”

conditions for a family to exist.

The issue of Islamic terrorism inevitably comes up in the conversation. During his preaching in Notre Dame Cathedral —whose security is strongly controlled by armed agents— in a full Christmas Eve celebration, the Archbishop of Paris had to begin by remembering the tragedy of those who died in the recent attacks and their families. There is something important that worries Cardinal Vingt-Trois on this subject: “Beyond their political preferences, many public men, with government responsibilities, are absolutely ignorant regarding religious challenges. Hence, they are unable to identify to what point what happens in Iraq or Syria is not simply a political conflict about democracy or dictatorship, but a conflict among religious groups with opposing religious interpretations and who fight each other in order to attain supremacy. To deal with an issue like this as if it were a question of constitutional preferences is to act with little sense in the face of the problem. The tribal-religious factor is crucial, as much in the Middle East as it is in Africa”. Cardinal Vingt-Trois is interested in delving into the question raised nowadays by “atheism theorists,” as he calls those who take advantage of the emotional impact caused by the present situation in order to attack monotheistic religions. The opportunity is offered these days by the

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Photo: Yannick Boschat, Diocèse of Paris. Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal Vingt-Trois. “If family is a good in itself —as it was argued― it must be available to everyone, and, therefore, it must be at the disposal of all desires, including those of whom do not wish to adhere to any commitment to the family model.”

…laicist affiliation wants religion to be merely a private conviction, without public signs, without it crossing the family spectrum. “But if religion cannot be manifested as a way of understanding life, we are killing freedom.”

profusion of news headlines about the attempt of a number of French municipalities to ban nativities. “In fact, it is a campaign against Muslims. But since this cannot be said, it is disguised as a campaign for laicism, attacking Christians to later go after Muslims. It is a sort of ‘parity laicism.’ It has nothing to do with the ‘positive laicism’ explained by Benedict XVI” —and even embraced as their own doctrine by the former French government—, he states. This latter one is founded on the neutrality of political powers, so that religions can express and expand, leaving the responsibility of guaranteeing public security upon the State. However, laicist affiliation wants religion to be merely a private conviction, without public signs, without it crossing the family spectrum. “But if religion cannot be manifested as a way of understanding life, we are killing freedom.” The problem undoubtedly becomes more acute with the mediatisation of today’s society, he adds.

Islamism, Communism, Manicheisms

Some analysts consider that radical Islamism mimics communism in its legitimisation of violence, in armed fighting and terrorist actions, in seeking a new world, governed by pure, uncontaminated beings. However, the Archbishop of Paris is not convinced by this historical link with Marxism. For the latter, there was a vision in the horizon of a “new world” that meant the destruction of the former world: this is seen in the Gulag, in the torture and

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THE IDEOLOGY OF THE ISLAMIC STATE “The Islamic State's text and speeches emphasize a number of doctrinal concepts. The most prominent of these stipulate: all Muslims must associate exclusively with fellow ‘true’ Muslims and dissociate from anyone not fitting this narrow definition; failure to rule in accordance with God's law constitutes unbelief fighting the Islamic State is tantamount to apostasy; all Shi´a Muslims are apostates deserving of death”. (P. 10) “The Islamic State also advocates for ‘defensive jihad’. As former Islamic State leader Abu Umar al-Baghdadi once observed, ‘The rulers of Muslim lands are traitors, unbelievers, sinners, liars, deceivers and criminals’. What is more, he said in 2007, ‘[we believe that] fighting them is of greater necessity than fighting the occupying crusader’”. (P. 10) “Speaking of Zarqawi's intended relocation to Iraq, Adl wrote: ‘This [would be] our historical opportunity by means of which perhaps we would be able to establish the Islamic State, which would have the main role in eradicating oppression and helping establish the Truth in the world, God willing”. (P. 15) “As Abu Umar al-Baghdadi said in his second public address, delivered of February 3, 2007, ‘We are fighting not for any patriotism but rather for God's word to be the most high’”. (P. 18) From the book "From Paper State to Caliphate: The Ideology of the Islamic State", by Cole Bunzel. Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings, March 2015.

killings, etc. The idea behind hard Islamism is not the attainment of a “new world,” but obliterating whatever is not in accordance with the law. This also includes a prologue regarding the “afterlife,” as, in their view, the defining factor is heaven and hell. Those who suffer and die due to violence do so not because of a political conviction, but because of the belief that they will reach heaven, while the others will be condemned. “It is a Manicheism related to what is ultimate, to the ultimate end. It is not a political Manicheism, but one that is about judgment. For us Christians, it is about a nucleus of fundamental reflection, which Cardinal Ratzinger worked on in his time: the importance of the ultimate end, of the eschatology in the conception of history. If we are not clear on our eschatology, we will easily get confused with that sombre perspective, typical of radical Islamism,” he declares. Cardinal Vingt-Trois ends by stressing the importance of the conciliar legacy that neutralised religious fundamentalism in the Catholic world along with political theology. It made a Church-world and sacred-profane distinction, paving the way for the “Dignitatis humanae” Declaration on religious freedom and highlighting that faith is the work of God’s Grace and not the work of man. This is an issue of such importance that, our interviewee recalls, traces of “Pelagianism” always remain in ecclesiastic life — the idea that faith is fabricated, that it can exist without freedom, that it is not the product of personal acceptance. Interviewed by JAIME ANTÚNEZ

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information, the church, god’s kingdom BY GIANDOMENICO MUCCI, S.J.

ON EARTH, “THE GOOD FRUITS OF NATURE AND OF OUR INDUSTRIOUSNESS” ARE UNDERMINED BY OUR WEAKNESS AND SHORTCOMINGS YET THEY CAN ALWAYS MULTIPLY BY THE DRIVE THAT MOVES MAN TOWARDS PROGRESS.

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n our days we see that many observant Catholics, both close to and distant from the Church, feel unsettled or confused, the former more than the latter, when the media report on scandals in the ecclesiastical world, real or supposed, or when undeniable sins are committed by devout Catholics or members of the clergy. With timely and thrilled complacency, information outlets often disregard the values of truth and justice, generating bewilderment among believers, especially those with little critical criterion or mature judgment to valuate the information they receive.1

The spread of information about the Church’s concerns is somehow connected to its very nature and mission. Now, the scoop beyond any news She wants to communicate conveys an ambiguous implicit message: those running the Church and who preach the Gospel do not behave differently from those who do not believe or do not profess the Gospel. Such information, with this subliminal message, causes major disorientation among those less prepared in these matters. The following pages are intended to shed light on this discomfort by using a theological distinction, well-known by the experts but largely unknown at lower levels, that expresses the Church's awareness of its flaws.

The Self-Awareness of the Church

1 See Inter mirifica, n. 5b.

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The documents of the Church are testimony to the bimillennial faith of the universal Church and are passed on to new generations. The mission of God's community on Earth is to announce and establish Christ's kingdom among the peoples. The Church is then the germ, only the inchoation of this kingdom, which slowly develops towards its ultimate perfection. She is, therefore, awaiting its realization, “the body of the new humanity which already shows some signs that portend the new world.” On Earth, “the good fruits of nature and of our industriousness”

HUMANITAS Nº 8 pp. 22-29


are undermined by our weakness and shortcomings yet they can always multiply by the drive that moves man towards progress. But since Christ, God's definitive Word, the kingdom has already come to Earth. It is “present in a mysterious way” in the Church, which is the anticipation of the eternal kingdom, in which all positive human values will be purified and transfigured.2-3 Therefore, “we cannot help associating the Church with the Kingdom of God” and must assert that “the ultimate goal of God's saving plan for the whole world, the perfect form of salvation, is not the Church, but rather the Kingdom of God. This is the point in the Pater noster, the heavenly prayer that Jesus taught his disciples: “Thy kingdom come” (Lk 11:2; Mt 6:9)”.4 The relationship of the earthly stage of God’s Kingdom in the Church does not coincide perfectly with the definitive one of which the resurrected Christ is the King. This came to be so when he overcame death and was enthroned as visible Lord of all the believers of all times, some of which already share the kingdom of eternal life with him. However, according to the apostolic faith, the transcendence of this kingdom does not warrant its existence as a reality totally separate from the history of humankind. The resurrected Christ keeps a presence and operates a real influence over men on earth by means of the force of his resurrection through the sacraments. Baptism establishes a mysterious bond between Christ and his disciples; it instills in them the effect of the divine resurrection, which is the glory of Christ; it implants in them the germ of the life of the Resurrected, which awaits its full development after earthly death. This effect, the germ of the kingdom of God in man, is the salvation of man in Christ, the head of the Church, who operates in and through the Church, His body and the sacramental receiver and transmitter of His saving action. But the revelation of this life giving effect, that is, the revealed kingdom, is a post-historic reality.5 The kingdom of God appeared and made itself present in Christ, but it has yet to acquire in him its promised definitive form. This form remains hidden and veiled by the power of sin and by the outmoded forms of the world, but will one day manifest itself. Because it is hidden, the kingdom of God seems impotent and defenseless in this century.6

Two extremes

There are two kinds of critics of the Church. First are those who have forgotten or ignore that the present time is a time of maturation for the Church, during which She has yet to reach the full realization of the divine gifts She carries within Herself.

BAPTISM ESTABLISHES A MYSTERIOUS BOND BETWEEN CHRIST AND HIS DISCIPLES; IT INSTILLS IN THEM THE EFFECT OF THE DIVINE RESURRECTION, WHICH IS THE GLORY OF CHRIST; IT IMPLANTS IN THEM THE GERM OF THE LIFE OF THE RESURRECTED, WHICH AWAITS ITS FULL DEVELOPMENT AFTER EARTHLY DEATH. […]

2 See Lumen gentium, n. 5 b. 3 See Gaudium et spes, n. 39; Catechism of the Catholic Church, nn. 671 and 764. 4 R. SCHNACKENBURG, La Chiesa nel Nuovo Testamento. Realtà, interpretazione teologica, essenza e mistero, Brescia, Morcelliana, 1968, 199. 5 See M. SCHMAUS, I novissimi, Turín, Marietti, 1964, 90 s. 6 Ivi, 103.

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[…] THIS EFFECT, THE GERM OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD IN MAN, IS THE SALVATION OF MAN IN CHRIST, THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH, WHO OPERATES IN AND THROUGH THE CHURCH, HIS BODY AND THE SACRAMENTAL RECEIVER AND TRANSMITTER OF HIS SAVING ACTION. BUT THE CHURCH IS ALSO THE COMMUNITY OF SINNING MEN, OF MEN WHO, DUE TO THEIR WEAKNESS OR MALICE, BETRAY THE DEMANDS OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD. AND THE CHURCH, DESPITE BEING THE HOLY INSTRUMENT WITH WHICH AND IN WHICH GOD SAVES HIS CREATURES, IS EXPOSED TO BEING OVERLOOKED AND MOCKED. […] BELIEVERS, EDUCATED IN THIS SCIENCE OF THE CHURCH, WILL KNOW HOW TO EXTRACT MOTIVES FOR FAITH, HOPE, AND CONSOLATION FROM ITS MYSTERIUM CRUCIS, EXEMPLIFIED WITH THE LIFE OF CHRIST. THE KINGDOM OF GOD APPEARED AND MADE ITSELF PRESENT IN CHRIST, BUT IT HAS YET TO ACQUIRE IN HIM ITS PROMISED DEFINITIVE FORM. THIS FORM REMAINS HIDDEN AND VEILED BY THE POWER OF SIN AND BY THE OUTMODED FORMS OF THE WORLD, BUT WILL ONE DAY MANIFEST ITSELF. BECAUSE IT IS HIDDEN, THE KINGDOM OF GOD SEEMS IMPOTENT AND DEFENSELESS IN THIS CENTURY.

The images of this article correspond to fragments of the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

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THE KINGDOM IS AT HAND AND ASPIRES TO HAVE AN INFLUENCE ON HUMAN HISTORY AND, AT THE SAME TIME, IT SEES ITSELF ON THE HORIZON OF THE FUTURE. ITS COORDINATES ARE ITS BEING, SIMULTANEOUSLY HISTORICAL ANTICIPATION AND ESCHATOLOGICAL PLENITUDE, MODEST REALITY IN HISTORY AND GREATNESS OF GLORY BEYOND PRESENT LIFE.

7 See E. CASTELLUCCI, “Il peccato nella Chiesa santa”, in F. CHICA — S. PANIZZOLO — H. WAGNER (eds.), Ecclesia tertii millenni advenientis, Casale Monferrato (Al), Piemme, 1997, 339-358. 8 See R. SCHNACKENBURG, La Chiesa nel Nuovo Testamento…, op. cit., 199-204. 9 G. BARBAGLIO, “Regno di Dio”, in G. BARBAGLIO — S. DIANICH (eds), Nuovo Dizionario di Teologia, Roma, Paoline, 19792, 1239 s.

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These critics forget that the Church living within the constraints of time is not the ecclesia gloriae. As Saint Paul tells us, Christ wishes that his Church does not have “spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Eph 5:27), meaning the Lord's intention, the ideal form of the Church, without ignoring the guilt and stains of its earthly members.7 Other critics see the Church as an ecclesia crucis, almost as if the glorious kingdom of God should barge in Her as something absolutely new and completely alien to Her. In its earthly condition, the Church certainly has to endure our guilt and bear many limitations which make Her a co-participant in Her Lord's passion, but, at the same time, the forces and signs of the future resurrection live in Her. The powers bestowed upon Peter the Apostle: everything that is “bound and loosed” by Peter and his successors will be regarded as “bound and loosed” also “in heaven” (Mt 16:19). This indicates that the Resurrected Christ will ratify the decisions made by Peter in the earthly Church, showing that She is already full of the graces of the eschatological Church. In the Eucharist, the redeemed humanity lives and anticipates sacramentally their communion with the Resurrected Christ in the definitive kingdom of God.8 In the liturgical texts, one of the recurring motifs is the association between the Eucharist and the entrance to the eschatological kingdom.

The Kingdom and moral life

“The kingdom of God is at hand” (Mk 1:15). And the announcement is followed by the exhortation: “repent,” turn your life around (Mt 4:17). Given that God has taken the initiative and approached man through Christ, man is invited and requested to respond to the salvation he is offered. An exegete comments: “In fact, in Jesus' preaching the passive waiting for the coming of the kingdom is not the attitude expected of man. Jesus refers to the imminence of the kingdom as a radical demand for changing the present, as a fundamental reason for the legitimacy of the imperative that brings forth a new responsibility. This involves living the logic of the kingdom today, renewing one's existence in conformity with the parameters of its novelty. The kingdom remains hidden in the folds of the ultimate future, but it is now, in the present, when it exerts man’s aspirations to conversion. Then, man is required to adapt to the demands of the future in his current existence. Therefore, readiness and openness to the kingdom does not involve an evasion or an escape from history.”9 For this reason, when one speaks about the kingdom of God, it is


necessary to make sure to reconcile two statements which are only seemingly opposite. The kingdom is at hand and aspires to have an influence on human history and, at the same time, it sees itself on the horizon of the future. Its coordinates are its being, simultaneously historical anticipation and eschatological plenitude, modest reality in history and greatness of glory beyond present life. Jesus “presented the kingdom as a reality that certainly enters history, but in the form of poverty, smallness, and weakness, nothing but a mustard seed when it is sown. Only in the end will it manifest itself in its glorious power and efficacy. Compared with the seed sown in the field, the liberating and saving forces of the kingdom are already present in the world, but are still struggling against the forces of evil and death, marked by discord. Only in the final day —at harvest time— will the kingdom definitely prevail and discord be combusted.”10 These few signs are useful for enlightening non-believers and non-observants, who are left disoriented after scandals, which are not an exclusive trait of the lay world. The Church is the true beginning of the lordship of Christ and is unfailingly holy, because divine grace keeps it within the revealed truth and the love of its Lord: this grace always operates in the faith of the Church itself and in its sacraments, its charity, and its humility. The kingdom of God is active in it. But the Church is also the community of sinning men, of men who, due to their weakness or malice, betray the demands of the kingdom of God. And the Church, despite being the holy instrument with which and in which God saves his creatures, is exposed to being overlooked and mocked.11 […] Believers, educated in this science of the Church, will know how to extract motives for faith, hope, and consolation from its mysterium crucis, exemplified with the life of Christ.

JESUS “PRESENTED THE KINGDOM AS A REALITY THAT CERTAINLY ENTERS HISTORY, BUT IN THE FORM OF POVERTY, SMALLNESS, AND WEAKNESS, NOTHING BUT A MUSTARD SEED WHEN IT IS SOWN. ONLY IN THE END WILL IT MANIFEST ITSELF IN ITS GLORIOUS POWER AND EFFICACY. COMPARED WITH THE SEED SOWN IN THE FIELD, THE LIBERATING AND SAVING FORCES OF THE KINGDOM ARE ALREADY PRESENT IN THE WORLD, BUT ARE STILL STRUGGLING AGAINST THE FORCES OF EVIL AND DEATH, MARKED BY DISCORD.

The Kingdom and history

We are indebted to Severino Dianich for his warning —and his markedly theological emphasis— against the tendency to stress the presence of the kingdom of God in history and to circumscribe it within the historical dimensions of the Church. “If the Church loses the notion of the kingdom as the horizon of history as a whole, as the final dimension of the Church and the world, it easily yields to the assumption of identifying itself with the kingdom and matching the historical forms of its existence with the suitable manifestation of the kingdom itself. […] It then loses its historical dynamism; it no longer knows how to accept the ecclesia semper reformanda and replaces this healthy axiom with triumphalism and exaltation of itself.”12

10 Ivi, 1241. 11 See CH. JOURNET, “Il carattere teandrico della Chiesa fonte di tensione permanente”, in La Chiesa del Vaticano II, Florencia, Vallecchi, 1965, 351-362; K. RAINER, “Il peccato nella Chiesa”, ivi, 419-435; I. BIFFI, “Solo la fede vede oltre”, in Oss. Rom., 24 November 2013, 4. 12 S. DIANICH, “Regno di Dio”, in G. BARBAGLIO — S. DIANICH (eds.), Nuovo Dizionario di Teologia, op. cit., 1248.

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In the valuation and the application of the concept of the kingdom of God, a just balance is necessary, one which is expressed by the Second Vatican Council: “On this earth, that Kingdom is already present in mystery. When the Lord returns it will be brought into full flower.”13 Inasmuch as it awaits the second coming of Christ, the Church extends towards the future, and the eucharistic celebration is the celebration of that tension. Inasmuch as it is part of the history of men, the Church judges this history, and in the name of the kingdom that “already and not yet” is, it criticizes the world and itself. “The list of beatitudes and the imitation of Christ are the judgment criteria with which the Church seeks its own fidelity and challenges the world. That world, which obeys other lords and lives with criteria contrary to “blessed are the poor,” etc., must be impugned in the name of the kingdom; […] but the Church also knows that it is the casta meretrix, which, with the gift of sanctity bestowed upon it by its Lord —certainly known and accepted— mixes and alternates fornication with the lords of this world.”14 The Church does not have a triumphalist view of itself because it knows that there are errors and sins in its breast as well. And it acknowledges these deficiencies and judges them precisely in light of the reality that, as it knows, it constitutes: the inchoate kingdom of God, the pronaos of the perfect temple that it will be in the final day. Cardinal Leo Scheffczyk, studying the medieval commentary on the Song of Songs, duly highlights a fundamental element of those old ecclesiology treatises. In spite of the scourge of its weaknesses and infidelities, the Church is always the ecclesia immaculata, even when it deserves to be called ecclesia deformata. This means that criticism leveled against the historical Church must never overlook the fact that the Church is the corpus which Christ himself inhabits and in which the mystery of Revelation is safeguarded. There are weaknesses of all types, errors, and sins, because wherever man is there is sin, even there where grace should manifest itself luminously. But those who, with the discernment that is the product of supernatural faith, see the intrinsic and constitutive purity of the Church, understand that even though criticism is always possible, “it should not be compared with the pathological criticism aimed at the substance of the Church and whose objective is the creation of another future church. When there is awareness of the everlasting part of the holy Church which encompasses all, criticism is aimed at curable wounds of its states and of its members”.15

THE LIST OF BEATITUDES AND THE IMITATION OF CHRIST ARE THE JUDGMENT CRITERIA WITH WHICH THE CHURCH SEEKS ITS OWN FIDELITY AND CHALLENGES THE WORLD. THAT WORLD, WHICH OBEYS OTHER LORDS AND LIVES WITH CRITERIA CONTRARY TO “BLESSED ARE THE POOR,” ETC., MUST BE IMPUGNED IN THE NAME OF THE KINGDOM; […] BUT THE CHURCH ALSO KNOWS THAT IT IS THE CASTA MERETRIX, WHICH, WITH THE GIFT OF SANCTITY BESTOWED UPON IT BY ITS LORD —CERTAINLY KNOWN AND ACCEPTED— MIXES AND ALTERNATES FORNICATION WITH THE LORDS OF THIS WORLD.

13 Gaudium et spes, n. 39 c. 14 S. DIANICH, “Regno di Dio”, op. cit., 1249. 15 L. SCHEFFCZYK, La Chiesa. Aspetti della crisi postconciliare e corretta interpretazione del Vaticano II, Milán, Jaca Book, 1998, 182. See S. MAZZOLINI, “Cristo, Regno di Dio e Chiesa”, in Euntes Docete 55 (2002), 81-99.

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Fresco of the Resurrection by Giotto. Scrovegni chapel, Padua. 30


what will the church look like in 2000?

BY JOSEPH RATZINGER

The big words of those who prophesise a Church without God and without faith are pronounced in vain. We do not need a Church that celebrates the worship of action in political «prayers». It is absolutely superfluous and that is why it shall disappear on its own. The Church of Christ will remain –the Church that believes in the God who became man and who grants us life beyond death.

HUMANITAS Nº 8 pp. 30-41

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Nearly fifty years ago, and almost a decade before being named bishop by Paul VI, the then priest and theology professor in Tübingen and later in Regensburg, Dr. Joseph Ratzinger, broadcasted a series of lectures in a radio show in his country. The publishing company Kösel-Verlag from Munich compiled them in 1970 in a five-chapter book called “Glaube und Zukunft.” Now humanitas reproduces the fifth broadcast which is of great interest in the life of the Church in our millenium and which has proved highly current for our days.

Professor Ratzinger’s radio addresses from 1969

The theologian is no soothsayer; nor is he a futurologist, who makes a calculation of the future based on the measurable factors of the Looking back into the present. His profession very largely withdraws from calculation. past does not yield a Only very slightly, therefore, might it become concerned with prediction of the future, futurology, which itself is no soothsaying; rather, it ascertains but it limits our illusion what is calculable and has to leave the incalculable an open complete uniqueness question. Because faith and the Church reach down into those and shows us that while depths from which creative newness, the unexpected and the exactly the same did not unplanned, are constantly coming forth, their future remains happen before, something hidden to us, even in an age futurology. When Pius XII died, very similar did. The who could have foreseen the Second Vatican Council or the dissimilarity between postconciliar development? Or who would have dared to foretell then and now is the the First Vatican Council when Pius VI, abducted by the troops reason for the uncertainty of the young French Republic, died a prisoner in Valence in of our statements and 1799? Three years earlier one of the directors of the Republic had for the newness of our written: “This old idol will be destroyed. This is what freedom tasks; the similarity is the and philosophy desire. . . . It is to be hoped that Pius VI will live basis for orientation and two years longer to give philosophy time to complete its work and correction. leave this lama of Europe without a successor.1” Things were in such a bad way that funeral orations were delivered on the papacy, which people were forced to regard as extinguished forever. Let us, therefore, be cautious in our prognostications. What Saint Augustine said is still true: Man is an abyss; what will rise out of these depths, no one can see in advance. And whoever believes that the Church is not only determined by the abyss that is man, but reaches down into the greater, infinite abyss that is God will be the first to hesitate with his predictions, for this naive desire to know for sure could only be the

1 Quoted by F. X. Seppelt and G. Schwaiger, Geschichte der Papste (Munich, 1964), pp. 367f. Cf. also the exposition in L. J. Rogier and G. de Bertier de Sauvigny, Geschichte der Kirche, vol. 4 (Einsiedeln, 1966), pp. 1771F. Summing up, G. de Bertier de Sauvigny says of the situation at the end of the Enlightenment: “In short, if Christianity still had any chance of survival at the beginning of the nineteenth century, this lay more on the side of the Churches of the Reformed tradition than on the side of the Catholic Church, which had been stricken in head and members” (p. 181).

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When Pius XII died, who could have foreseen the Second Vatican Council or the postconciliar development? —Portrait of Pius XII—

announcement of his own historical ineptitude. Does the title of this chapter have any meaning in that case? It has, provided we bear our limitations well in mind. It is precisely in times of vehement historical upheaval, when all the past seems to dissolve and completely new things seem to emerge, that men need to reflect upon history, which enables them to see the unreal exaggeration the moment in the right perspective and integrates them again into a happening that never repeats itself but, on the other hand, never loses its unity and its context. You might say: “Have we heard correctly; reflection upon history? That means looking back into the past, and we were expecting a glimpse into the future.” You have heard correctly; but I maintain that reflection upon history, properly understood, embraces both looking back into the past and, with that as the starting point, reflecting on the possibilities and tasks of the future, which can only become clear if we survey a fairly long stretch of the road and do not naively shut ourselves up in the present. Looking back into the past does not yield a prediction of the future, but it limits our illusion complete uniqueness and shows us that while exactly the same did not happen before, something very similar did. The dissimilarity between then and now is the reason for the uncertainty of our statements and for the newness of our tasks; the similarity is the basis for orientation and correction. The period in the past that bears the greatest resemblance to the present situation in the Church is, first, that of so-called Modernism about the turn of the century and, then, the end of the rococo period, which marked the decisive emergence of the modern period, with the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. The crisis of Modernism never really came to a head, but it was interrupted by the measure taken by Pius X and by the change in the intellectual situation after the First World War. The crisis of the present

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is but the long-deferred resumption of what began in those days. The analogy of the history of the Church and of theology in the period of the Enlightenment remains with us, therefore. Whoever looks more closely will be amazed at the extent of the similarity between then and now. Today the Enlightenment as a historical epoch does not enjoy a very high reputation; even those who resolutely follow the trail of the things of that period do not want to be known as the “Enlightened” but keep their distance from that category and gravitate to the simple rationalism of the period, insofar as they take the trouble to mention historical events at all. And here we find our first analogy in the resolute rejection of history, which is counted as no more than the storeroom of yesterday—of no use at all to the utterly new today. We find a triumphant certainty that it is no longer tradition but rationality that governs action; the key words are “rational”, “intelligible”, and so on. In all of these things, the Enlightenment is astonishingly like the present day. But perhaps even before mentioning these facts, ...we find our first which seem to me to be negative, one ought to take a look at the analogy in the resolute characteristic mixture of one-sidedness and positive beginnings rejection of history, that link the Enlightened of then and now and that cause the which is counted as no present to appear not so utterly new after all and not so exempt more than the storeroom from all historical comparison. The Enlightenment had its liturgical movement, the aim of of yesterday—of no which was to simplify the liturgy and restore it to its original use at all to the utterly basic structure. Excesses in the cult of relics and of saints new today. We find a were to be removed, and, above all, the vernacular, with triumphant certainty that it is no longer tradition congregational singing and participation, was to be introduced. but rationality that The Enlightenment witnessed also an episcopal movement that governs action; the key wanted to stress the importance of the bishops over against words are “rational”, the one-sided centralization of Rome. This movement had “intelligible”, and so on. democratic elements, as when Wessenberg, the vicar general of Constance, demanded the setting up of provincial synods. Reading his works, one imagines one is reading a progressive of the year 1969. The abolition of celibacy was demanded; the sacraments were to be administered only in the vernacular; and no promises were to be required concerning the religious education the children a mixed marriage, and so on. That Wessenberg wanted to see regular preaching, a raising the standard of religious education, and encouragement of biblical studies proves once again that these men were by no means moved merely by a reckless rationalism. Nonetheless, we are left with the impression of an ambivalent figure, because in the last analysis, only the garden shears of constructive reason are at work, capable of producing many good things,

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“As a small society, she will make much bigger demands on the initiative of her individual members”. —Saint Vincent of Paul helping the needy—

but insufficient if they are the only tool at our disposal2. We receive the same impression of ambivalence when we read the proceedings of the synod of Pistoia, a council attended during the Enlightenment by 234 bishops in 1786 in northern Italy. This synod tried to translate the reforming ideas of that period into realities in the Church, but it came to grief on the mixture of genuine reform with naive rationalism. Once again one thinks that one is reading a postconciliar book when one comes across the assertion that a spiritual ministry is not directly ordained by Christ but merely comes forth out of the life of the Church, which itself is uniformly priestly, or when one reads that a celebration of the Mass without Holy Communion makes no sense, or when the primacy of the papacy is described as purely functional, or, conversely, the divine right of the episcopal office is stressed3. It is true that a great many of the propositions of Pistoia were condemned by Pius VI in 1794. The one-sidedness of this synod had discredited even its good ideas. The most successful way to discover the embryo of the future in any particular epoch is to examine personalities and the signs of the times that they represent. Obviously, we can pick out only one or two characteristic personalities who embody the whole scope of the potential of that period and also manifest its astonishing analogy with the present. There were the extreme progressives, represented by, say, the melancholy figure of

2 Cf. the instructive article on Wessenberg by Archbishop C. Gröber in the first edition of LThK 10:835-39;LThK, 2nd ed., 10:1064ff (W. Müller). The publication of the works of Wessenberg has been taken in hand by K. Aland. 3 See the documentation in Denzinger-Schönmetzer, 2600-2700 esp. 2602, 2603, 2606, 2628. Cf. L. Willaert, “Synode von Pistoia”, in LThK, 2nd ed., 8:524f.

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The Church will find her essence afresh and with full conviction in that which was always at her center: faith in the triune God, in Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man, in the presence of the Spirit until the end of the world. —Portrait of saint Clement Mary Hofbauer—

Gobel, the archbishop of Paris, who bravely went along with every step of progress in his own time. First he supported the idea of a constitutional national Church; then, when this was no longer enough, he abandoned his priesthood, declaring that since the happy outcome of the Revolution, no national religion was needed other than that of liberty and equality. He took part in the worship of the Goddess Reason in Notre Dame; but in the end, progress ran on ahead even of him. Under Robespierre, atheism was once again accounted a crime, and so the one-time bishop was led as an atheist to the guillotine and executed4. In Germany the scene was quieter. We might mention Matthias Fingerlos, then the director of the Georgianum in Munich. In his book What Are Priests For? he explained that the priest ought primarily to be a teacher of the people, teaching them agriculture, animal husbandry, horticulture, the use lightning conductors, and also music and art. Today we express this by saying that the priest ought to be a social worker, helping to build up an intelligent society, purified of all irrationalism5. Taking his place in the center—a moderate progressive, as it were—we would find Wessenberg, the vicar general of Constance, whom we have mentioned already and who certainly would not have agreed to the equation of faith with socialwork, but who, on the other hand, showed all too little liking for the organic, for the living thing, that fell outside the sheer constructions of reason. A totally different scale of values becomes evident when we encounter the somewhat

Today we express this by saying that the priest ought to be a social worker, helping to build up an intelligent society, purified of all irrationalism.

4 Cf. Rogier, Geschichte der Kirche, 4:133ff. 5 A. Schmid, Geschichte des Georgianums in München (Regensburg, 1894), pp. 228ff. Back to text.

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later bishop of Ratisbon, Johann Michael Sailer. It is difficult to place him. The current categories of progressive and conservative do not fit him, as the external course of his life proves. In 1794, he lost his professorship at Dillingen on a charge of supporting the Enlightenment; as late as 1819, his nomination to the bishopric of Augsburg was turned down as a result, among other things, the opposition of Clemens Maria Hofbauer—later canonized—who saw Sailer still as a rationalist. On the other hand, in 1806, his pupil Zimmer was sent down from the university of Laudshut on a charge of being a reactionary. In Laudshut, Sailer and his circle were hated as opponents of the Enlightenment. The man whom Hofbauer regarded as a product of the Enlightenment was recognized by the true disciples of that movement as their most dangerous antagonist6. They were right. This man and the wide circle of his friends and disciples started a movement that embodied far more the future than did the triumphantly overbearing arrogance the sheer rationalists. Sailer was a man whose mind was open to all the problems of his time. The musty Jesuit scholasticism of Dillingen, into whose system reality could no This brings us to the longer be fitted, was bound to seem to him quite inadequate. Kant, real point at last: only Jacobi, Schelling, and Pestalozzi were his partners in dialogue. For he who gives himself him, faith was not tied to a system of propositions and could not creates the future. The be maintained by a flight into the irrational. It could survive only man who simply tries to by entering into open discussion with the present. But this same instruct, who wants to Sailer had a profound grasp of the great theological and mystical change others, remains tradition of the Middle Ages, uncommon in his time, because he unfruitful. did not confine man within the present moment but knew that if he is to become fully aware of himself, he must open his eyes reverently to the whole riches his history. Above all, he was a man who not only thought but lived. If he was on the trail of a theology of the heart, that was not on account of cheap sentimentality but because he knew about the wholeness man, who fulfills the unity of his being as the interpenetration of spirit and body, of the hidden springs of the mind and the clear vision of the intellect. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once said: “One can see properly only with the heart.” If we compare the lifeless progressivism of Matthias Fingerlos with the richness and depth of Sailer, the truth of this saying becomes strikingly obvious. Only with the heart can one see properly. Sailer was a visionary because he had a heart. He was able to give birth to something new, something that was big with the future, because he lived by what was enduring and because

6 On Sailer, cf. esp. I. Weilner, Gottselige Innigkeit: Die Grundhaltung der religiösen Seele nach J. M. Sailer (Regensburg, 1949); Weilner, “J. M. Sailer, Christliche Innerlichkeit”, in Grosse Gestalten christlicher Spiritualitat, ed. J. Sudbrack and J.Walsh, pp. 322-42.(Würzburg, 1969). On Zimmer, see the Tübingen dissertation by P. Schäfer, Philosophie und Theologie im Ühergang von der Aufklärung zur Romantik, dargestellt an P. B. Zimmer (Philosophy and Theology in the Transition Period between the Enlightenment and the Romantic Age in P. B. Zimmer) [published in 1971 as vol. 3 of the Studien zur Theologie und Geistesgeschichte des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts, by Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, Göttingen].

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Fête de la Raison, Year II (10 November 1793) to worship of the Goddess Reason was held in Notre Dame in Paris.

The future of the Church, once again as always, will be reshaped by saints, by men, that is, whose minds probe deeper than the slogans of the day, who see more than others see, because their lives embrace a wider reality. Unselfishness, which makes men free, is attained only through the patience of small daily acts of self-denial.

he placed himself, his whole life, at its disposal. This brings us to the real point at last: only he who gives himself creates the future. The man who simply tries to instruct, who wants to change others, remains unfruitful. And now we come to the other man, who was an antagonist of both Sailer and of Wessenberg. This was Clemens Maria Hofbauer, the Bohemian baker’s apprentice who became a saint7. It is true that in many respects this man was narrow-minded, even a bit of a reactionary; but he was a man who loved, who placed himself at the disposal of mankind with an unstinting and unflagging passion. On the one hand, his circle included men like Schlegel, Brentano, and Eichendorff; on the other hand, he unreservedly took up the cause of the poorest and most abandoned, seeking nothing for himself, ready to suffer any ignominy if thereby he could help someone. Thus men were able to rediscover God through him, just as he had discovered men through God and knew that they required more than instruction in agriculture and animal husbandry. In the end, the faith of this poor baker’s apprentice proved to be more humane and more reasonable than the academic rationality of the mere Rationalists. And so the thing that outlived the ruins the declining eighteenth century and was reborn as the future was something very different from that which Gobel or Fingerlos had suspected. It was a Church, reduced in size, diminished in social prestige, but a Church that had become fruitful from a new interior power, which released new formative and social forces, manifested both in great lay movements and in the founding of numerous

7 7 Cf. H. Gollowitzer, “Drei Bäckerjungen”, Catholica 23 (1969): 147-53.

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Print of the Festival of the Supreme Being, in front of del Tuileries Palace.

religious congregations, all of which are very much part and parcel The kind of priest who of the Church’s most recent history. is no more than a social We have arrived, then, at the present day and find ourselves worker can be replaced looking toward tomorrow. Today, likewise, the future of the by the psychotherapist Church can and will issue from those whose roots are deep and and other specialists; who live from the pure fullness of their faith. It will not issue but the priest who is no from those who accommodate themselves merely to the passing specialist, who does not moment or from those who merely criticize others and assume stand on the sidelines, that they themselves are infallible measuring rods; nor will it issue watching the game, from those who take the easier road, who sidestep the passion of giving official advice, but faith, declaring false and obsolete, tyrannous and legalistic, all that in the name of God places makes demands upon men, that hurts them and compels them himself at the disposal to sacrifice themselves. To put this more positively: the future of men, who is beside them the Church, once again as always, will be reshaped by saints, by in their sorrows, in their men, that is, whose minds probe deeper than the slogans of the joys, in their hope and in day, who see more than others see, because their lives embrace a their fear, such a priest wider reality. Unselfishness, which makes men free, is attained will certainly be needed only through the patience of small daily acts of self-denial. By in the future. this daily passion, which alone reveals to a man in how many ways he is enslaved by his own ego, by this daily passion and by it alone, a man’s eyes are slowly opened. He sees only to the extent that he has lived and suffered. If today we are scarcely able any longer to become aware of God, that is because we find it so easy to evade ourselves, to flee from the depths of our being by means of the narcotic of some pleasure or other. Thus our own interior depths remain closed to us. If it is true that a man

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can see only with his heart, then how blind we all are!8 How does all of this affect the problem we are examining? It means that the big talk of those who prophesy a Church without God and without faith is all empty chatter. We have no need of a Church that celebrates the cult of action in political prayers. It is utterly superfluous. Therefore, it will destroy itself. What will remain is the Church of Jesus Christ, the Church that believes in the God who has become man and promises us life beyond death. The kind of priest who is no more than a social worker can be replaced by the psychotherapist and other specialists; but the priest who is no specialist, who does not stand on the sidelines, watching the game, giving official advice, but in the name of God places himself at The Church will be a the disposal men, who is beside them in their sorrows, in their more spiritual Church, joys, in their hope and in their fear, such a priest will certainly not presuming upon a be needed in the future. Let us go a step farther. In contrast to an earlier age, she will political mandate, flirting be seen much more as a voluntary society, entered only by free as little with the Left as with the Right. It will decision. As a small society, she will make much bigger demands be hard going for the on the initiative of her individual members. Undoubtedly she Church, for the process will discover new forms of ministry and will ordain to the of crystalization and priesthood approved Christians who pursue some profession. clarification will cost her In many smaller congregations or in self-contained social much valuable energy. It groups, pastoral care will normally be provided in this fashion. will make her poor and Alongside this, the full-time ministry of the priesthood will be cause her to become the indispensable as formerly. But in all of the changes at which one Church of the meek. might guess, the Church will find her essence afresh and with full conviction in that which was always at her center: faith in the triune God, in Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man, in the presence of the Spirit until the end of the world. In faith and prayer she will again recognize her true center and experience the sacraments again as the worship of God and not as a subject for liturgical scholarship. The Church will be a more spiritual Church, not presuming upon a political mandate, flirting as little with the Left as with the Right. It will be hard going for the Church, for the process of crystalization and clarification will cost her much valuable energy. It will make her poor and cause her to become the Church of the meek. The process will be all the more arduous, for sectarian narrow-mindedness as well as pompous self-will will have to be shed. One may predict that all of this will take time. The process will be long and wearisome as was the road from the false progressivism of the eve of the French Revolution— when a bishop might be thought smart if he made fun of dogmas and even

8 On this topic, cf. the magnificent exposition by H. de Lubac, “Holiness in Future” in The Church: Paradox and Mystery, trans. James R. Dunne (Alba House, 1969), pp. 122-27.Cf. De Lubac, “L‘Église dans la crise actuelle”, Nouvelle Revue théol. 91 (1969): 580-96, esp. pp. 592ff.

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Notre Dame, tympanus of the coronation of our Lady as Queen of Heaven.

insinuated that the existence of God was by no means certain9 —to the renewal of the nineteenth century. But when the trial this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church. Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely. If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new. They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret. And so it seems certain to me that the Church is facing very hard times. The real crisis has scarcely begun. We will have to count on terrific upheavals. But I am equally certain about what will remain at the end: not the Church of the political cult, which is dead already with Gobel, but the Church of faith. She may well no longer be the dominant social power to the extent that she was until recently; but she will enjoy a fresh blossoming and be seen as man’s home, where he will find life and hope beyond death.

9 Cf. Rogier, Geschichte der Kirche, 4:121.

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INTERVIEW TO CARDINAL GERHARD MÜLLER, PREFECT OF THE CONGREGATION OF THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH

“the doctrine without mercy would be an ideology about god” BY JAIME ANTÚNEZ

C

ardinal Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, visited Chile for a few days. He leads this important dicastery that inherited the former Holy Office and whose current name and structure were conferred by the Blessed Paul VI. Its mission is to assist the Holy Father in the delicate questions concerning the holy deposit of the Catholic faith. Cardinal Müller was appointed to this post by Benedict XVI, who knew him well as Archbishop of Regensburg and president of the “Benedict XVI Institute,” established in his archdiocese and famous among other reasons for its University. He is the editor of the Pope emeritus’ Opera Omnia, whose 16 substantial volumes are being translated into several languages. Cardinal Gerhard Müller has known humanitas since the latter years of Benedict XVI’s papacy, when he took on his post as Prefect and his relationship with the journal became closer due to some contributions he made to us. Despite his busy schedule during his recent visit to the country, Cardinal Müller was able to hold a short but, as always, very rich and enlightening conversation with us. — In an article published in L´Osservatore Romano in 2013, entitled Testimony to the power of grace, your Excellency asserted that “all sacramental order is a product of divine mercy, and cannot be revoked by invoking the same principle that supports it.” You add that this entails the risk of trivializing God’s image. Do you think that this warning —beyond

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HUMANITAS Nº 8 pp. 42-45


the disquisitions of the media-— has been adequately tackled within the context of the Synod? — In fact, some media outlets have greatly misrepresented the objectives of the latest Synod on the Family. At no point was a review of Catholic doctrine about Grace or the Sacraments suggested. The true objective of the Synod was to find the best way to present the institution of the family as God’s original project, based on the Sacrament of Matrimony, for all of humankind. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and always. The word God is irrevocable. Truth does not change. That is the basis of its efficacy. When God created man and woman He revealed to them His design of love, His project of communion, which is a reflection of His own inner life. This was done so that man and woman, obeying God and with indispensable help, would grow and multiply and extend the human race across time and space. No human project can replace the divine project revealed from the dawn of humankind and confirmed in the apex of Revelation through the person of Our Lord Jesus Christ in a clear and diaphanous way. And this project is intended to achieve happiness for the human race. Only by following this project, by striving to execute it, or, rather, by receiving it in the faith that comes from God, can human beings find true fulfillment, the balance that they desire and seek, the serenity of living in this world. Predictably, the Synod has ratified this. The Synod has certainly drawn attention to some issues that must be borne in mind to allow the evangelical message —the message that the Church must convey to humanity-— to reach its addressees with more clarity. It has pointed out that some tragic situations among believers require attention. It has reminded us that in the Church we must serve everybody, without excluding anybody; in fact, we must give preference to those whose hardships are greater. But all this must be done while reaffirming the truth that we have received and that we must transmit in full. — In 1995, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reissued the “Letter on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons,” adding the comments of the then Prefect, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and of five specialists. humanitas reproduced this publication in July 2013. In view of the multiple discussions covered by the press before and during the Synod, does this document remain fully relevant? — First of all, I would like to use this opportunity to thank humanitas for having published this Document of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, whose subject is absolutely current. It highlights the Doctrine of the Catholic Church about homosexuality and the guidelines for the due

SOME MEDIA OUTLETS HAVE GREATLY MISREPRESENTED THE OBJECTIVES OF THE LATEST SYNOD ON THE FAMILY. AT NO POINT WAS A REVIEW OF CATHOLIC DOCTRINE ABOUT GRACE OR THE SACRAMENTS SUGGESTED. THE TRUE OBJECTIVE OF THE SYNOD WAS TO FIND THE BEST WAY TO PRESENT THE INSTITUTION OF THE FAMILY AS GOD’S ORIGINAL PROJECT, BASED ON THE SACRAMENT OF MATRIMONY, FOR ALL OF HUMANKIND. JESUS CHRIST IS THE SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY, AND ALWAYS. THE WORD GOD IS IRREVOCABLE. TRUTH DOES NOT CHANGE.

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THE CHURCH IS SERENELY WARNING HUMANITY OF THE RISKS CARRIED BY GOING AGAINST THE NATURE OF HUMAN BEINGS THEMSELVES. THE UNNECESSARY CONFUSIONS THAT CAN BE GENERATED IN THE MINDS OF CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE ABOUT THEIR SEXUAL ORIENTATION ARE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS.

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pastoral care of people with homosexual tendencies. Above all things, it reaffirms the respect that, as all human persons, homosexuals deserve; also, it strongly rejects all unjust marginalization, of any kind, and invites us all to develop a sincere welcoming spirit toward these people, who are frequently discriminated against and even mocked. On the other hand, the Church is a mother who loves her children sincerely and love cannot be separated from truth. The truth is that nobody has the right to judge anybody else (because that is under the exclusive remit of God, who knows our hearts). This includes our brothers and sisters with homosexual tendencies. But it is also our duty, inspired by love, to say that homosexual acts are intrinsically disorderly, and for that reason they do not lead to the full realization of human beings; rather, they reduce and degrade them. I would like to say that the truth clearly expressed in this Document is not just a truth originating from Revelation, it is also a rational truth. Unfortunately, nowadays light thinking leads some people to select what they want to see, thus reducing and limiting reality. By doing this, they contradict evidence and create false parallel realities. The Church is serenely warning humanity of the risks carried by going against the nature of


human beings themselves. The unnecessary confusions that can be generated in the minds of children and young people about their sexual orientation are extremely dangerous. The Church constantly stresses the paramount importance of a well-balanced family environment, one in which the father-mother (man-woman) duality is present, for the normal development of the human person. The hope of the Church and of sensible humankind is the certainty that the truth will shine through sooner or later. Unfortunately, in the meantime, many innocent people will suffer greatly due to these unnecessary social experiments. They will certainly sustain irreparable damage. — The Holy Father has set the opening of a jubilee year of Mercy for December 8th —the 50th anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Council. From your responsibility as a caretaker of Catholic doctrine, what words of encouragement would you like to say to pastors, priests, and laypeople reading these pages? — The summary of the Doctrine of the Catholic Church is the love of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There may not be a better word to summarize it, nor a superior way of putting it into practice. Doctrine without Mercy is an aberration. It is not Christian Doctrine. It would be an ideology about God, but not God’s Word. This must be very clear to us, always. Our noble and luminous Doctrine is such because it takes place within Mercy. We do not need to wait for a Holy Year to preach this essential truth, but it is always an excellent opportunity to remember it. As we know, this is a fundamental and recurrent idea in the preaching of the Holy Father Francis. He has discerned that the need to stress the importance of Mercy today is a sign of the times. To be able to grow in our faith, to convert our hearts to the Lord, to become closer to Him and to our brethren, we do not have a better path. The Holy Writ is rich and clear in this respect. I am reminded of an expression of Prophet Hosea (6:6), revisited by the Gospel of Matthew (9:13): “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.” It refers to an outward worship, which is neither the worship of Christ nor of the Church. This phrase was applied to those people who concerned themselves with outward worship but who were not merciful. God rejects them. This is because God, above all things, desires the worship of love and solidarity, one that cannot forget a suffering brother. There must be an essential connection between these two worships for both of them to be true. What would you say to the pastors, priests, and laypeople who will read these pages? Well, to preach Mercy in season and out of season, but above all things, to be merciful, as our Heavenly Father is merciful.

THE CHURCH CONSTANTLY STRESSES THE PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE OF A WELLBALANCED FAMILY ENVIRONMENT, ONE IN WHICH THE FATHERMOTHER (MAN-WOMAN) DUALITY IS PRESENT, FOR THE NORMAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE HUMAN PERSON. THE HOPE OF THE CHURCH AND OF SENSIBLE HUMANKIND IS THE CERTAINTY THAT THE TRUTH WILL SHINE THROUGH SOONER OR LATER. UNFORTUNATELY, IN THE MEANTIME, MANY INNOCENT PEOPLE WILL SUFFER GREATLY DUE TO THESE UNNECESSARY SOCIAL EXPERIMENTS. THEY WILL CERTAINLY SUSTAIN IRREPARABLE DAMAGE.

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INTERVIEW TO ARCHBISHOP KAIGAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE REGIONAL EPISCOPAL CONFERENCE OF WESTERN AFRICA.

the threat of islamic terrorist groups to cristians in africa is a humanitarian disaster Invited by the charity Aid to the Church in Need (ais) the Nigerian Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama recently visited some South American countries to take part in a number of activities to raise awareness of the ordeal Catholics are going through in the northern regions of Nigeria. He is Bishop of Jos, a diocese at the centre of the conflict area where the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram is expanding. He has raised his voice to denounce the violence Christians are suffering and the constant threat to their lives. During his tight agenda, humanitas had the privilege to be received by the archbishop in an informal, yet profound conversation. This exchange is transcribed below, edited for legibility, but still hoping to maintain his easy and spontaneous style.

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ishop Kaimaga is an enormously attractive parson. His cheerfulness and spontaneity strike at first as his most outstanding personality traits, but after a few minutes of conversation his faith, fortitude and care for others, do nothing but grow in admiration of him. In a relaxed interview, he gave account of the situation of Catholics in some African countries. With no dramatism, yet with great sorrow, Bishop Kaimaga talked about the suffering and strength of his people, whom he takes care of and considers his main pastoral duty. –How are the relations between Catholics and Muslims in Nigeria? –Muslim and Christian relationships from the last few decades have not been 100% harmony. There were times in Nigeria when Christians and Muslims cooperated and lived well. Then you could find Muslims attending Christians’ feasts, but these were many more in number than Christians attending Muslims’

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HUMANITAS Nº 8 pp. 46-51


celebrations. In the Southern part of Nigeria, the Muslims are more open and tolerant, so there is even intermarriage. I have seen in the Church women bringing their Muslim husbands and kneeling down together during mass. This tells you how open minded this branch of Islam is. But in the North there is little more problem. The relationship is not very cordial so we are working to try to achieve harmony. If we continue fighting, we continue killing, if we continue shedding blood, nobody gains. So, I opt for dialogue. When we sit together, we do not take away the problem all together but we minimize it, we alleviate it. There is no other way and I know it is possible. –Is it possible to conceive Islam as a religion of peace? –Muslims tell us that Islam is essentially a religion of peace. When they greet each other, they say “As-salamu alaykum”, which means “Peace be with you”. But, you know, religion can be manipulated and misused for other ends. There are Muslims who are fanatical and violent about it and use it for their political interest; they use religion for their selfish interest, even use it to hurt others, which is a contradiction of what religion stands for. But let us go by the view of the majority, who are moderated, peace loving and who want harmony and a peaceful coexistence. –Why do you think young people want to join Boko Haram? What makes it attractive when all they do is hurt, damage, kill? Ideology has always been present. Just look down history. –Somebody comes up with new ideas, good or crazy, and young people want to join. In Nigeria, young people consider their situation of deprivation and their lack of employment and also see the recklessness of a few people who have stolen government money, live lavishly, go abroad, own properties abroad, with children their age driving big posh cars. So they are angry. Now they have attractive leaders who have told them: ‘Western education has failed. Western civilization has failed. They have brought us noting but problems. The education we receive doesn’t help us be better people. They live immoral lives. Western democracy also has brought corruption and people are taking money, stealing and depriving us from a future. We are wasting time. Islam offers you justice and equality. Let’s go to Islam.’ They propose the Islamic way of life. That is the Islamic law —the Sharia, to follow the Koran. ‘This will give you justice, all you need to live a moral life.’ The youths who are idle, who don’t go to school or work, even those who have gone to university, follow them gradually and get brainwashed. That is how extremism is born and works.

SO, I OPT FOR DIALOGUE. WHEN WE SIT TOGETHER, WE DO NOT TAKE AWAY THE PROBLEM ALL TOGETHER BUT WE MINIMIZE IT, WE ALLEVIATE IT.

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BUT IN FACT ANY PLACE MAY BE ATTACKED, SCHOOLS, AIRPORTS OR MOTOR-PARKS, CHURCHES. SO THERE IS ALWAYS A THREAT, BUT THEIR LIVES GO ON. PEOPLE COME TO CHURCH ANYWAY, THEY ARE NOT AFRAID, THEY KNOW THAT EVEN IF YOU STAY AT HOME, OR GO TO THE MARKET, OR GO TO SCHOOL THEY CAN EASILY BE ATTACKED AND KILLED. SO WHY NOT COME TO THE CHURCH?

You pla nt a n ideolog y into them, orientate their thinking and before you know it, you are acting like robots. You tele-guide them. If you say left, they go left, if you say right, they go right. And that’s what is happening. Those who join are very few but very influential, and very violent. So you feel their impact very much. –Christians would not do so much damage in the name of God, they seem to have a clearer idea that this would go against His law. But these extreme religious groups fight for the sake of the law of God. How do you explain this apparently ‘religious’ element in their actions? –There is nothing religious here, what we have is a ‘negative indoctrination.’ Children are profoundly brainwashed, what makes them ready to do anything. There have been wars in other places of Africa, and small children, 5 or 6 years old, were taken away from their parents, and were made child soldiers. They are often denied food for one week, then injected with drugs or things like that. And by the time you release them they are as wild as an animal. They may be asked to kill their mothers and they do it with joy. This is nothing but manipulation of young people by evil. This is what is happening. –Despite the suffering of Christian people in Nigeria, we see their faith does not decrease, but increase. Your seminaries are full of seminarians. How can you explain it? –What is happening is not applicable to all parts of Nigeria. The area controlled by Boko Haram is only a certain portion, but the impact of their attacks affect the whole country. When attacks occur, people will run away and get down to the South. But in fact any place may be attacked, schools, airports or motorparks, churches. So there is always a threat, but their lives go on. People come to church anyway, they are not afraid, they know that even if you stay at home, or go to the market, or go to school they can easily be attacked and killed. So why not come to the Church?

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So they come to the Church and what has to happen happens. But they are full of faith that nothing will happen. And that is right. And so, life goes on even in my diocese that is the epicentre where Boko Haram was born and where it is causing so much destruction. But priests are still there and my seminary goes on. My seminary is situated in the midst of the Muslim community and it is the Muslims who offer protection to the seminarians. Yes, there is a good harmony between them and the seminary. It’s not all bad. But the Catholic bishop is still there. This year they had a wonderful celebration at Easter, even in the midst of fear. Things can happen and bombs could explode anytime, but we have faith. You just trust that your God is your rock, your stronghold, and your refuge. And then, you are not afraid. You cannot allow fear to cripple you. There is a paralyzing fear that is a fear that kills you inside. You are afraid that something could happen but you go on living your life, trusting God always be there. People ask me if I am afraid of using my pectoral cross, but I say no. This is my life. I depend on this cross. I do not have a weapon; I do not have guards around me. I only allow God to take control of my life. But on the other hand I have to be sensible. We try to keep our churches safe, with the protection networks of volunteers. In the most dangerous areas, people have to go through some check controls before they come into the church. But yes, Boko Haram entails a real and constant threat to Catholics. They want us to suspend all our activities and stop practising our faith. If you give up your faith and convert to Islam you are safe. That seems to have been the case, for example, of the 200 kidnapped girls, many of whom are known to be Muslims now, but those who have remained Christians are in a much worse situation or are simply killed.

YOU CANNOT ALLOW FEAR TO CRIPPLE YOU. THERE IS A PARALYZING FEAR THAT IS A FEAR THAT KILLS YOU INSIDE. YOU ARE AFRAID THAT SOMETHING COULD HAPPEN BUT YOU GO ON LIVING YOUR LIFE, TRUSTING GOD ALWAYS BE THERE.

–What makes Nigerian Catholics such faithful believers? –We are not a Catholic country, we are not even 50% Catholic. Nigeria has a population of 170 million people and we Catholics are not up to 30 million. But we have a dynamic and influential Catholic Church. Nigerians have always been a deeply religious people. Our traditional religions acknowledge the almighty God, the omnipotence. The name of God in our language is “The Big One,” the light, the creator. This name in every tribe is about the sun, the light, the creator, the Chief. There is a love for religion and Christianity came and built on that. Now, the question is how religion affects their daily life; how it transforms it into good life; how consistent they make it with living a good life; there is still much to do there.

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Every Muslim is able to pray five times a day, yet some will take away money from the Government to buy properties in London or Paris. Christians may go “Jesus is love” and yet take things that don’t belong to them. How do you explain that? That is the contradiction. Our work is to try to bridge this gap, to turn theory of religion into practice.

NOW, THE QUESTION IS HOW RELIGION AFFECTS THEIR DAILY LIFE; HOW IT TRANSFORMS IT INTO GOOD LIFE; HOW CONSISTENT THEY MAKE IT WITH LIVING A GOOD LIFE; THERE IS STILL MUCH TO DO THERE.

–Some people think that Islamic extremisms like Boko Haram are far from us, not something to worry about. Do you think it is a global threat? –Yes, it is. Remember the mustard seed that Jesus talked about in the Bible. It is tiny, you plant it, it grows and becomes a big tree. And that is how Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda and ISIS started. Something small grows big and becomes a large-scale threat. So I think it is not reasonable to think that any terrorist group is insignificant. When Boko Haram started in Nigeria, the government disregarded it and even ignored them. “They are useless people; we will finish them, we will crush them.” They didn’t do anything. So they started to grow, expand, network. Now they are a threat to the whole country, not only to Nigeria but to the rest of West Africa. Eventually, it may go further. –Do you think the world is aware of this threat? Has there been any help from the international community? –We feel we have been quite unattended. I have turned to the international community but little has been done. When the terrorist attempts took place in Paris in 2015, numerous world leaders met there and held a ceremony of solidarity holding hands. It was sad since just a few days earlier we had also had some attacks in Baga, Northern Nigeria near the borderline with Chad, in which some 2,000 people died and this passed unnoticed in the eyes of the international community. It was a nice scene to see the support of the world against criminal events, but it is a pity to see their little concern with similar situations in other parts of the world where you have the same kind of attacks. –Any hope of peace for Nigeria? –Yes, there is a lot of hope. We are a very optimistic people. Nigerians are very resilient. We have gone through many difficult moments, when the future looked grim, but we have come out of that. Now we are very optimistic with the new government of President Muhammadu Buhari and his leaders, who in the past ten months have demonstrated they want the best for the country. They are fighting religious extremism and corruption. Once we are successful in fighting these two elements, then we will be on the road of greater recovery and greater progress.

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Bishop Kaimaga considers taking care of his faithful his main pastoral duty.

–For us Catholics who can practice our faith in freedom it is difficult to understand what life may be like in those circumstances. How can we, ordinary Christians help you? –People know very little about the world. They need to know what is going on in the end of the world. We cannot be limited by our natural environment. I encourage you to know more about other countries, people and their cultures. This helps to feel closer even with those who are very far away, but if you know nothing about them, you don’t relate with them, you don’t link with them. If you don’t know it, you can’t picture things. And then, you can come into solidarity with us and those who are suffering through prayers and also through moral encouragement. Even by writing a letter to someone in Nigeria to give moral support and make them stronger in their faith. Also if you know there’s been an attack and someone has been wounded, write to denounce it. And then, help us through the AIS with material aid to help the suffering Church. No matter where that church is, this may help rebuild their churches, train their seminarians and support priests and more catechists. But our sacrifice can especially contribute to making their faith alive and strong in different parts of the world.

WHEN THE TERRORIST ATTEMPTS TOOK PLACE IN PARIS IN 2015, NUMEROUS WORLD LEADERS MET THERE AND HELD A CEREMONY OF SOLIDARITY HOLDING HANDS. IT WAS SAD SINCE JUST A FEW DAYS EARLIER WE HAD ALSO HAD SOME ATTACKS IN BAGA, NORTHERN NIGERIA NEAR THE BORDERLINE WITH CHAD, IN WHICH SOME 2,000 PEOPLE DIED AND THIS PASSED UNNOTICED IN THE EYES OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY.

Interviewed by MARÍA GIL DE PAREJA and PAULA JULLIAN

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Othello and Desdemona by Christian KĂśhlez.

In the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, Humanitas Review has wished to pay tribute to the father of modern drama. Much has been argued about his religious views but there are good historical reasons to assume that he was a Catholic. This theory is also supported by the many religious references in his works, which reveal that he had a good knowledge of the Catholic ritual and belief. On the same key, his plays convey a favourable representation of Catholic characters and many of his ideal heroines show reminiscences of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the stricken Catholic Church in England in the Elizabethan times, as argued by Clare Asquith in the article below.

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shakespeare and the image of holiness BY CLARE ASQUITH

A conversion like that of John Silliman Ives*, Newman or Augustine, is life-changing and involves considerable self-sacrifice. Augustine describes the process in terms of a love-affair. ‘Late have I loved thee, O beauty so ancient, so new’ he wrote, ‘late have I loved thee’; and it is in the light of such sublime love-affairs that I have chosen the theme of this lecture.

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he concept of holiness as something beautiful and mystical The language of Catholic has recently been restored to the liturgy of the Mass. Some piety is useful to him; the of us still stumble irritably over what we see as niggling religious vocabulary adds changes ―‘holy church’; ‘chalice’ ‘into his holy and venerable a resonant bass note to hands’ ‘that my soul may be healed’,— but the intention has been secular situations which to restore a lyrical sense of wonder and awe in the presence of he developed fitfully the divine which was often, deliberately or not, stripped out after right through his work Vatican II. Aquinas described the church as a mystical body, not until its finest expression simply a corporate one —corpus ecclesia mysticum— and it was in his last plays. ‘Soul’ around his lifetime, in the early middle ages when the worldly and ‘holy’ occur with Church was, as so often, in crisis, that great writers and artists exceptional frequency in began to give passionate expression to the beauty of the Mystical two of his darkest plays Church. The image of the beloved, the mirror, the timeless bride Richard III and Troilus of Christ, who was often conflated with the Mother of God, and Cressida, where they Maria Ecclesia, would rescue later Christians again and again act as foils for corruption from despair at the disastrous spectacle of the all too political and wickedness. and worldly church of Rome. The fitful presence of this second, mystical aspect of the Church, Christ’s timeless and transcendent bride, is emphasised in the new translation, reminding us that she is the ‘soul’, or ‘bright shadow’, to use a Shakespearean term, of the often all too banal and human first. A Shakespearean term is apt, because he is a master at evoking precisely this sense of wonder and awe —at conjuring up what we might call the beauty of holiness. It is one of his most distinctive tricks, and sets him apart from his contemporaries. Look up the word ‘holy’ in a Shakespeare concordance or electronic search and you will find an immense list; the same applies to another of his favourite words ‘soul’,— the list here is well over twice as long again. «It is my soul that calls upon my name»; «Perdition

HUMANITAS Nº 8 pp. 52-63

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catch my soul but I do love thee»; «Hang there like fruit, my soul, till the tree die». And this is particularly surprising as he wrote at a time when the subject of contemporary religion was forbidden to dramatists. Curiously, there is no real agreement as to why he does it. In places he does it because the speaker is a Catholic character who lives either in a Catholic country or at a period when England was Catholic. So for example, Henry IV, weary of kingship, turns his mind to a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, to «those holy fields / Over whose acres walked those blessed feet / Which fourteen hundred years ago were nailed / For our advantage to the bitter cross». Blessed feet - bitter cross - holy fields; these are the kind of affective epithets that have slipped back into the liturgy of the mass, and date back to the free and colourful language of pre-Reformation English piety. However, more often Shakespeare’s allusions to Catholic holiness pop up in a secular context giving the text a deliberate shock quality: an angry soul; a holy kiss; a devilish-holy fray; sanctified and holy traitors; I propose that the Rosalind dreamily compares Orlando’s kisses to the taste of holy references to holiness bread. According to Stephen Greenblatt Shakespeare is using the and the soul that pepper discarded language of medieval piety —banned and associated his work are not merely with blind, superstitious papistry since the Reformation— as a decorative. They are dramatic tool, to intensify and deepen the everyday. The language insistent pointers to what of Catholic piety is useful to him; the religious vocabulary adds lies within; the jacket a resonant bass note to secular situations which he developed cover, as it were, to a fitfully right through his work until its finest expression in his buried layer of meaning last plays. ‘Soul’ and ‘holy’ occur with exceptional frequency in in which the concept of two of his darkest plays Richard III and Troilus and Cressida, where holiness takes on physical they act as foils for corruption and wickedness. forms, and is actually Harder to explain away as a mere rhetorical device are certain embodied in certain scenes which evoke, not just a brief glimmer of holiness, but what characters. one can only describe as the actual experience of holiness itself. Take the final act of The Merchant of Venice, in which Portia comes home under a night sky bright with ‘patines of bright gold’, pausing to kneel at holy crosses and apprehending for the first time the full beauty of darkness, music, and a distant candle which spreads its beams abroad like a good deed in a naughty world. This hushed yet joyful scene opens with the famous love-duet between the Christian Lorenzo and the converted Jew, Jessica; as Catholics cannot fail to notice, its repeated phrase ‘In such a night’ occurs the same number of times as the very similar phrase ‘Haec nox est’ in the Exultet. This highly suggestive opening alerts us to the many echoes of the Easter vigil in what is otherwise a somewhat superfluous act. Another is the ending of The Winter’s Tale, in which the statue of Hermione miraculously comes to life in the chapel of a great house —«It is required / You do awake your faith»... «Bequeath to death your numbness for from him / Dear life redeems you». And then there is the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet full of language which is as mystical as it is conventionally amorous. Such

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William Shakespeare by Chandos has long been thought to be the only portrait of of the playwrite (in National Portrait Gallery of London)

scenes are not just bass notes, they are full scale arias which give The Bridegroom was ordinary romantic dramas an unexpected and mysterious depth. seen as Christ; the These effects, remarkable as they are, could still just be seen bride the church, or as the tools of the trade of a great artist born into an atmosphere the soul. This figure of of Catholic nostalgia, and trained up in the rigorous rhetorical the Bride of Christ was curriculum of Stratford grammar school, where pupils were often conflated with taught to develop and to enter imaginatively into alien and Mary, the mother of contrasting points of view. But Shakespeare goes a step further God and often divided than this. into two —‘ecclesia’, for I propose that the references to holiness and the soul that instance, the church, and pepper his work are not merely decorative. They are insistent ‘synagogua’ the Jewish pointers to what lies within; the jacket cover, as it were, to a buried bride, both destined to be layer of meaning in which the concept of holiness takes on physical reunited with Christ at forms, and is actually embodied in certain characters. This is the end of time. an ambitious proposal. It is almost impossible, now, to recover a lost Elizabethan mindset which expected to see, not just characters on the stage, but entities, such as the divided aspects of England, the state, the Jesuit mission, the dissident underground, the reformation dream, the human soul, the soul of the church, the fading image of Christendom itself. We recoil from the suggestion that such fully realised individuals as Viola, Rosalind and Celia could be anything other than human personalities. Even if we accept that some of his characters may embody a generalised form of holiness, the possibility that they represent particular aspects of holiness is harder still. But if we approach his writings by working forwards, so far as we can, from the early middle ages —rather than backwards from the 21st century— this conclusion seems not just likely, but, I would argue, inescapable. And it is worth going to some lengths to test this out because, if Shakespeare really is discussing the fate of the mystical body of English Christianity, it

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Repeatedly he sets before us both the beauty of Christ’s holy spouse and the nightmare consequence of her absence: a country, a soul, a landscape from which the Christian tradition has been violently and thoroughly uprooted and where men prey on each other ‘like monsters of the deep’

will affect the way we see English Catholicism today. Let us begin with the Bible itself, to which many had access for the first time in their own language. The Geneva Bible, which Shakespeare evidently knew well, came with an explanatory marginal gloss; and the most interesting gloss for many was the interpretation of the Song of Solomon, a dialogue between a bridegroom and a bride. The Bridegroom was seen as Christ; the bride the church, or the soul. This figure of the Bride of Christ was often conflated with Mary, the mother of God and often divided into two — ‘ecclesia’, for instance, the church, and ‘synagogua’ the Jewish bride, both destined to be reunited with Christ at the end of time. […] Ever since the earliest commentaries this beautiful, shimmering chimaera, the figure of the Bride of Christ, the soul, the church, or even the soul of the Church, was taken up with gratitude by Christian thinkers when the visible Church was going through a particularly black and spotted patch. […] The great debate about the true nature and holiness of Christ’s Church was the one unavoidable question for Christians in late 16th century England. It would be extraordinary if a political analyst as acute as Shakespeare, alone among his leading contemporaries, completely sidestepped this

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Shakespearean Characters, by Thomas Stothard (Victoria and Albert Museum)

central national issue. Yet this is exactly what is still maintained I believe Shakespeare by mainstream Shakespeare scholars. One of the chief reasons of created six major course is that his treatment of the subject looks so very different incarnations of this from anyone else’s. He lifts the whole complex subject out of the figure of holiness, which pulpit and the library and into the very heart of lived experience. evolved slightly over the For him, there was nothing dry and theological about the potential twenty years that he was disappearance of Christianity from England. He knew what was active. Surrounded by at stake. Repeatedly he sets before us both the beauty of Christ’s sacramental and biblical holy spouse and the nightmare consequence of her absence: a imagery, these curiously country, a soul, a landscape from which the Christian tradition passive, still figures has been violently and thoroughly uprooted and where men prey embody beauty, truth, on each other ‘like monsters of the deep’. goodness, constancy. I believe Shakespeare created six major incarnations of this figure of holiness, which evolved slightly over the twenty years that he was active. Surrounded by sacramental and biblical imagery, these curiously passive, still figures embody beauty, truth, goodness, constancy. Their qualities are universally recognised. Simple in themselves, they cause bitter conflict and complex questions of loyalty in others. Unlike the rest of Shakespeare’s women they are almost without character, almost too good to be true, yet we are drawn to them by their graceful, often humorous utterance, and by the lyrical eulogies of their followers. Finally, they are all

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victims of figures who brutally abuse their authority over them. Shakespeare begins his treatment of what we might call the destruction of the English image of holiness in relatively jaunty mode in a play only recently restored to the canon —Edward III. The king falls adulterously for the countess of shrewsbury, who repels him with such determination that he withdraws, repents, and returns to his role of militant and protective monarch. This play is a mirror of virtue, an exemplar for the crown and shows how a monarch should resist coveting what is divine: the soul, the conscience, the Church. But The Rape of Lucrece, the next work in which the shimmering figure of the spouse appears, portrays the historical reality in ghastly detail; and the historical reality was that the English image of holiness suffered a violent and irrevocable assault in the course of the 16th century. […] The deflowering of England, and the terrible results Lucrece is repeatedly are the subjects of Shakespeare’s tremendous poem, The Rape of linked to England as Lucrece, underrated only because its true subject is not generally well as to sanctity —her acknowledged. lucrece has all the marks of the bride: ‘the picture heraldry is red and white, of pure piety’, ‘chaste’, ‘heavenly’, ‘holy-thoughted’, a ‘shrine’, an she is metaphorically ‘earthly saint’. Her only fault is that her lover, fatally, awakes a surrounded by sea— king’s greed by boasting about her, telling him «what priceless dying, she is a ‘pale swan wealth the heavens had him lent». After the rape, Lucrece foresees three monstrous predators, in her watery nest’ and Time, Night and Opportunity, wreaking the kind of lawless, dead, she is ‘a late-sacked vandalistic havoc that Shakespeare’s contemporaries described all island’. around them in the 1590s. Lucrece is repeatedly linked to England as well as to sanctity —her heraldry is red and white, she is metaphorically surrounded by sea— dying, she is a ‘pale swan in her watery nest’ and dead, she is ‘a late-sacked island’. Both Edward III and The Rape of Lucrece discuss rape in terms almost openly linked to the dissolution of the monasteries: Lucrece’s ‘consecrated wall’ is ‘batter’d down’, and when Edward argues that he will only possess her body, the Countess answers that body and soul are one —«My body is her bower, her court, her abbey / and she an angel pure, divine, unspotted / If I should leave her house my lord to thee / I kill my poor soul, and my poor soul me». (II i 594-7). Seventy years later it was clear that English piety and holiness had suffered as much as ‘timber, stone and plaster’ in the course of the despoliation. Lucrece is full of lines that give urgent expression to the nature of this attack on what we might now call our spiritual culture, our national heritage. Lucrece is ‘martyred with disgrace’, and the suggestive word is associated even more forcefully with the second incarnation of the bride, lavinia, in Shakespeare’s horror-play, Titus Andronicus. Here barbaric German incomers have been allowed by the foolish Titus to take over Rome. They not only rape his beautiful daughter, the cynosure of the play, but to prevent her telling the tale, they tear out her tongue and cut off her hands. After this, grotesque barbarism and a repellent cycle of revenge take hold in Rome. In

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her newly mutilated state, Lavinia appears on stage. Inexplicably shocking to us, she was now an image familiar to most of the audience, because the statues of the virgin and the saints in most parish churches had suffered exactly these ‘martyred signs’ —hands removed, nose and lips hacked off. So deliberately unreal is Lavinia that the onlooker, instead of coming to her aid, embarks on a long lament in the style of elegies in the Latin plays written by Catholic exiles abroad, which used the iconoclasm in Byzantium as an image for England. «What stern ungentle hands / hath lopp’d, and hew’d, and made thy body bare / Of her two branches —those sweet ornaments / Whose circling shadows kings have sought to sleep in?». This architectural imagery of shadowy arches echoes contemporary laments by writers of all persuasions for the Reformation destruction of tombs, and the chantries, priories and abbeys that contained them. Shakespeare clearly understood the irreplaceable nature of what was being In her newly mutilated destroyed, as his generation helplessly witnessed the final phases state, Lavinia appears of the iconoclasm […]. on stage. Inexplicably With Othello we move forward to the new Jacobean threat to shocking to us, she was English image of holiness. James had given specious promises now an image familiar and a brief respite to Catholics, but there followed an even more to most of the audience, stringent crackdown, and with the loss of Spain as a Catholic ally, because the statues of worse it seemed would follow. Though the Catholic nobility like the virgin and the saints the Howards and Somersets were more or less immune, so long in most parish churches as they attended the state church, the complete ‘extinction’ of had suffered exactly these grassroots Catholicism in England was Robert Cecil’s explicit goal. ‘martyred signs’ —hands Shakespeare now revisits the assault on holiness in Othello but this removed, nose and lips time it is the finality of the extinction that he is concerned to stress, hacked off. and greed is no longer the motive —it is tragically misguided, self-deluding idealism. Othello approaches the sleeping desdemona using strikingly similar language to that of the reluctant iconoclasts in England, aware of the momentous nature of the act but convinced of the virtue of their cause, the eradication of superstition and blindness. […] ‘Divine’ Desdemona has distinctive Catholic attributes, and is associated not just with the chaste bride of Christ, but with the figure of Mary, the mother of God. She is greeted by Cassio, as she steps safely ashore after her stormy passage, in words designed to recall the Rosary, the practice of which was freshly revived by the papacy after the victory of the Battle of Lepanto, the context not only of Othello but of the poem by King James on which the play is partly based. When Desdemona steps ashore after the storm, the virtuous Cassio —a man who Iago jealously notes ‘has a daily beauty in his life’— asks the company to kneel to welcome ‘the riches of the ship’. We hear the Hail Mary in the lines that follow: «Hail to the lady! And the grace of heaven / Before, behind thee, and on every hand, / Enwheel thee round!» The odd word ‘enwheeling’ actually evokes the shape of the rosary. The famous willow song Desdemona sings at her death, associated with a maid

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‘Divine’ Desdemona has distinctive Catholic attributes, and is associated not just with the chaste bride of Christ, but with the figure of Mary, the mother of God. She is greeted by Cassio, as she steps safely ashore after her stormy passage, in words designed to recall the Rosary,

called Barbary, prophecies not simply her death, but martyrdom. Saint Barbara was a virgin martyr whose story Shakespeare’s audience would have known from the Golden Legend, and in Northern Europe the willow was synonymous with the palm, the symbol of martyrdom (Palm Sunday was then called Willow Sunday in England, as it still is in Russia) The worldly Emilia’s blood-stirring defense of her dead mistress and her own heroic self sacrifice exemplify the way humble followers in these plays awake us to the true worth and nature of the threatened bride. In King Lear, unflinchingly honest, loving, tender, a healer, cordelia is the most Christ-like of all incarnations of the bride: ‘Fairest Cordelia’ says the King of France, «that art most rich, being poor / Most choice, forsaken, and most lov’d, despis’d!» After her banishment Shakespeare depicts the imagined picture of a Britain without any trace of Christianity. King and country spiral into madness and barbarism; the trappings of civilisation slip away, cruelty becomes the norm. In the original, anonymous, version of King Lear, Cordelia has a specifically Catholic identity —her invasion, for instance, is supported by the Catholic mercenaries known as Redshanks. But in Shakespeare’s Jacobean rewrite, potentially sectarian references are omitted: she is the all-embracing Christian bride. When she returns she brings music, courtesy, medicine, pity, clean clothes; she speaks to her father as lovingly as the father does in the parable to the prodigal son who has been, ‘hovelled with swine’. In the original version, the invasion is more of a bloodless coup —Cordelia

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is warmly welcomed back with her father. But here, shockingly, In King Lear, the invasion fails. Cordelia is rejected, and dies. Just as with unflinchingly honest, Desdemona, the impact of her death is one of the most final in loving, tender, a literature— ‘She’ll never come again’, says Lear, repeating the healer, cordelia is single word ‘Never’ five times in the next line. the most Christ-like of For several years, Shakespeare completely abandoned the figure all incarnations of the of the peerless bride, who does not appear in Macbeth, Timon of bride: [...] In the original, Athens, Troilus and Cressida, Coriolanus, Antony and Cleopatra. But anonymous, version of then, with Pericles, occurs one of the greatest key changes in his King Lear, Cordelia has work. The next three plays revisit the sad story of figure of English a specifically Catholic holiness, assaulted and apparently lost. But with a new generation identity. it seemed, came new hope. The lost figure is miraculously revived, and united with her successor and youthful mirror image —a daughter, who emerges from trials and tempests, and who Shakespeare is careful to merge with her mother at the end of the play. The sacramental daughter is the new, Jacobean incarnation of heroic English holiness, of the new spirituality fostered by missionary priests and tempered by continuing waves of persecution. Shakespeare trials this story in Pericles, and tries an ambitious variant in Cymbeline, but perfects it in A Winter’s Tale. Here, he stages the classic bridal figure in hermione, passive, beautiful, heroically loyal a ‘gracious, innocent soul’, a ‘most sacred lady’, hotly defended by Paulina, a feisty supporter as vigorous as Emilia. Seized by a jealous frenzy, her husband Leontes abruptly accuses her of adultery and sends her and her baby daughter to their death, in a scene strongly reminiscent of Henry

Cordelia and King Lear by George William Joy

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viii’s treatment of Catharine of Aragon. The baby, Perdita, survives, is found

in a storm by shepherds, and reared as their daughter in Shakespeare’s most realistic English rural setting, where she blooms in true bridal mode, becoming the object of mystical contemplation by her lover. At the end of the play Paulina invites Hermione’s remorseful husband to view a statue of his dead wife, which stands in a chapel in her house. In a scene fraught with sacramental language, the statue comes to life —Paulina, like so many English Catholics has been secretly preserving what was lost. But the lost and recovered bride is not a fossil or antiquated relic: the fresh, young, vital Perdita falls into her mother’s arms. Just as in Pericles, the mother is subsumed into the daughter, her new self, who has here been reared and survived and flourishes in the highways and byways of the country, not sequestered in the recesses of great houses. These five figures, and the daughters that succeed them —marina and perdita— represent what one might see as Shakespeare’s evolving portrait of the spouse of Christ, the mystical bride as she appeared in We hear the Hail Mary England; at first, assaulted and raped under Henry VIII; next, in the lines that follow: despoiled, vandalised and martyred under Edward and Elizabeth; ‘Hail to the lady! And the next, wooed by James only to suffer worse persecution; and finally grace of heaven / Before, reviving with the next generation. Around this still figure swirls behind thee, and on every the vortex of disrupted figments of the once intact church and hand, / Enwheel thee country, and their various conflicted followers, the chief material round!’ The odd word of his work, and beyond the scope of this talk. Instead I would like to end with a remarkable sonnet in which ‘enwheeling’ actually evokes the shape of the Shakespeare commits unequivocally and personally to this rosary. timeless, universal figure of holiness. It must have been written somewhere around 1608, when that key change occurs, and he began his optimistic last romances. Sonnet 124 is, if you like, a pocket Apologia. […] the argument is that of Newman: however faulty the visible church may be, it is on the mystical level the holy city, built by Christ on the impregnable rock of Peter. . ‘If my dear love were but the child of state / It might, for fortune’s bastard, be unfathered’ he begins. In other words, the religion of a temporal state can only be temporal. Four times over the last fifty years in England, a head of state had overturned a predecessor’s choice of religion. The strong word bastard reminds us that Henry viii had actually disinherited and bastardised his daughter Elizabeth. Next —‘weeds among weeds and flowers with flowers’ are plucked ‘subject to time’s love or to time’s hate’. The state disposes of the hated, unorthodox weeds, and gathers the conformist favourite flowers— and the status of both, like weeds and flowers, is fleeting, because both, like the state, are of course seasonal. Against this Shakespeare opposes solidity. The poem’s pivotal line ‘no, it is builded far from accident’ uses Christ’s own image of a church ‘built’ upon rock. ‘Far from accident’ touches on his favourite distinction between shadow and substance, soul and body, which we

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have seen in this talk. So much for the state church —now he sets about dismissing two aspects of English Catholicism which also have nothing to do with the true church. The true church ‘suffers not in smiling pomp’ —it should not act like the Catholic nobility or Catholic powers abroad who, for their own interests, acquiesced in the regime, while closing their eyes to the predicament of ordinary English Catholics. Neither does the true church endorse terrorism. ‘Blow’ was, famously, the coded word in the Monteagle letter that had alerted King James to the imminent Gunpowder Plot; Shakespeare, it is widely recognised, uses it as a political allusion in Macbeth. The brilliant couplet on ‘the blow of thralled discontent’ gives a snapshot of the Machiavellian state cunningly fomenting treason in a group Shakespeare calls ‘our fashion’ —a phrase interpreted by commentators as ‘the likes of me’. Now he reaches the climax. These five figures [...] Both these Catholic groups - terrorists and the grand, immune represent what one might conformists with their private chapels— are motivated by fear see as Shakespeare’s of England’s ‘heretic’, opportunist politicians. Against short- evolving portrait of the termist, heretic policy, Shakespeare now opposes the divine polis, spouse of Christ, the Augustine’s City of God —the single, universal ‘hugely politic’ mystical bride as she church, a ‘builded’ structure not subject to the fluctuations of appeared in England; at nature. Finally, most commentators see a reference to Catholic first, assaulted and raped martyrs in the last couplet. Here are Edmund Campion’s ‘fools under Henry VIII; next, for Christ’ who Shakespeare calls on to bear witness to the truth despoiled, vandalised and of what he has just written. Uncompromising Catholics, yet loyal martyred under Edward to their rigidly Protestant country, their agonisingly paradoxical and Elizabeth; next, situation is the subject of much of Shakespeare’s work —English wooed by James only to men and women who were traitors, criminals and heretics in suffer worse persecution; the eyes of the state, yet saints and martyrs according to the and finally reviving with the next generation. universal church. Perhaps, given the occasional presence of red-hot political poems like these, full of what has been called ‘radioctive’ Catholic reference, it is not surprising that the Sonnets ran to just one edition. […] Three years later, Shakespeare retired, —and in his last play, he portrayed dark forces attempting to steal the books of his alter ego, Prospero. However harmless the portrayal of the beautiful, holy, universal bride may seem to us now, when he staged characters like Cordelia and Desdemona for the court Shakespeare was playing with fire. His courage and persistence is a reminder, in this relaxed and relativist age, that he, along with Newman and Ives was a man for whom holiness was not simply a thing of beauty; it was an integral attribute of something non-negotiable and life-changing —the truth.

* Inaugural lecture given in honour of John Silliman Ives at the Hobart-Ives series at Fordham University.

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ÂŤAs they grow older, people often feel increasingly isolated and less useful submerged in a rapidly evolving society. They have the impression of being worthless and surpassed by a younger generation which somehow drives them into retirement.Âť

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Aging, a Vocation

aging, a vocation: the time of fulfilment BY DOMINIQUE REY

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e know every symptom of old age. Physical strength and vitality diminish and weariness is felt faster than it used to. Auditory and visual acuity decrease and it becomes more difficult to remember the names of people we have met recently. Our bodies are also marked by several changes: wrinkles, grey hair, flaccid facial skin. All this becomes cruelly highlighted when we look at old pictures. As they grow older, people often feel increasingly isolated and less useful submerged in a rapidly evolving society. They have the impression of being worthless and surpassed by a younger generation which somehow drives them into retirement. Those who age experience more and more their own finitude. Around them, friends and acquaintances pass away one after the other. The obituary section in the newspaper is now carefully perused: “Somebody my age again,” “Somebody younger than me.” Finally, motivations decrease: there is less ambition; plans and projects become ever more modest. This is all due to the fear that there will not be enough time to complete them. This evidence has led some gerontologists to divide old age into two stages: the period in which activity still predominates, and the period in which one becomes ever more passive and dependent on others. Physicians, economists and, certainly, politicians examine the issues of old age each from their own specific point of view. The financial weight of pensions on assets is often discussed, as the ever larger number of senior citizens has become a “social problem”. This generalised aging does not possess the same consequences as a “young” society, characterised by the high natality rate found in developing countries. Medical and economic aspects come to the fore: in times of recession and budget cuts, how is care ensured for people of old age, who become less able to lead autonomous lives?

HUMANITAS Nº 8 pp. 64-67

WHAT IS THE MAIN EXISTENTIAL ISSUE OF AGING? IT IS PROBABLY FEAR. OLD PEOPLE ARE AFRAID OF NOT BEING ABLE TO LIVE THE LAST PERIOD OF THEIR LIVES IN TRANQUILITY. MOST OF THEM EXPERIENCE THE FEELING AND FEAR OF BECOMING A BURDEN, OF BEING REDUNDANT, BE IT IN A PROFESSIONAL ENVIRONMENT, WITHIN SOCIETY, OR AMONG THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS.

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The time for leading by example…

AN OLDER PERSON MAY BE A SOURCE OF INSPIRATION TO THOSE AROUND THEM, AN INVITATION TO BE KINDER AND MORE CARING WITH OTHERS; AN INVITATION TO AVOID BEING DRAGGED DOWN BY THE SUPERFICIAL TURMOILS OF LIFE.

What is the main existential issue of aging? It is probably fear. Old people are afraid of not being able to live the last period of their lives in tranquility. Most of them experience the feeling and fear of becoming a burden, of being redundant, be it in a professional environment, within society, or among their family members. […] Physical and psychological strength diminish progressively, it becomes more difficult to deal with dependency and stress, and the anxiety of becoming useless or unwanted, or, worse even, to become a burden to others increases. Old people are as much a burden to themselves as to those around them. In addition to their attempt to provide meaning to their lives, older people provide a role model to those around them: their way of life, words, and even helplessness impress their loved ones, inviting them to redefine their own values. Young people become aware of their future thanks to their elders. An older person may be a source of inspiration to those around them, an invitation to be kinder and more caring with others; an invitation to avoid being dragged down by the superficial turmoils of life.

… and of fulfilment.

The stereotype of old age usually evokes images of sickness and decay, without taking into consideration the great number of positive features that characterise this final period of life. Old age is a challenge that could result in the true fulfilment of our existence. The autumn of life is a finalisation in both senses of the word: an ending and a culmination. Death “finishes” us. Impermanence finalises us. Old age is the period in which we look back to the past as we move forwards into the future to conclude the work started in our birth and put everything in order in our relationships with God, our neighbour and ourselves. Old age is the time par excellence in which to unify the temporal values into

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one ultimate meaning. With the proximity of death, every day, every hour becomes the bearer of infinity. This proximity of death provides life with its definitive direction. In retrospect, the consistency of things is different from their appearance. Once at this pinnacle, the question of God becomes more pervasive. Our hope brings His coming closer to a point in which we no longer notice ourselves. To finish one’s life is as much a mission as a resignation. It is a task larger than the sum of everything that will no longer be done. It is necessary to put one’s life in order. Up to this point, it had unfolded before itself. From now on, life can only be understood against the current, looking up the river, backwards. When looking back at the path taken and looking at the one ahead, one sees the need to set aside our personal judgment of our lives and get ready to embrace the one that God will pronounce; to look at the choices we have made in such a way that a they acquire a new meaning— the ultimate and unifying one The last period of human life grants us a glimpse of something transcendental and allows us to get closer to it. This stage is a holy time, as it directs us towards a still hidden greatness and prepares us to enter the mystery to come. It is the time of purging, the occasion to throw the superfluous overboard to better focus on the essential. The value of every moment increases as the remaining time decreases. When our days are counted, every day counts for more. The erosion of the quantitative summons the qualitative. Old age is a time of bearable standstill. Time contracts, becoming immobile in the present, which allows old people to make sense of everything they have experienced and everything that has made them who they are. To seize the moment is not enough. They try to understand the meaning, the duration, and the direction of a life whose beginning they did not choose, fully aware that it will end.

THE STEREOTYPE OF OLD AGE USUALLY EVOKES IMAGES OF SICKNESS AND DECAY, WITHOUT TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION THE GREAT NUMBER OF POSITIVE FEATURES THAT CHARACTERISE THIS FINAL PERIOD OF LIFE. OLD AGE IS A CHALLENGE THAT COULD RESULT IN THE TRUE FULFILMENT OF OUR EXISTENCE.

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Louis Martin’s example invites us to go one step further and move forward in our appreciation of the capability of exemplary sainthood in the midst of a mental misery that is not “madness.” In fact, it is generally acknowledged that a minimum degree of psychological integrity is necessary for the fruits of the Spirit to manifest themselves visibly.

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Aging, a Vocation

LOUIS MARTIN’S PROPHETIC TESTIMONY CANONIZED OCTOBER 2015.

love’s tracendence and mental alienation “The three years of our father’s martyrdom seem to me the kindest, the most fruitful of our lives; I would not change them for the most sublime of ecstasies. For that reason, in the presence of that inestimable treasure, my heart cries out full of thankfulness: ‘Bless you, my God, for those years of graces that we spent in pain’ (psalm LXXXIX:15)” Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

In May 1888, Louis Martin shared the following secret with From 1889 until his his daughters in the visiting room of the Carmelite convent: death, for the three years “Daughters of mine, I am back from Alençon, where I received he lived in the asylum, so many blessings and so much consolation that I said this prayer Louis loved, believed, to the Lord: My God, this is too much! I’m too happy, it’s not and hoped with a gravely possible to go to Heaven like this, I want to suffer for Thee and I damaged psychic life. have offered myself.” This poses a crucial “The word ‘victim’ died on his lips,” writes Therese; “he did question: to what extent not dare to say it but we had understood.” does “sanctification The following month the Lord took him at his word and then depend on psychic started the process of the cerebral disease that affected Louis aspects?” Martin. The following year, in February 1889, after suffering a severe attack, he was admitted to the “Bon Sauveur” Hospital. It was the kind of institution then known as an insane asylum and there he remained for three years. The sick man had, between crises, many periods of consciousness, and so he realized where he was, but still took pains to convert his fellow patients. Little by little he began to lose his faculties, eventually becoming unable to express himself correctly and behaving less violently. After these three years, he completely lost his mobility. Because he was not considered to be dangerous, he was allowed to leave the hospital. He died in 1894, after six years of mental disease. The spiritual tradition of the Church has often remembered, in its just value, the sort of “madness” or human boundlessness involved in the

HUMANITAS Nº 8 pp. 68-73

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effective realization of sanctity in following Christ and the “foolishness” of the Cross (1 Cor 1:18), where God’s “foolish” love is uttered and revealed in a definitive manner. “The unspiritual man,” left to his own abilities, “does not accept what comes from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them” (1 Cor 2:14). Beyond their fundamental divergences, the aspects of paradoxical convergence between madness and sainthood have also been noted. However, it is still too unusual to pay attention to the ability of sainthood in acts, within the context of mental disease. To evoke the concomitance between spiritual life and psychological pathology, we keenly cite the case of the Jesuit Juan-José Surin (1600-1665)1, who is believed to be “a new species of saint.” Within him coexisted various temperaments: infirmus and mystic, mad and possessed. But we must point out the timidity of the 2 The constancy of Louis’ reflections in this regard. The teachings of the Church have also exemplary attitude, as we been coy and reserved when acknowledging the actual sainthood have seen, has manifested of a person whose mental faculties are impaired. This is exactly the type of sainthood that touches Louis Martin itself by the gifting of himself and the forgetting - a sainthood which has just been officially promulgated. We of himself, evidently, believe that he is the first baptized person to have been beatified within the limits set by having lived the last six years of his life in a depressed or ruined his condition as an infirm psychic state. This is, undoubtedly, one of the most moving and man. His testimony is surprising aspects of Louis’ sainthood: the fact that it is asserted in that of “the survival, a state of mental destitution. We could say that these are extreme on top of the remains of conditions of sainthood in acts, conditions that emphasize the this ruined psyche, of a essential element of sainthood: the constancy of charity, even if theological life ready to its concrete expression is modest and the human context of its express itself in the most manifestation is precarious. From 1889 until his death, for the three years he lived in the minor of occasions,” even if modest. asylum, Louis loved, believed, and hoped with a gravely damaged psychic life. This poses a crucial question: to what extent does “sanctification depend on psychic aspects?” Some psychologists have asserted that “even in a state of neurosis or psychosis, man always has a modicum of freedom” which allows him to continue to work upon himself and to remain the master of his destiny. This notion matches the classical anthropological view held by Christianity, according to which the deepest part of the soul remains impregnable to any violation or aggression by evil. Thus, any human person, ruined or affected by evil or by heavy mental pathologies, remains dignified. In this regard, and despite the influence of physical degradations and psychic damages

1 After his ministry at the Ursuline convent of Loudun (1634), “afflicted by the action of multiple demons,” he undergoes a long period of suicidal depression (1637-1654). 2 L. Beirnaert, S.J., La sanctification dépend-elle du psychisme?, article published in Étude (1950), p.139.

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that can debase it, the human person remains sacred, worthy of infinite respect because it is always “capable of God,” receptive to his inspirations to a degree which only God knows. Therefore, the Church will always demand that we welcome and unconditionally respect the mentally ill. Louis Martin’s example invites us to go one step further and move forward in our appreciation of the capability of exemplary sainthood in the midst of a mental misery that is not “madness.” In fact, it is generally acknowledged that a minimum degree of psychological integrity is necessary for the fruits of the Spirit to manifest themselves visibly. In contrast, “spiritual freedom tends to express itself in a free will that inhibits the psychic movements that oppose those inspired by the Spirit and enacts the latter.”3 So, if psychic qualities or virtues are absent, “fidelity to the inspirations of the Spirit will merely translate into an endless struggle that is endlessly lost. What has been missing, then, is not essential sanctification, but its inscription in the psyche, its empirical manifestation through virtue,” its translation made concrete in everyday life. Nevertheless, a central point is made by L. Beirnaert, who states that “it is also very unusual, even in the most disgraced of people, for psychic inscription to have completely failed, when spiritual sanctification is permanently fed by humility.”4 In this regard, the dispossessed of all sorts, who resolvedly persevere in their wish to do good despite appearances, will be the first to enter the Kingdom of God. Certainly, “the simple fidelity (of neurotics) to preserving through the night Picture of Louis Martin, accompanied by Céline the divine hand that they do not feel is and Léonie in 1892. nowadays a splendour as unsustainable as the magnanimity of a Saint Vincent de Paul.”5 Therefore, we recognize that “there are saints with a psychic side which is unlucky and difficult” and “saints with a happy psychic side, the chaste, strong, and sweet saints.” If sainthood, which is the desire to love to the utmost of one’s conscious abilities in the clarity of good, needs a modicum of psychological balance to shine a little in the midst of men, this sainthood completely exceeds, in its mystery, the psychological sphere. Therefore, the final stage in the life of Blessed Louis Martin brings to light a key point of the vocation of human beings: the transcendence of faith and love even among the mentally impaired. In fact, “what is impressive” about

3 Ibid. 4 Ibid. 5 Ibid, p.140.

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AGING, A FAVOURABLE TIME

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hus the teaching and language of the Bible present old age as a “favourable time” for bringing life to its fulfilment and, in God’s plan for each person, as a time when everything comes together and enables us better to grasp life’s meaning and to attain “wisdom of heart”. “An honourable old age comes not with the passing of time”, observes the Book of Wisdom, “nor can it be measured in terms of years; rather, understanding is the hoary crown for men, and an unsullied life, the attainment of old age” (4:8-9). Old age is the final stage of human maturity and a sign of God’s blessing. Letter of his holiness Pope John Paul II to the elderly, n. 8. October 1999

The precursors rise to show and affirm the credibility of this path of sainthood in the face of psychic disease or mental difficulties. Let us recognize in this a sign of God for our time, marked by a culture obsessed with psychic excellence and integrity, to the extent of discarding or ignoring the less gifted and the deficient. The dignity of the human person is indestructible, regardless of the visible or invisible misery affecting it.

Louis’ existence, especially during his time at the Bon Sauveur hospital, “is that, through his psychological perturbations, his spiritual life will remain intact. It walks beneath the ground and reemerges along with his consciousness. His generosity and his desire to care for his loved ones were never altered.”6 The constancy of Louis’ exemplary attitude, as we have seen, has manifested itself by the gifting of himself and the forgetting of himself, evidently, within the limits set by his condition as an infirm man. His testimony is that of “the survival, on top of the remains of this ruined psyche, of a theological life ready to express itself in the most minor of occasions,” even if modest. The beatification of Louis Martin, along with that of his wife is, therefore, immensely important for the men and women of our time. His sanctity is recommended not despite his mental problems, but due to the testimony that Louis gave through them. Undoubtedly, this is where Louis reaches one of the most expressive notes of the spiritual message of his daughter Therese, whose mystical experience culminates in her offering to the mercy of God and in her night of faith. The precursors rise to show and affirm the credibility of this path of sainthood in the face of psychic disease or mental difficulties. Let us recognize in this a sign of God for our time, marked by a culture obsessed with psychic excellence and integrity, to the extent of discarding or ignoring the less gifted and the deficient. The dignity of the human person

6 René Laurentin, Thérèse et son père, liens de nature et liens de grâce, in AL 6 (June 1973).

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enedict XVI, visiting a home for the elderly, used clear and prophetic words, saying in this way: “The quality of a society, I mean of a civilization, is also judged by how it treats elderly people and by the place it gives them in community life” (12 November 2012). It’s true, attention to the elderly makes the difference in a civilization. Is there attention to the elderly in a civilization? Is there room for the elderly? This civilization will move forward if it knows how to respect wisdom, the wisdom of the elderly. In a civilization in which there is no room for the elderly or where they are thrown away because they create problems, this society carries with it the virus of death. General Audience of Pope Francis. March 4th 2015

is indestructible, regardless of the visible or invisible misery affecting it. More broadly, Louis’ example shows that disease and the decline in one’s physical strength due to old age can also be a springboard to persist in the dynamics of love and launch oneself into eternity. What is a saint, what is a friend of God, but that person who is thoroughly imbued with the wish to be God’s? That is his absolute, invincible, purpose. The course of his life may certainly be modified, radically changed by his lot of unforeseen events and tests. His physical health and his mental abilities may be subjected to all kinds of blows of providence and be gravely altered, degraded. Deep within himself, however, in this inalienable space of liberty, he bravely keeps on course toward God, inhabited as he is by God’s call to love, believe, and hope. In this regard, we can see in Louis a prophet of rehabilitation or of the affirmation of sainthood in the dispossession of the mentally deficient and in the decline that characterizes old age. He is the first person to be beatified after ending the course of his life with a ruined psyche; he truly is one of the poor in spirit, whose only wealth is to have none. Let his testimony be a spring of hope and consolation for a multitude of brothers and sisters, young and old, whose physical and mental health is gravely affected.

* From Jean Clapier’s Book Louis et Celie Martin, une sainteté pour tous les temps.

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the effect of gaudí’s worldview on his work BY JAVIER MONSERRAT

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n 7th June 1926, the architect Antoni Gaudí i Cornet died in surprising circumstances. An old man of abundant hair and white thick beard, with a ragged black suit and scarf, walked in the city as if he were lost, apparently distracted by what he saw around him, but probably lost in thought within his own inner world. This old absentminded man, did not see a streetcar coming on the Gran Vía, between the streets of Girona and Bailén. As the car ran him over, he was left lying on the ground. After the accident, he was taken to the nearest health care centre and later moved to Santa Creu, the old medieval hospital located in the middle of the gothic district —a sad place, where the city’s poor and homeless were left to die. Nobody recognised him. He carried no identification. They only found a handful of raisins and hazelnuts in a pocket in his jacket, and in another one, a small edition of the Gospels, torn and worn out by use. On the following day, he was identified by the chaplain of the Church of the Holy Family, Mosén Gil Parés. Two days later, he died in a cold steel bed.

GAUDÍ WAS BORN IN THE REGION OF TARRAGONA, NEAR THE CITY OF REUS, IN 1852. HE CAME FROM A HUMBLE FAMILY OF TINKERS WHO MADE AN EFFORT TO KEEP TWO OF THEIR FIVE CHILDREN IN SCHOOL… HE EXPERIENCED POVERTY, DEPRIVATION, PAIN, SICKNESS AND DEATH IN HIS FAMILY FROM A VERY EARLY AGE, MAKING HIM USED TO LIVING WITH AN UNPLEASANT FEELING OF SADNESS AND FATALITY.

A grieving life

This lonely death becomes more impressive when seen as representing the final scene, a symbol of the drama which accompanied Gaudí throughout his life. The popular resonance of his burial, when his body was placed in the crypt of the Holy Family, should not lead us to think that his life was not a sad and dramatic path to his final loneliness, providentially represented in the symbolism of his death’s final scene. Gaudí was born in the region of Tarragona, near the city of Reus, in 1852. He came from a humble family of tinkers who made an effort to keep two of their five children in school: Francisco studied medicine and Antoni architecture. Gaudí experienced poverty, deprivation, pain, sickness and death in his family from a very early age, making him used to living with an unpleasant feeling of sadness and fatality. Two of his brothers died prematurely and, in September 1876, Francisco died too, immediately after completing

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All photographs correspond to the Holy Family Basilica in Barcelona, unless stated so.

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IN THE EARLY 1880S, NEAR THE AGE OF THIRTY, GAUDÍ DID NOT APPEAR TO BE A DEVOUT MAN. HE WAS A SPIRIT OPEN TO THE PROGRESSIVE TRENDS OF THE PERIOD, IN A WAY THAT HE MADE THEM COMPATIBLE WITH HIS RELIGIOUS BELIEFS.

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his medical studies, thus truncating all the hopes placed on him by his family to improve their situation. A month later, perhaps due to the pain caused by Francisco’s death, Antonia, the mother, also died. She was followed in 1879 by Rosa, the eldest sister. From then on, Gaudí took over the care of the remainder of that miserable family: Francisco, the father, who was his confidant for many years, friend and companion of many long walks, and Rosita, his sister’s daughter, who inherited her father’s alcoholism. During the peak of his youth, having finished his studies and beginning his professional career (he graduated as an architect on 15th March 1878), Gaudí was in his best physical condition. He was ready to start his life project, despite being undoubtedly depressed over the family’s sudden losses. He possibly began by trying to lose himself in his work and professionalism, targeting, on the one hand, an ideal of efficiency learned through family tradition and, on the other, a work ideal that characterises Catalan popular culture. During the 1880s, he began to produce studies, projects and works. He sought to establish networks: he entered social circles in Barcelona related to the emerging Catalanism of the time, met important people that would prove to be essential in his later works, and attended progressive meetings in the no longer extant Café Pelai. Here he was able to build friendships with Freemasons —like the brothers Eduard and Josep Fontseré or the architect Eudald Canivell— and a varied range of anarchists, always advocating for the increasing political Catalanism. It was certainly a very anticlerical environment. Different sources claim that it was the architect, and great rival, Lluis Doménech i Montaner who later divulged that Gaudí used to attend meetings in anticlerical circles in his youth. In the early 1880s, near the age of thirty, Gaudí did not appear to be a devout man. He was a spirit open to the progressive trends of the period, in a way that he made them compatible with his religious beliefs. The most prominent of his relationships in those early years was his collaboration with his wealthy fellow Catalan Salvador Pagés in the Mataró Workers’ Cooperative. It is known that the friends and connections he progressively made in this group drew him, apparently, to the philanthropic idealism of the socialism coming from Great Britain. Naturally, with his economic problems practically taken care of and a brilliant professional future, Gaudí also thought of getting married and starting a family. It was in fact Salvador Pagés who introduced him to the Moreus, one of the wealthiest families in Mataró. After a few years, he decided to propose to Josefa Moreu,


Antoni Gaudí i Cornet (1852-1926).

one of their two daughters, whose previous marriage was in the process of being annulled. She was a beautiful woman, as the photographs that have survived prove, with a great personality, but highly anticlerical and connected to all the circles of progressive thinking. We know that Gaudí proposed and was rejected in a way that was not exactly delicate. It is also known, although in less detail, that in those years there was another attempt to find a partner suitable to start a family, but again with no positive results. Gaudí was a shy man, probably with limited psychological skills when dealing with women, despite being a qualified professional with brown hair, piercing eyes, and overall good looks, and who dressed as a dandy. Despite all this, he never met a woman who would marry him. We do not know when he abandoned all attempts, but it was perhaps in the late 1880s. Accepting this emotional failure may have been the biggest blow he suffered in his life after the dramatic death, ten years earlier, of his brother Francisco, his mother Antonia, and his sister Rosa.

THAT EMPTY HEART WAS THEN FILLED BY GOD. GAUDÍ’S SUDDEN RELIGIOUSNESS WAS THE LOGIC CIRCUMSTANTIAL EXPRESSION OF A DEEP RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? WE WILL NEVER KNOW. NEVERTHELESS, WHAT WE DO KNOW IS THAT IT MUST HAVE BEEN INFLUENCED BY THE MEMORY OF THE WORDS AND FEELINGS OF HIS DEVOUT MOTHER, IN ADDITION TO THE SPIRIT’S CALL IN THE FORM OF GRACE.

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“This lonely death becomes more impressive when seen as representing the final scene, a symbol of the drama which accompanied Gaudí throughout his life. The popular resonance of his burial, when his body was placed in the crypt of the Holy Family, should not lead us to think that his life was not a sad and dramatic path to his final loneliness, providentially represented in the symbolism of his death’s final scene”. —Carmen Chapel and Antoni Gaudí’s tomb in the Church of the Holy Family.

WE DEEM THAT IN THE DARKNESS OF THAT LAST PASSAGE OF HIS PATH, HE MUST HAVE ASKED HIMSELF MORE THAN ONCE WHETHER HE REALLY HAD “A CLIENT,” SHIVERING FOR HAVING LOOKED TOO HIGH UP TOWARDS A CUSTOMER WHO HAD NOT ACTUALLY COMMISSIONED ANY BUILDINGS. IT MUST HAVE BEEN THE ANXIETY OF FEELING LIKE THE PROTAGONIST OF AN IMAGINARY PASSION: SUBJECTIVE AND, THEREFORE, USELESS.

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The new man

Between the late 1880s and early 1890s, he built Palau Güell and other minor works for the Marquis of Comillas (e.g. school of Teresianas), the Botines House in León, and the Episcopal Palace in Astorga. Undoubtedly, in those years, under the influence of the heavy weight of projects and work, the Barcelonan architect achieved a deep existential transformation. He was no longer the thirty-year-old dandy who was in search for a woman with whom to spend the rest of his life, as any other individual from his professional environment. A very different man had been born: one who was far from the “politically correct” establishment of his social class, but with an apparently determined life choice directed towards religion. That empty heart was then filled by God. Gaudí’s sudden religiousness was the logic circumstantial expression of a deep religious experience. How did this happen? We will never know. Nevertheless, what we do know is that it must have been influenced by the memory of the words and feelings of his devout mother, in addition to the Spirit’s call in the form of grace. During Lent time in 1894, Gaudí started an absolute fast that was so long that he lost enough weight to endanger his life. His relatives did as much as they could to make him abandon that unhealthy intent. Finally, his friend and chaplain Mosén Josep Torras y Bages, later bishop of Vic, visited him and apparently convinced him to stop his suffering.


Roof of Casa Batlló, Barcelona.

During the following ten years, Gaudí’s professional policies underwent major changes. On the one hand, he took on complex civil works, but noticeably accepted fewer of these projects. And, on the other hand, we can see a progressive focus on religious works, most notably the Church of the Holy Family (on which he had been working since 1883). In the first decade of the 20th Century, he finished the works he had started and took over the building of La Pedrera. So, by 1912, he had given up everything else in order to dedicate himself exclusively to religious works. Wages earned with La Pedrera (paid for by the Milá-Segimón family, not without court intervention) amounted to 105,000 pesetas, an attractive sum for the time. He donated all to the Jesuit Ignasi Casanovas for charity work. Gaudí had started to become

GAUDÍ SLOWLY BECAME LONELIER, TURNING INTO THE “CRAZY MONOTHEMATIC MAN” OF THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY FAMILY.

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HIS RELIGIOUS PRACTICES FILLED HIM WITH PEACE AND GRANTED HIM JOY. HE FOUND RELIEF IN TAKING WALKS AROUND BARCELONA. ON SUNDAY AFTERNOONS HE USED TO GO TO THE REEF IN THE HARBOUR, WHERE HE WOULD STAY LONG HOURS WATCHING THE SEA IN SILENCE. ON OF THOSE AFTERNOONS HE CONFESSED TO HIS COMPANION THAT IT HAD BEEN THE HAPPIEST IN HIS LIFE.

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God’s architect. He would later only focus on “his client”, a strange and distant client, of whom he once ventured to say, perhaps in way of apology: “My client has no rush…” That altruistic adventure was probably what would cause the third great tribulation in his life. The first one was the death of his mother, his brother Francisco and his sister Rosa; the second was the affective loneliness that turned him into an introverted and strange being. The third was forming imperceptibly; knitting the web that would entrap him until the last days of his life. It was his tribulation over living a life marked by meaninglessness and failure and over the anguish caused by his justified fear of having been the protagonist of a colossal self-delusion. We deem that in the darkness of that last passage of his path, he must have asked himself more than once whether he really had “a client,” shivering for having looked too high up towards a customer who had not actually commissioned any buildings. It must have been the anxiety of feeling like the protagonist of an imaginary passion: subjective and, therefore, useless. Gaudí slowly became lonelier, turning into the “crazy monothematic man” of the Church of the Holy Family. In 1906, his father and friend passed away at 93 years of age, and in 1912 it was cousin Rosita’s turn. Between 1910 and 1911, he became very ill due to the Maltese fever, spending long periods in Vic and Puigcerdá under the care of priests and acquainted families. He came to be very close to death and drew up his will. In 1918, his great friend and patron Eusebi Güell died. The first measure taken by his heirs was to deprive Gaudí of all support and commissions. In those days, the Church of the Holy Family was out of funds and the works were often stopped and delayed. Gaudí himself had to bear the humiliation of begging for money and aid everywhere. Known by everyone, he was usually avoided by people so they would not have to pay attention to him. He lived cloistered like a hermit in his studio surrounded by his work, and was transformed into a picturesque old man defeated by history. The visit of Miguel de Unamuno to the site of the Holy Family is a telling anecdote. Unamuno kept saying: “I don’t like it, I don’t like it at all.” Gaudí, turning to the group that was with him, among which stood the poet Joan Maragall, repeated to them in Catalan: “no li agrada, no li agrada.” In any case, Gaudí did not only feel defeated culturally and sometimes cruelly looked down on; in fact, he felt excluded and rejected. Was it not perhaps an anachronism to intend to build a colossal Catholic temple based on a project of cultural Catalan renaixença while Catholicism and Catalanism were swept by the unstoppable storm of an international Marxist and anarchist


THE INSPIRATION FOR THE EXPIATORY CHURCH OF THE HOLY FAMILY

SAINT JOSEP MANYANET I VIVES, THE FAMILY PROPHET

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osep Manyanet i Vives was born in Tremp (Lleida) on 7th January 1833, in a period characterised by the instability created by dynastic wars, coups and revolutionary activity. Basic economic and social structures went through changes due to agrarian reform, and industrialisation and generalised crisis extended to religion, family and school. This was the context in which Josep Manyanet grew up. An intense religious experience in his childhood was the starting point of his vocation. Msgr. José Caixal, bishop of Urgell, ordained him as priest on 9th April 1859. He lived his first six years of priesthood in the service of the church of Urgell, where great religious, and even civil, institutions still remember him as a strong man with a big heart. The family institution was crumbling and Josep Manyanet, who had been marked by his family life, showed a special sensitivity for the needs of children and family. In his time of prayer, he discovered in the Holy Family the model given to humanity by God, and he devoted his life to bringing it to every home. In 1864 he founded the Saint Josep Manyanet i Vives congregation of the Sons of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, and ten years later, the female branch, nowadays called the Missionary Daughters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, both of which have the vocation and mission of being apostles of the Gospel of the Family. They are currently present in several countries. In addition, he created guidelines, movements and a journal: The Holy Family (1899). Although their apostolic objective is the family, father Manyanet’s congregations support each other to provide comprehensive education for children and adolescents, in close collaboration with their fathers and mothers. They focus on the culture of the heart and of the mind. For Josep Manyanet, the Holy Family is the seed of the Church, the original domestic Church, a school of holiness. The inspiration to erect an expiatory temple in honour of the Holy Family is the fruit of his prayers and ecclesiastic sensitivity: it is a place that would serve as the spiritual home of families from all over the world. It is in response to this inspiration that the Expiatory Church of the Sagrada Familia of Barcelona was created by the architect and Servant of God, Gaudí. He died in Barcelona on 17th December 1901. He was beatified in 1984 and canonised by John Paul II on 16th May 2015.

wave? Apparently, during the tragic week of revolutionary events in 1909, Gaudí travelled to Barcelona to check on what had happened to La Pedrera and the Holy Family. The bitterness he felt during those days was a premonitory sign of the looting and destruction that would strike his workshop (his designs and projects were lost) and the crypt temple of the Church of the Holy Family, in addition to the savage desecration of his tomb in 1936. However, in spite of the bitter and heavy burden he had taken on, he still found moments of serene happiness. His religious practices filled him with peace and granted him joy. He found relief in taking walks around Barcelona. On Sunday afternoons he used to go to the reef in the harbour, where he would stay long hours watching the sea in silence. On of those afternoons he confessed to his companion that it had been the happiest in his life. Gaudi’s final years must have been of great loneliness. His

GAUDI’S FINAL YEARS MUST HAVE BEEN OF GREAT LONELINESS. HIS BEST FRIENDS HAD PASSED AWAY. DARK CLOUDS COMING FROM EVERY DIRECTION WERE GATHERING IN A COUNTRY THAT WAS ON ITS WAY TO AN UNAVOIDABLE AND BLOODY CIVIL WAR. THE HOLY FAMILY PROGRESSED VERY SLOWLY IN THE MIDST OF INDIFFERENCE AND HOSTILITY.

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best friends had passed away. Dark clouds coming from every direction were gathering in a country that was on its way to an unavoidable and bloody civil war. The Holy Family progressed very slowly in the midst of indifference and hostility. In 1922, the Congress of Spanish architects approved a motion against Gaudi, what shows the persecution to which he was subjected. He was already an old man who was chronically ill, malnourished and tired. During the last six months of his existence he no longer had strength and slept on a bed placed in his studio next to a model of his unfinished temple. He suffered greatly with cold weather and kept his legs covered. He made himself a pair of unusual slippers that relieved some of the pain he felt in his feet, which only got worse after his long walks. If we add the ragged black suit of a fallen bourgeois professional, we get the pitiful image of a strange character: a wreck of the past, a survivor of his last walks in Barcelona amid general indifference - always drawn into his own inner world of unreal ideas and projects. His last stroll took place in the afternoon of 7th June 1926.

The genius makes his way

Lately newspapers have published monographs dedicated to his work due to the growing interest in his architectural style. In order to interpret a complex creator as Gaudí, it is necessary to try to understand what he himself attempted to do. He evidently proposed something specific, he had a complete understanding of everything he tried to create architecturally, and his works are the result of that subjective project. However, the success gained by some creators depends on the fact that their pieces have the power to suggest and inspire technical, aesthetic, existential, symbolic, historical, philosophical and theological experiences when observed by others —beyond anything that Gaudí himself may have been able to conceive and anticipate. His inner world was probably simpler than the complex versatility that he projected on later periods.

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Bell towers of the Expiatory Church of the Holy Family


Sculptures on the roof of the Pedrera, Barcelona.

WE THUS PLACE THE OBSERVER IN FRONT OF GAUDÍ’S WORK. THE FIRST IMPRESSION IS THAT WE ARE BEFORE A BUILDING BORN FROM NATURE ITSELF: IT IS A CONSEQUENCE OF GAUDÍ’S EXPLICIT INTENTION, AS HE APPLIED HIS MODERNIST NATURALISM WHILE LEARNING FROM NATURE. HE USED THE MATERIAL IN THE WAY THAT NATURE ITSELF WOULD.

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To clarify his subjective project, we need to examine the ongoing birth of his work within the frame of his biography, its historical and cultural context, and its technical and commercial conditions (given that his works were a professional answer to the requests of specific clients), but, above all, its existence within the dynamics of the artistic and architectural movements of his time. This path to genius forces us, therefore, to examine the genesis of his subjective project through moments, phases, perspectives and dimensions of his work, which we consider as being well defined. We are not only talking about sequential chronological stages, although they sometimes are. We are referring to stages and trends that arise in parallel, becoming stronger at times, but that, at the same time, mix together to reach synthesis and an ultimate sublimation. Eclecticism. When Gaudí graduated from architecture school and began to work, the predominant concept was the eclectic style. It meant taking the best from every great architectural style from the past: Greek-Roman classical, Byzantine, Romanesque, gothic, baroque, etc., while still allowing for some originality, especially ornamental. It mixed elements in a syncretic way, but always searching for a final effect of baroque complexity, decorative and suggesting greatness, which implied wealth, power and build


quality. Gaudí’s first projects —mostly never built— and mainly Palau Güell (1886-88), are examples of this eclectic style, although they include architectural, ornamental and symbolic elements that foreshadow a later Gaudí (let us only remember the use of the catenary arch, certain ornaments and symbols, and the terrace cover). Even though Calvet House is much later (1898-99), Gaudí preserved the eclectic scheme with a basic baroque design (unlike him) and blended in modernist elements in details and ornaments. Orientalism. Leaving aside that never materialised, Gaudí’s first works belong orientalist eclecticism. Thus, Casa Vicens (1883-88), the Caprice or Capricho of Comillas (1883-85) and the Güell estate (1884-87) were created following this concept. However, we find in these works, also prematurely, many expressions and designs that follow architectural naturalism, ornamentalism, symbolism, and Technicism, all of which constituted an innovation in Gaudí’s oeuvre. Nationalism. The eclectic framework slowly transitioned towards the idea that the imitation and the combination of classic historical styles would turn into a national style, unique to every location. Spain, many considered Mudéjar (from the Muslims who stayed in the land recovered by Christians) the most original historical style in the country, exemplified by the Neo-Mudéjar of the bullring of Las Ventas in Madrid. We also discover in Gaudí some degree of mudéjar influence, eclectically combined with orientalism, in the Capricho and the Güell estate. The school of Teresianas also reflects a Neo-Mudéjar concept, but here Gaudí also began to experiment with the aesthetics of light in spaces created by vaulted arches. Gothicism. The search for a national style had moved towards the gothic in some European countries, especially in Great Britain. Gaudí also arrived at the conclusion that his national style, being Catalan, was inarguably the gothic. However, he never directly copied this style (e.g. Casa Amatller, owned by Josep Puig i Cadafalch, and Casa Batlló in Passeig de Gràcia, Barcelona), but instead recreated the gothic style’s aesthetic profile from shapes that were initially modernist. The works that belong to this gothicist aesthetic are the Episcopal Palace in Astorga (1887-88), the Botines House in León (begun in 1891), and the Bellesguard property (1890-1909). The new concept of Mallorca Cathedral is also worth mentioning. Here, he revived the original aesthetic of the most important gothic Catalan buildings, toning it down with discrete touches of his own modernist aesthetic. Historicism. Nowadays, it is hard to understand the role of historicism in the 19th Century. In the time of Gaudí, everything

WHEN GAUDÍ GRADUATED FROM ARCHITECTURE SCHOOL AND BEGAN TO WORK, THE PREDOMINANT CONCEPT WAS THE ECLECTIC STYLE. IT MEANT TAKING THE BEST FROM EVERY GREAT ARCHITECTURAL STYLE FROM THE PAST: GREEKROMAN CLASSICAL, BYZANTINE, ROMANESQUE, GOTHIC, BAROQUE, ETC., WHILE STILL ALLOWING FOR SOME ORIGINALITY, ESPECIALLY ORNAMENTAL.

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GAUDÍ WAS UNDOUBTEDLY A GENIUS DECORATOR, A MASTER OF DESIGN AND A PRODIGIOUS GENERATOR OF IDEAS IN THE CREATION OF NEW AESTHETIC FORMS AND EFFECTS. HE OCCUPIED HIMSELF EVEN WITH THE SMALLEST DETAILS OF HIS WORK AND FELT EACH ONE OF HIS PROJECTS WAS AN ART PIECE.

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was historicism: all was directed towards the grandiosity of contributing to the creative self-realization of the Catalan people. For this, Gaudí considered his cultural and historical roots as strictly Catalan: nationalistic and historicist. He felt empathetic towards the process of reviving the key role of the Catalan people in history. Ornamentalism: naturalism and symbolism. Gaudí was undoubtedly a genius decorator, a master of design and a prodigious generator of ideas in the creation of new aesthetic forms and effects. He occupied himself even with the smallest details of his work and felt each one of his projects was an art piece. He did not merely create a building, but also a number of ornamental and decorative elements, mastering all minor arts at the service of architecture. His media were naturalism and symbolism. Naturalism offered him natural decorative elements from the physical world, either vegetable or animal (e.g. the gates of Casa Vicens or the forged steel dragon at the entrance of the Güell estate), while symbolism offered him general elements of human life, the Catalan nationalist environment, or the Christian religious world. It is through Christian symbolism, as we shall see, that the work of Gaudí will reach its ultimate meaning. Modernism. There is an interpretive trend in Gaudí’s work that tends to dissociate him from modernism, presenting him as a genius and the unique product of creativity, unidentifiable with any general artistic movement. However, the best way to understand Gaudí’s significance is by closely relating him to modernism. This is how Gaudí came to be Gaudí, that is, how the Gaudí of definitive maturity was born, introducing him into history in a surprising way. Modernism was a movement that appeared in art history and disappeared in the blink of an eye, spanning only one decade, the last of the 19th Century. It was quickly surpassed by 20th Century ideology and by avant-garde movements that made it old-fashioned. Modernism sought to break with eclecticism, nationalism and Gothicism, with all classic styles, in order to impose an art that recreated natural forms: its ideology consisted in conveying them through artistic products. Thus, what predominated were curved lines, undulating surfaces, irregular, soft and warm objects, with an abundance of vegetable and animal themes. Evidently, this type of art was difficult to apply in architecture (it is not easy to construct a building with curved lines and undulating surfaces). In fact, as art history treatises point out, modernism was reduced to decorative art. The few modernist buildings to be seen are the ones that have always been there, but with decorative details in windows,


Church of the Holy Family: Nativity Façade

crystalware, friezes, furniture, vegetable and animal ornaments, etc. In any case, GaudĂ­ was the only architect in the history of art that accepted the challenge of creating what seemed impossible: a modernist architecture that constructed buildings as if they were natural things. GaudĂ­ had to reconcile modernist thinking with his naturalist ideal. In the late 1880s and early 1890s, he identified and revealed himself in modernism. Probably, by then he had already discovered his own inner naturalism, which had previously manifested itself in several details of his first works. Therefore, he resolved to create a naturalist architecture. He understood that the architect had to design a building in the way nature would have done. With this new perspective in mind, he broke

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The Cross and the Dove crowning the tree of life, allegory of the Holy Trinity.


with eclecticism by adopting nationalism and Gothicism. The new modernist style he had created could be understood as an expressive sublimation of the gothic and, thus, as a historic abidance of Catalan expression. His most important works belong to this mature period: the crypt in the Güell estate (1898-1917), Park Güell (1900-14), Casa Battló (1904-06), Casa Milá or the Pedrera (1906-12), and the Church of the Holy Family (1883-1926). With these, Gaudí was granted a place in history. The geometry of ruled surfaces. Even though he worked with traditional architectural technology (he did not use cement or iron), Gaudí created balanced stone surfaces and structures similar to those found in the natural order of the physical, vegetable, and animal worlds. The gothic could hold the huge stone volumes of the Christian temple in the air with the aid of buttresses. By means of ruled geometry and the catenary arch, Gaudí was able to lift the ceiling without buttresses: great volumes of stone balanced and stable due to the natural equilibrium of weights in curved and open trajectories in space. The architectural geometry of the line, the plane and uniform solids —of uniform verticals and horizontals— was gradually replaced, from his first projects onwards, by the catenary arch and the surfaces created by the geometry of ruled surfaces: helicoids, conoids, hyperboloids, and hyperbolic paraboloids —all of which are very frequent in nature, but which had rarely been used in architecture until then.

The worldview effect in Gaudí’s work

Thus, it can be said that Gaudí was a naturalist: a conscious and alert disciple of Mother Nature. We do not think that his project went beyond that naturalist modernism, understood as an expressive instrument of a Christian symbolism that was born as a gothicist sublimation of Catalan culture. But beyond his subjective project, Gaudí’s work —as it usually happens with great artistic products— has a great power of aesthetic suggestion. Aesthetic effect depends on contemplative subjectivity. To explain the worldview effect Gaudí’s work arises on us, we can picture an interactive triangle. The first vertex is the one that results from the piece’s own subjectivity: the work made from elements of the physical world —stone, steel, crystal, colour, etc. The second vertex is the artist or creator: the architect’s creative subjectivity, producing a subjective project that is captured in his work. The third vertex is the observer’s contemplative subjectivity, looking at the piece through the coded message that the architect wants to transmit. We thus place the observer in front of Gaudí’s work. The first impression is that we are before a building born from nature itself:

GAUDÍ WAS THE ONLY ARCHITECT IN THE HISTORY OF ART THAT ACCEPTED THE CHALLENGE OF CREATING WHAT SEEMED IMPOSSIBLE: A MODERNIST ARCHITECTURE THAT CONSTRUCTED BUILDINGS AS IF THEY WERE NATURAL THINGS. GAUDÍ HAD TO RECONCILE MODERNIST THINKING WITH HIS NATURALIST IDEAL.

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it is a consequence of Gaudí’s explicit intention, as he applied his modernist naturalism while learning from nature. He used the material in the way that nature itself would. Therefore, in our own personal reading, mature Gaudian construction always presents itself as nature becoming a building. This means that the observer perceives the Gaudian building as the result of a natural autogenesis. This does not happen with buildings that belong to rationalist architecture: it is only characteristic of the seminal aesthetic impact of Gaudí’s work.

Magical dimensions

THE GAUDIAN BUILDING APPEARS TO SPRING FROM NATURE ITSELF, WHILE THE ARCHITECT AND HIS CONSTRUCTIVE RATIONALISM REMAIN HIDDEN. IT IS LIKE A NATURAL ORGANIZATION THAT PRODUCES THE BUILDING’S AUTOGENESIS:

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The Gaudian building appears to spring from nature itself, while the architect and his constructive rationalism remain hidden. It is like a natural organization that produces the building’s autogenesis: deep down, Gaudí was saying that we should let nature speak. In any case, the observer must know that behind this building there is an architect, a reason. Thus, he comprehends that this architect’s reason has acted by hiding itself and activating the natural process of autogenesis. The observer begins to see the architect as a magician who knows how to harness nature’s organising power. Architecture is stone and pure physical world. Then, natural autogenesis opens up a first and fundamental magical dimension, which expresses an initial message: everything is natural autogenesis based on its physical root. This first germinal movement of physics, of pure stone, the start of its primitive path towards a human habitat and a genesis from the vegetable world, presents itself to us in a specially impressive way in Park Güell, the crypt of the Güell estate, and, above all, in the Pedrera. In this last one, a disconcerting and undulating sea of desert stones is organized in the shape of a building, a human home. It shows a bloom of primitive vegetable elements in the dark railing of the balconies and several enigmatic chimneys that allow us to see inside, anticipating the presence of the future spirit in the stone’s pure essence. The second magical dimension: in its process of autogenesis, nature offers us the blooming of the natural world. In Park Güell we can actually see how the pure primitive stone transforms into a living vegetable symphony: from the baroque vegetation of the front into the interior forest of tree-columns or the huge cypresses that, growing tall towards the sky, hold Christian symbolism. In the same way in which in the Pedrera pure physics magically culminates in a human dwelling, in the Holy Family vegetable life arises from the stone to culminate in a colossal symphony —a Christian temple.


The Visitation, Portal of Faith. The Facade of the Nativity.

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IN THE FIFTH AND DEFINITIVE MAGICAL DIMENSION, THIS PRODIGIOUS NATURAL SELF-REGENERATION INTEGRATES THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY (THE INCARNATION, DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF CHRIST: THE THREE FAÇADES OF THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY FAMILY).

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The third magical dimension: natural autogenesis also transforms the stone into an animal that ultimately serves man. We observe animal autogenesis in Park Güell and the Church of the Holy Family (e.g. the turtle that holds the column, helping the vegetable kingdom rise as Christian temple), but it is virtually a monographic theme in the impressive Casa Batlló. The bone structure holds the building, the worm wraps itself helicoidally to serve as a staircase, and the dragon watches the human dwelling from the terrace (and conjointly, again, the enigmatic eye of the spirit watches outside the balconies). The fourth magical dimension relates to the message of the human world: nature, which culminates in a building at the service of man, which embraces the genesis and human history, perceived already as future in the phantasmagorical visions of the Pedrera, or Casa Batlló. Thus, nature self-generates and shelters human figures and history, which find their natural niche in the vegetable symphony of the Holy Family (including the terrorist, who, dramatically, has a bomb in his hand). In the fifth and definitive magical dimension, this prodigious natural self-regeneration integrates the essential elements of the Christian mystery (the incarnation, death and resurrection of Christ: the three façades of the Church of the Holy Family). It establishes Christian symbolism —in this case, words and signs engraved in the stone, as if pronounced by nature itself— as the key for the ultimate culmination of the temple, communicating to us the final explanatory message of the universe: the symbol of the cross in the highest part of the temple, under the top-most end of the central dome. We think, therefore, that the worldview effect of Gaudí’s work is in fact magical, and concerns the psycho-biophysical unity of the universe. It is a message that is not offered to us by Gaudí, but by nature itself, showing us that its complex psycho-biophysical process of autogenesis culminates in a Christian reading centred on the mystery of Christ. More than a current message, it is a prophetic one: we begin to see the coming of a better human understanding of the psycho-biophysical unity of the universe (according to some, this is the main problem of science nowadays). In any case, the Christian reading of this unity is a future in which Gaudí believed prophetically, but which depends on the capacity of Christians to fulfil. His work, framed within the extraordinary gothic and modernist tradition of the city of Barcelona, constitutes a historical and artistic heritage of immeasurable importance. In the last fifty years, interest in Gaudí’s work has awakened and grown massively, but it will probably be greater in future years.


newman and elgar on the afterlife of gerontius BY M. KATHERINE TILLMAN

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tories of the afterlife of the immortal soul are “worth the risk Newman loved the Latin of believing,” wrote Plato, man of reason. We are asked in one hymns and rites—first as way to take that risk upon entering the dream-story of the a member of the Church going forth of Gerontius (the old man), of Every-man and-woman of England, then of the through the gateway of death unto the threshold of eternity. The Church of Rome… He “Dream of Gerontius” by John Henry Newman, set to music by selected and edited the Edouard Elgar, is the dream-story of the Soul’s initiation, through largest collection of Latin judgment and purgation, into a new life —the Soul assisted and hymns ever published made strong in the ordeal by the unceasing intercession of all the in England... He also powers of Church triumphant, militant and suffering. translated Latin hymns The Australian aborigines, ancients of this earth, initiate their and wrote a fair number young into the new life of adulthood by means of ritual entrance of original hymns, as well into the Dreamtime. A kind of eternity beyond all human time as original poems that where abide the spirits of the Ancestors, the Dreamtime is at once a would be set to music, mental place of communal remembrance and a sacred space entered among which the best through ritual and song. The initiate is called by the elders, purified known are “Lead Kindly and proven by trial, and is thoroughly educated in the ancient Light” and “Praise stories and songlines of the tribe. The songlines, or dreaming to the Holiest in the tracks, are the invisible pathways of the Ancestors, who sang all Height,” the latter taken things into being and wove their names into verse wrapping the from “The Dream of whole world in a web of song. To walk and sing these tracks, which Gerontius.” map the Outback of Australia, is to be in the Way of the Law and to recover the eternal sources of life. Across the world another ancient tradition tells its stories and sings its songs, its heroes too compelled to enter the Dreamtime in order to fulfill their destinies. The journey to the underworld of Homer’s wandering Odysseus and of Virgil’s dutiful Aeneas is an entry into communion with the souls of the dead and the reception of a prophecy and vision for the trials and triumph ahead. Through this descent and return, the hero is reconciled

HUMANITAS Nº 8 pp. 93-97

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The opening Latin verses of the dying Gerontius’ beautiful hymn of faith, hope and love, “Holy Mighty One, Holy God,” are from the Reproaches in the liturgy for Good Friday, the remaining Latin lines from familiar psalms and hymns.

with the past and brought forth into the promise of the future. John Henry Newman, poet of “The Dream of Gerontius,” was, through his education at Ealing and Oxford, steeped in the Greek and Roman classics. He knew well the epic poems of Homer and Virgil —had written other, shorter poems on their ample themes. He knew too Plato’s myths of the afterlife, of newly departed souls being led by their guardian spirits to the place of judgment, of those neither wholly good nor evil, but in between, traveling along the waterways to the dark lake of purification. Socrates, Plato’s master, concluded: “This or something like this is what happens,” and such things reasonable people sing to themselves in order to inspire their lives with confidence. Acclaimed as one of the greatest English prose stylists of the nineteenth century, Newman acknowledged Cicero as his only master of style —Cicero, who wrote “The Dream of Scipio” in which the elder Africanus reveals to the slumbering Scipio the cosmic dimensions of the only true life, that after death. Just souls are rewarded and the unjust wander for ages until purified and brought to bliss. Africanus invites Scipio to lift his attention from earthly things to the mysterious and eternal music of the heavenly spheres, imperceptible to the ears of mortals who try, with faint success, to imitate that sweet music with instrument and human voice. Let us consider these archetypal stories of Greco-Roman antiquity as themselves dream elements, particles of raw material, for spiritual and artistic transformation. And let us, more importantly, add other and

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A postcard of Edward Elgar sent in 1906.

sacred elements as well —from the treasure-trove of the ancient Only the inspired genius Church, both east and west, and reaching back to her first rich of a Newman and an heritage of Hebrew story and psalm. In particular, Newman loved Elgar could transform the the Latin hymns and rites —first as a member of the Church dream elements, scraps of of England, then of the Church of Rome. While a leader of the paper and fragments of Oxford Movement for reform in the Church of England, Newman human significance, into selected and edited the largest collection of Latin hymns ever the triumphant artistic published in England. He also translated Latin hymns and wrote masterpiece, “The Dream a fair number of original hymns, as well as original poems that of Gerontius.” would be set to music, among which the best known are “Lead Kindly Light” and “Praise to the Holiest in the Height,” the latter taken from “The Dream of Gerontius.” Newman was especially interested in the Roman Breviary, with its offices, hymns and liturgical settings, and he celebrated these prayers of the Church Catholic in his controversial Anglican publication, Tract 75. The words of all the choral settings of Part One of “the Dream,” which is set in imagination at Gerontius’s deathbed, are drawn directly, in Newman’s translation and versification, from the litany and prayers of the “Ritual for the Commendation of a Soul,” most commonly appended to the Roman Breviary. The opening Latin verses of the dying Gerontius’ beautiful hymn of faith, hope and love, “Holy Mighty One, Holy God,” are from the Reproaches in the liturgy for Good Friday, the remaining Latin lines from familiar psalms and hymns. All of these verses, like his friends at bedside, surround and enfold Gerontius’ urgent recitative; they are set to

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Elgar’s distinctive melodies and counterpoint, or cast in antiphonal and chant-like settings rooted in the liturgical practice of the primitive and mediaeval Church. Elgar, the familiar of cathedrals and choirs, was psychologically, religiously and musically in sympathy with Newman’s great themes and settings. “The poem must on no account be touched,” he wrote, knowing that the Catholic inspiration of the poem was, in matter and in form, the very essence of the inspiration of the music. Newman had composed the poem rather suddenly, writing it on small bits of paper in January of 1865. Upon publication that summer, it was an immediate success. It is There is no need of said that Newman himself proposed that his “Dream” might well words, for example, as be set to music. Wedding gift to the Elgars from a priest-friend in the composer masterfully, 1889, the poem had been “soaking” in his mind for many years, musically, describes Elgar later said before he composed the music, and “all that time the sacred stairway to I [was] gradually assimilating the thoughts of the author into my the Presence-chamber own musical promptings.” Only the inspired genius of a Newman of God, the lintels of and an Elgar could transform the dream elements, scraps of paper the gate vibrating and and fragments of human significance, into the triumphant artistic echoing back the strain, masterpiece, “The Dream of Gerontius.” the very threshold Changing no words, Elgar selected passages amounting to uttering aloud its glad just over half of Newman’s 900-line poem. Beyond the minor response. contractions of litanies and of the paraphrased Psalm 90, the verses omitted by Elgar would seem to be of two kinds: more abstract verses not as effectively made musical, and verses which could, with great precision and fullness of meaning, be stated nonverbally by magnificent orchestration. There is no need of words, for example, as the composer masterfully, musically, describes the sacred stairway to the Presencechamber of God, the lintels of the gate vibrating and echoing back the strain, the very threshold uttering aloud its glad response. Nor is there need for Elgar to transcribe these unset words of the Guardian Angel to the Soul of Gerontius: Now “Thou livest in a world of signs and types,/ The presentation of most holy truths. . . . And thou art wrapped and swathed around in dreams,/ Dreams that are true, yet

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enigmatical. . . .” The mystic dreamstate of the entire piece is pronounced by Elgar in the pervasive chromaticism which disorients and deflects the ear, and thus the imagination, from any stable tonal center or resting place. We feel that we are nowhere real and in no abiding place, aloof from things mundane. Even in the sickroom, Newman’s interjected Latin displaces us. “The ancient language used,” Newman had written, “has a tendency to throw the reader out of every-day thoughts and familiar associations. . . .” Elgar’s intimately interwoven orchestral and vocal settings are one with the ever-shifting perspectives of Newman’s poem. Elgar’s intimately From the more earthly melodies of the sickroom (themselves interwoven orchestral nightmarishly torn between agonized despair and firm faith)—to and vocal settings are the intimations of ethereal timelessness as the Soul of Gerontius one with awakens refreshed; from the metrical, formal invocation of the the ever-shifting priestly and ecclesial intercessors—to the fluid, natural inflections perspectives of of the blank verse recitatives; from the solemn, unaccompanied Newman’s poem. Kyrie of the semi-chorus—to the wild and mocking fugue, jagged and dissonant, of the brilliant Demons’ Chorus—to the monumental hymn of praise to the Holiest in the height by the angelic choirs; from the impassioned aria of the Angel of the Agony to the tender farewell finale of the Guardian Angel: all things seem visionary and beyond our sensebound grasp. “Go forth from this world upon thy journey,” the elder solemnly intones in Latin. And all the members of the tribe, in communion with the spirits of the noble Ancestors chant the sacred incantations, as the initiate, following the pathways of the songlines, enters into the Dreamtime. Eye hath not seen, and yet we paint images; nor ear heard, and yet we tell stories and sing songs; nor has it entered into the human heart, and yet we dream dreams of perfect justice and of joy that knows no end. In the meantime, in this Dreamtime, the performance is the enactment, our engagement in it a very entry into the Dreamtime of the ancestors. The stories and the songlines of the human tribe here resonate in bones’ marrow and beings’ fiber, making all that is spirit one, until that time when Gerontius passes from the shadows and images of the Dreamtime into the clear light of everlasting Day.

* This article was first published in Newman Studies Journal, Vol. I, No. 1 (March, 2004).

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HUMANITAS Nยบ 8 pp. 98-107


bach, music for god BY M. ISABEL IRARRÁZABAL

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wo hundred and fifty years ago, in the afternoon of 28th July, the great German musician, Johann Sebastian Bach, left this world. It was thus that a deep desire which, present during his whole life, was captured in his works’ musical notes and texts came true: the nostalgic wish or Sehnsucht of eternal rest. It is because of this that, talking about the time of his departure, Albert Schweitzer writes: “Desired to such a degree, expected to such a degree, death did not surprise him. At the supreme moment his face must have brightened with that otherworldly smile that one believes to see in his cantatas and mystical chorales.” A fruitful existence ended that afternoon. We know the staggering amount of music that Bach composed in his sixty-five years of life. According to W. Schmieder’s catalogue, he created about two hundred religious cantatas and thirty profane ones, five masses, four passions, three oratorios, seven motets, one hundred and ninety chorales and seventy sacred songs, two hundred pieces for the organ and one hundred and eighty pieces for other keyboards, In the Middle Ages, and also in addition to works for the lute, chamber music, orchestras and in Bach’s time, man still several studies. Such great industriousness undoubtedly shows identified the sparkle of the a great volume of energy, perhaps confirmed by the robust and divine in every part of the healthy face that appears in many of his portraits. sensible world by way of a It was the desire of closeness with God which motivated this reflection — the intelligible incessant activity. His art was not the art pour l’art of the 19th order of what is wordly century, an autonomous art that dictated its own laws, but a revealed at every moment the transcendental art, a medium to give glory to God. It is because existence of a great Wisdom. of this that in almost all his music sheets, sacred or otherwise, we Then, the sensible and, as see the heading “S.D.G.”: Soli Deo Gloria; or we read in the first part of it the artistic work page of his Klavierbüchlein: “In nomine Iesu” and on the cover of of man, had to portray as a his Orgelbüchlein the verses: “In honour of God supreme; for my fellow loyal mirror the suprasensible man as instruction.” reality, of which its existence Because of the profound sense that music creation had for was known to be dependent. Bach, it is easy to explain why in his manuscripts, even though we often recognise the rush and pressure of time, we never find an author perfunctorily completing his assignments with annoyance so that he could later work on other priorities. This, in Bach’s case, could have perfectly happened if his concept of musical art had been different. We know that Bach spent most of his lifetime creating music for commissions: basically, works that complied with the weekly requirements of the Lutheran cult or satisfied the demands of his successive patrons. The features of his works always depended, for the most part, on the circumstances and requirements presented to him. Such is the case of his most important “lay” works, such as the Brandenburg Concertos and didactic books like Two and Three Part Inventions and The Well-Tempered Clavier. These were composed during the period in which he worked as chapel and chamber music master in the court of Köthen (1717-1723), given that here he

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was freed from his weekly chore of writing music for the mass. He would only go back to this type of work in the last five years of his life, always for commissions, as, for example, the famous Musical Offering, composed from a “real” subject that was given to him by Frederick II. In other cities (Arnstadt, Mühlhausen, Weimar and Leipzig) his daily work consisted in the roles of organist and composer of cantatas that were to be performed during the services of the liturgical calendar. Even within this work, the type of formal planning and orchestration answered not only to his own evolution as a musician, but also to circumstantial matters. For example, in 1723 he moved to Leipzig, were he took the position of Cantor at St. Thomas Church. There, from 1730, he began to write cantatas for solo parts, but only because he did not have enough singers for the choral parts he used to write. However, as we said, far from thinking of his art as a senseless routine, he identifies in it a more elevated end. In the That union which existed introduction to a manual on norms and principles of the basso for Bach between the continuo, written in 1738 and attributed to Bach, we read the glory of God and the following: “as in all music, with the basso continuo the Finis and soul’s bliss that meant ultimate objective must also be nothing more than the glory of music, is no longer God and the soul’s bliss. When this is not taken into account there something which presents is no authentic music, but only diabolic squeals and bawling” to us naturally, given (Bach-Dokumente II, p. 333). that after the Baroque, The essential point here is a musical conception that is music began to be an ever typical of the Middle Ages and still in force at the beginning more autonomous art. of the Baroque period. According to this conception, music has The soul’s bliss, before a moral value and, hence, it is possible to distinguish between then founded in religion, two kinds: that which pleases God and which, generally, slowly transformed into is rationally comprehensible through its order and clear entertainment for its own numerical proportions, and that which has more to do with sake, which is no longer chaos, impurity and utter noise. In the Middle Ages, and also of a Christian nature, but in Bach’s time, man still identified the sparkle of the divine in secular. every part of the sensible world by way of a reflection — the intelligible order of what is wordly revealed at every moment the existence of a great Wisdom. Then, the sensible and, as part of it the artistic work of man, had to portray as a loyal mirror the suprasensible reality, on which its existence was known to be dependent. It is thus that the organ player Johann Gottfried Walther, distant relative and friend of Bach, writes in 1708, referring to music, that Christians must “use that gift from God conveniently so that God finds their works pleasing.” The musical composer, more than the cause of his work, is an instrument of the true Cause, and his mission is to reveal divine wisdom through every bar of the music he writes. That union which existed for Bach between the glory of God and the soul’s bliss that music meant, is no longer something which appears before us naturally, given that after the Baroque, music began to be an ever more

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autonomous art. The soul’s bliss, before then founded on religion, slowly transformed into entertainment for its own sake, which is no longer of a Christian nature, but secular. Thus, in 1790, Kant would formulate in his Critique of Judgment: “beautiful art is a mode of representation purposive for itself, although it does not posses and end, it nevertheless stimulates the culture of spiritual forces for social communication.” Hence, the prime goal of music becomes composition itself, its musical logic and its entertaining effect in the audience. It is true that some of this modern autonomy trend can be perceived in Bach, but it is found in secondary activities, such as his position as director of the Scottish Collegium Musicum, which had its headquarters in Leipzig. This was a student orchestra whose concerts had no other objective than a wide audience’s appreciation of the technical and interpretive ability of each of the musicians that were part of it. They had no other extramusical or functional goals in accord to the requirements of a court or church, but the We must consider the mere entertainment and pleasing of the audience. However, even functionality with which though we can find several features of modernity in Bach, they Bach conceived his do not constitute the essential tendency of his music. On the other hand, to deny its autonomy does not mean in own music, composing any case to declare that the work of the composer has no value that which was needed in each situation and in itself. In fact, the quality of its inherent order is considered one adapting his creative art to of the main reasons why his work has had so much universal circumstantial conditions interest: a direct quality, possible to experience without previous or the requirements from conditioning. All who listen to it become immersed in the those for whom he worked. sphere of its musical organization and its structural thinking. Rather, we are saying that, even though it is endowed with an unquantifiable intrinsic value, Bach’s work does not seem to end in itself. According to what has been said, and recapitulating, there are at least two reasons to think that Bach’s music was not conceived with autonomy in mind. First, almost his whole body of work points to a transcendental end, which is, as we have said, to give glory to God and in this way only to please the soul. Second, we must consider the functionality with which Bach conceived his own music, composing that which was needed in each situation and adapting his creative art to circumstantial conditions or the requirements of those for whom he worked. Regarding the degree of independence or autonomy of the composer against the concrete possibilities that each musical instrument offered him, Bach obviously did not have access in his time to all the media available today in order to overcome those limitations. However, there are cases in which he seems to try to transgress them. For example, in the book of Preludes and Fugues in The Well-Tempered Clavier, the need to clearly define the voices of the counterpoint many times led Bach to, for instance, ask for durations that are “theoretical” for an instrument like the clavier, that is, which seem to make no consideration of the fact that a note cannot be prolonged for several bars with this instrument. But Bach could not have

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103 Original score by the composer.


Small family concerts in Bach’s home, where frequently held his children and his wife Anna Magdalena. He played pieces specially composed for these occasions. Manuscripts have been preserved in which home scenes are depicted as in a family album, a model for family life in any historical period.

forgotten this type of thing; they must be due to the fact that works like those accomplish a purpose that is mostly didactic and almost encyclopaedic. There are other cases in which the art that Bach developed in polyphonic composition is clearly at odds with the technical possibilities of each instrument, such as when the fidelity to the counterpoint causes a headache for singers who cannot find a moment to breathe. In the case of the Cello Suites and the Partitas for Solo Violin, Bach manages, through clever means, to make instruments that are only melodic sound polyphonic. These are evidently pieces of great complexity and virtuosity for those who interpret them.

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However, the means that Bach uses to produce new sounds, escaping up to a point the limitations of each instrument, are not enough to constitute an autonomy as the one allowed by electronic music, for example. The latter gives the composer the possibility of capturing sound in whichever way he likes, freeing it from all bonds, so that essential features like the timbre and other characteristics of each instrument no longer exist. This autonomy in terms of the original instruments’ nature, to which we are used to, is undeniably incomparable to the musical resources that Bach left to interpreters — a barely feasible challenge sometimes impossible for them to achieve. On the other hand, Bach did not yearn for that blind search for originality, which erroneously identifies the absence of references with the work’s artistic level. On the contrary, it is possible to find in his music a series of influences belonging to previous and different musical trends. Perhaps the composer managed to create a unique and admirable synthesis of two diverse and apparently contradictory music writing styles: This autonomy in the old counterpoint composition, which originates in the terms of the original Middle Ages and to which Bach confers its last expression; instruments’ nature, to and the newly-born harmony, which will have its first explicit which we are used to, is formulation in his work, according to René Leibowitz. undeniably incomparable In fact, Bach’s work as a whole is the sum of eras and trends that to the musical resources are very different to each other. Among them, in the first place, we that Bach left to identify the sacred music of the Protestant Reformation, begun interpreters — a barely by Martin Luther’s chorales, its vocal forms and the development feasible challenge of music for the organ. At the same time, we see the structures sometimes impossible for and stylistic elements that belonged to the tradition of Catholic them to achieve. sacred music, especially vocal polyphony as it is represented by Palestrina. There is also a great influence from concert music from Bach’s times, particularly from Antonio Vivaldi and from the Italian madrigal and opera in the middle of its developmental phase, which, after the innovative work of Monteverdi, would extend from Italy towards the whole of Europe. We even find the influx of dance music from the same period. Violinist Yehudi Menuhin makes a poetic and evocative comparison between the multitude of voices that Bach masterfully harmonized in his polyphonic works and the wide multiplicity of peoples that arrived in the European continent and whose diversity in music styles was to some extent fused or harmonized by Bach: “Perhaps this harmony is an echo of the cry of all these peoples who wanted to be heard in their own language and who, nevertheless, had to learn to live in the midst of that heterogeneity. (…) For Western music, this meant that sooner or later a truly universal representative voice had to rise. In my opinion, that was Johann Sebastian Bach, composer, organist, violinist, theoretician and servant of God.”

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On the other hand, Bach did not yearn for that blind search for originality, which erroneously identifies the absence of references with the work’s artistic level. […] it is possible to find in his music a series of influences belonging to previous and different musical trends. Perhaps the composer managed to create a unique and admirable synthesis of two diverse and apparently contradictory music writing styles: the old counterpoint composition, which originates in the Middle Ages and to which Bach confers its last expression; and the newly-born harmony.

Bach’s universal language did not only interpret the diverse existing European musical expressions; receiving this influx, he became a determining factor in the later development of music history. Since his work is not an unorganised mixture of different trends but the result of a masterful penetration and focus on the essential in each, it possesses a clarity, unity and strength that make it able to transcend decisively in time. “Once its essential nature is acknowledged,” — Hugo Leichtentritt declares,– “Bach’s music could never become old-fashioned.” It is because of this that we can consider Bach to be one of the fundamental pillars of Western music. There is a profound sense of tradition in Bach, considering it does not seek to deny the musical treasures of the past, but to adopt them and give them a new enriching shape. This same sense can be identified within the composer’s family. Referring to this, Albert Schweitzer writes: “We see its members disseminated throughout the small towns of central Germany, all of them organists and Cantors, honest, a bit stubborn, energetic, modest and, nevertheless, aware of their own worth. (…) We foresee that the ideas and aspirations expressed in this lineage cannot be stopped, but, necessarily, they will be accomplished some day in a perfect and definitive way, with a unique Bach in whom all the different personalities of this family will be synthesised.” In this way, Bach, in both the Western world and in the intimacy of his family life, harmonizes diverse music melodies, masterfully transforming them into a continuous and extraordinarily beautiful piece. Frequently, they held small family concerts in Bach’s home, where he, his children, and his wife Anna Magdalena played pieces that were specially composed for these occasions. Manuscripts have been preserved in which home scenes are depicted as in a family album, a model for family life in any historical period. One such case is the manuscript for the second oboe in Cantata 164, where the headings and keys belong to his wife Anna

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Magdalena’s handwriting, but the notes, clumsy and stiff, are Bach’s universal written by one of his children, Wilhelm Friedemann, who must language did not only have been around thirteen years of age at the time. interpret the diverse Due to his efforts his efforts to provide his children with a existing European musical education, evidenced in the compositions particularly musical expressions; dedicated to this purpose, as Klavierbüchlein, the Inventions of receiving this influx, he 1723 and six sonatas for the organ, many of them were able became a determining to stand out: Wilhelm Friedemann became organist in Halle; factor in the later Carl Philipp Emanuel became clavier player for Frederick the development of music Great and later chapel master in Hamburg, where he succeeded history. Since his work Telemann; Johann Christoph Friedrich was chamber musician is not an unorganised for the Count of Lippe; Johann Christian was organist in the mixture of different Cathedral of Milan and replaced Händel as chapel master for the trends but the result of Queen of England; his daughter Juliane Frederike married an a masterful penetration organist. In addition to that, many of them were also composers. and focus on the Johann Sebastian Bach’s children contributed to the shaping of a essential in each, it new generation of musicians, much in the same way their father possesses a clarity, unity taught them and so many of their contemporaries. and strength that make Fortunately, Bach always enjoyed good health, which allowed it able to transcend him to keep up with his intense activity. The time of his death decisively in time. came in 1750 due to complications caused by a surgical procedure originally intended to cure him of the great weakening of his eyesight that he had endured over the previous years. Far from improving his condition, it left him blind and with his health considerably deteriorated and without a cure. Schweitzer tells that, moments before his death, Bach suddenly recovered his sight only for a few hours. His eyes were surely ready to contemplate celestial reality… Bach made of his music a means of expressing unity and harmony. His work became our pleasure, and today his music’s beauty awakens nostalgia in our souls, similar to that which he probably experienced; the immense peace and rest that awaits us.

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NOTES WHY FRANCIS IS WAGING WAR ON THE DEVIL The Argentine Pontiff has spoken about Satan more than any other recent Pope. He isn’t trying to scare us, but to inspire us to fight a daily spiritual battle by Fr. Thomas Rosica

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quent mention of the Devil n his daily homilies, FRANCIS SEES THE DEVIL is a bit outdated. The Jeaddresses and tweets, NOT AS A MYTH OR suit Pope is swimming in Pope Francis returns THEOLOGICAL PROPOSITION waters in which very few with surprising frequenBUT AS A DAILY REALITY: catholic priests and biscy to one topic: the Devil. THE “PRINCE OF THIS hops have dared to dread Francis’s Devil has many WORLD” WHO HATES these past years. With his names: Satan, the Accuser, HOLINESS AND TEMPTS US continual references to the the Evil One, the Father of THROUGH RICHES, POWER, Devil, Pope Francis parts Lies, the Ancient Serpent, AND PRIDE TO PERSUADE US TO LOOK TO OUR OWN ways with the current Tempter, Seducer, Great RESOURCES, NOT GOD’S. preaching in the Church, Dragon, Father of War, which is far too silent Father of Lies, Father of Hate, the Enemy, Darkness, Prince of this about the devil and his insidious ways or reduces him to a mere metaphor. World and just plain Demon. Francis speaks so often about the Public opinion, both catholic and secular, has often responded to the Pope’s Devil that a journalist once asked me if insistence on the Devil with dismissive- the Pope is a fan of Harry Potter. Why ness, indifference or, at best, a strange cu- is Francis so concerned with the Prince riosity. The Pope has ruffled the feathers of Demons? It is because he believes that of some modern pastoral ministers and Satan is a real person: the most insidious theologian types who feel that such fre- enemy of the Church.

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“Et dans l’obscur taillis des etres et des choses Je regardais roder, noir, riant, l’œil en feu, Satan, ce braconnier de la foret de Dieu”. Victor Hugo, La Légende des Siècles, 1883

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Here are some clues to this papal dia- life of every Christian is a constant battle bolic preoccupation. Though Francis is against evil, just as Jesus during his life Pope, he is also Jorge María Bergoglio, had to struggle against the Devil and his a Jesuit through and through. He is many temptations. The Evil One triumphs drawing on some fundamental insights when his constant gnawing away at us of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the distances us from the way of Jesus. The temptation of the Devil has three Society of Jesus, the Pope’s own religious family. As a faithful disciple of Ignatius characteristics and we need to learn for his entire Jesuit life, Jorge María about them in order not to fall into the Bergoglio has been “discerning spirits”. trap. First, his temptation begins gradually but grows and is Francis sees the Devil not always growing. Secondly, as a myth or theological IN HIS COMMENTS ABOUT it infects another person; proposition but as a daily THE DEVIL AND THE POWER OF EVIL, WE REALISE THAT it spreads to another and reality: the “prince of this THE POPE IS NOT SPEAKING seeks to be part of the world” who hates holiness IN ESOTERIC THEOLOGICAL community. And, thirdly, and tempts us through TERMS FOR AN ELITE in the end, in order to calm riches, power, and pride to AUDIENCE. RATHER HE IS the soul, it justifies itself. persuade us to look to our ISSUING AN URGENT CALL In his comments about own resources, not God’s. TO ARMS, TO IMMEDIATE the Devil and the power Pope Francis clearly ACTION. FOR EVERY of evil, we realise that the sees the Devil as the oriCHRISTIAN. Pope is not speaking in gin of the bloody, violent esoteric theological terms conflicts in this world. Last year in a deeply symbolic prayer for an elite audience. Rather he is issuing service for peace held in the Vatican gar- an urgent call to arms, to immediate acdens, which brought together the likes tion. For every Christian. The Pope is also of Israeli president Shimon Peres and offering very concrete steps to do combat Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas with the Devil and the reign of evil. Here are seven provocative statements and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Francis told them: “More than once we about the Devil from the Pope’s reflections: The Devil offers us bitterness. have been on the verge of peace, but he The Devil often comes disguised as an Evil One, employing a variety of means, has succeeded in blocking it. That is why angel and slyly speaks his word to us. However shrewd the Devil is, it is Jesus we are here, because we know and we ultimately who battles him. believe that we need the help of God”. The Devil is poison; he brings jealousy, Since the beginning of his Petrine Ministry, Francis has been warning us envy and strife. We need to learn from the Gospel how that whoever wants to follow Jesus must be aware of the reality of the Devil. The to battle against the Devil.

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The Devil is intelligent. (“He knows about stepping over them in order to get more theology than all the theologians what we want. He is a con artist because he tells us that we have to abandon our together,” according to Francis.) Fighting the Devil is a continouos batt- friends, and never to stand by anyone. Everything is based on appearances. He le, a daily struggle. In a prepared text that he ended up makes you think that your worth denot reading at the large youth rally in pends on how much you possess.” So according to the Pontiff, the work Paraguay in July, Francis presented the Devil’s job des- of the Devil engenders bitterness; it visits us under many disguises; it is poisonous cription. and deceptive. And the The text said: “In the only way to face it is by Bible, the Devil is called SO ACCORDING TO THE a constant daily struggle. the Father of Lies. What PONTIFF, THE WORK OF THE DEVIL ENGENDERS Just as the Devil employs he promises, or better, BITTERNESS; IT VISITS US deceptive strategies to what he makes you think, UNDER MANY DISGUISES; tempt us, so too must is that, if you do certain IT IS POISONOUS AND Christians be wise and things, you will be happy. DECEPTIVE. AND THE ONLY shrewd in doing battle And later, when you think WAY TO FACE IT IS BY A with the master con artist. about it, you realise that CONSTANT DAILY STRUGGLE. Is Pope Francis’s insisyou weren’t happy at all. JUST AS THE DEVIL EMPLOYS tence on the Devil and That you were up against DECEPTIVE STRATEGIES TO evil a novelty in the mosomething which, far from TEMPT US, SO TOO MUST dern era? Not really; his giving you happiness, CHRISTIANS BE WISE AND predecessors also spoke of made you feel more empSHREWD IN DOING BATTLE the Devil, but perhaps not ty, even sad. WITH THE MASTER CON with the same frequency “Friends: the Devil is ARTIST. or colouful language. Saint a con artist. He makes promise after promise, but he never de- John Paul II gave several long catecheses livers. He’ll never do anything he says. on the Devil during weekly audience He doesn’t make good on his promises. addresses. Benedict XVI also referred to He makes you want things he can’t give, the Devil on several occasions in general whether you get them or not. He makes audience addresses. In one poignant Anyou put your hopes in things that will gelus address in 2012, the German pontiff never make you happy. That’s his game, spoke of the insincerity of the one who betrayed Jesus. his strategy. “The problem is that Judas did not go “He talks a lot, he offers a lot, but he doesn’t deliver. He is a con artist because away, and his most serious fault was faleverything he promises us is divisive, it sehood, which is the mark of the Devil,” is about comparing ourselves to others, he said. “This is why Jesus said to the

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and seeks in every way to disrupt the twelve: ‘One of you is a Devil.” Here are a few points to keep in mind divine plan concerning him. But Jesus before one concludes that Pope Francis proclaims himself victor over the prince: is overly concerned with the demonic “The prince of this world is coming,” he says. “Against me he can do nothing” powers at work in the world today. According to Francis, Jesus responded (John 14:30); specifically, it is at the arrival to the devil with the Word of God in hand. of the hour of Jesus, that of his being lifted “With the prince of this world one cannot up on the Cross and at the right hand of engage in dialogue,” the Pope explained. the father, that the prince is struck down: “Dialogue is necessary among us for “Now is the judgement of this world; now shall the prince of this peace: it is an attitude that world will be cast down.” we must have among ourTHE DEVIL CANNOT With the pouring out of selves in order to hear each TOLERATE JESUS CHRIST AND SEEKS IN EVERY WAY the Spirit by the glorified other, to understand each TO DISRUPT THE DIVINE Lord, that prince meets his other. Dialogue is born PLAN CONCERNING HIM. BUT condemnation (John 16:11). from charity, from love. But JESUS PROCLAIMS HIMSELF The Devil is playing an with the prince one cannot VICTOR OVER THE PRINCE: important role in Francis’s dialogue; one can only “THE PRINCE OF THIS WORLD Petrine ministry. It’s not respond with the Word of IS COMING,” HE SAYS. that Francis has been foGod that defends us.” “AGAINST ME HE CAN DO cusing on the Evil One’s Francis also teaches that NOTHING” (JOHN 14:30). power, but rather that “with his death and Resutemptations are the rearrection, Jesus has ransomed us from the power of the world, from listic flipside to the heart of the Pope’s the power of the Devil, from the power message about the world that is replete of the prince of this world.” The Evil One with the mercy, presence and fidelity of throws everything into confusion, and God. The references to the Devil we find at the same time is hostile to men and in the words and teachings of Francis are women, whom he intends to seduce and anything but secondary. Francis is dead induce to rebel against the divine plan. serious about the Devil —and we should The Devil cannot tolerate Jesus Christ be as well.

*Authorized by The Catholic Herald

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On the year of Mercy

selected texts on forgiveness In the year of Mercy the Holy Father has called for a time to heal, help and forgive. He has invited us to forgive the offences

in order to seek reconciliation with God and others. “Pardoning offences becomes the clearest expression of merciful love, and for

us Christians it is an imperative from which we cannot excuse ourselves. At times how hard it seems to forgive! And yet pardon is the instrument placed into our fragile hands to attain serenity

of heart. To let go of anger, wrath, violence, and revenge are

necessary conditions to living joyfully”(Misericordiae vultus, n. 9) Forgiving injuries counts as one of the spiritual works of mercy. In this context, Humanitas Review has picked up two texts about

this virtue by two masters of Christian thinking who deal with it in an ever-renewed way.

HUMANITAS Nº 8 pp. 113-119

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In the circle Bishop Fulton Sheen together with the then Fr. Joseph Ratzinger during one of the sessions of the Vatican Council II.

the spirit of forgiveness BISHOP FULTON SHEEN Way to Happines, 1949

T

he alarming amount of hatred loose in the modern world is largely caused by guilt: the man who hates himself soon begins to hate his fellowmen. Unconfessed, and sometimes unadmited sins create a deep unease within the personality... the balance has to be, somehow, restored; the self must somehow be placed in a more favorable light. The right way to do this is to admit, confess and do penance for our sins. The wrong way ‌ which many unhappy people take today‌ is to make the self seem better, sins and all, by detracting from someone else. The individual who has injured someone he loves often

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On the year of Mercy

discovers that the act has turned his love to hate: he can now appear innocent in his own eyes only if he accuses the other of grave faults to justify the injury done to him. To pass thus from love to hatred is all too easy; but to turn hatred into love is hard, for it can be done only if the self-deception is punctured, the injury confessed. A second cause of hatred is fear: men who have ceased to fear the Lord soon begin to fear one another. Feeling themselves weak … as they are … men tremble before the danger of a “hostile world” they cannot placate or conquer. Fear of God is a very difficult thing: it is not a servile fear, such as a slave feels toward his tyrant, but a reverential fear, such as a child may have for a loving father. The proper fear of God relieves us from all temporal fears: we trust Him to protect us and to befriend us through all dangers. But those who lack this believe in God direct their fears towards other men and grow to hate their neighbors as so many threats to their security. Hatred is a dangerous emotion to encourage. It can even become a physical poison: an English medical journal reported the case of a mother whose hatred of her husband affected her milk and poisoned the baby she was nursing. Anger and hatred can also affect the digestive processes, causing dyspepsia and ulcers. Hatred is hard to stop, for, if let alone, it sets off a chainreaction. One man’s animosity arouses anger in another, who, in turn, creates rage in someone else. That is why Our Lord told us when we are struck on one cheek, to turn the other: thus, by an interior effort of the will, we bring the chain of anger to an end. The only way to destroy hate is for an individual to absorb it and, in his own heart, convert it into love. Such a course is difficult for us: we men have so small a reservoir of love within us that, if we draw on it, it soon runs dry. We have then to find another source of love in order to forgive ... a new and added quota of potential mercy. The ability to forgive others their offenses comes to us only from God, but He will not withhold the power if we ask for it. His own word tells us, “Be merciful then as your Heavenly Father is merciful. Judge nobody, and you will not be judged; condemn nobody, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven. The measure you award to others is the measure that will be awarded to you.”

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forgiveness C.S. LEWIS

Mere Christianity, 1952

I

said in a previous chapter that chastity was the most unpopular of the Christian virtues. But I am not sure I was right. I believe there is one even more unpopular. It is laid down in the Christian rule, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.’ Because in Christian morals ‘thy neighbour’ includes ‘thy enemy’, and so we come up against this terrible duty of forgiving our enemies. Every one says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive, as we had during the war. And then, to mention the subject at all is to be greeted with howls of anger. It is not that people think this too high and difficult a virtue: it is that they think it hateful and contemptible... And half of you already want to ask me, ‘I wonder how you’d feel about forgiving the Gestapo if you were a Pole or a Jew?’ So do I. I wonder very much. Just as when Christianity tells me that I must not deny my religion even to save myself from death by torture, I wonder very much what I should do when it came to the point. I am not trying to tell you in this book what I could do—I can do precious little—I am telling you what Christianity is. I did not invent it. And there, right in the middle of it, I find ‘Forgive us our sins as we forgive those that sin against us.’ There is no slightest suggestion that we are offered forgiveness on any other terms. It is made perfectly clear that if we do not forgive we shall not be forgiven. There are no two ways about it. What are we to do? It is going to be hard enough, anyway, but I think there are two things we can do to make it easier. When you start mathematics you do not begin with the calculus; you begin with simple addition. In the same way, if we really want (but all depends on really wanting) to learn how to forgive, perhaps we had better start with something easier than the Gestapo. One might start with forgiving one’s husband or wife, or parents or children, … for something they have done or said in the last week. That will probably keep us busy

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On the year of Mercy

for the moment. And secondly, we might try to understand exactly what loving your neighbour as yourself means. I have to love him as I love myself. Well, how exactly do I love myself? Now that I come to think of it, I have not exactly got a feeling of fondness or affection for myself, and I do not even always enjoy my own society. So apparently ‘Love your neighbour’ does not mean ‘feel fond of him’ or ‘find him attractive’. I ought to have seen that before, because, of course, you cannot feel fond of a person by trying. Do I think well of myself, think myself a nice chap? Well, I am afraid I sometimes do (and those are, no doubt, my worst moments) but that is not why I love myself. In fact it is the other way round: my self-love makes me think myself nice, but thinking myself nice is not why I love myself. So loving my enemies does not apparently mean thinking them nice either. That is an enormous relief. For a good many people imagine that forgiving your enemies means making out that they are really not such bad fellows after all, when it is quite plain that they are. Go a step further. In my most clear-sighted moments not only do I not think myself a nice man, but I know that I am a very nasty one. I can look at

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some of the things I have done with horror and loathing. So apparently I am allowed to loathe and hate some of the things my enemies do. Now that I come to think of it, I remember Christian teachers telling me long ago that I must hate a bad man’s actions, but not hate the bad man: or, as they would say, hate the sin but not the sinner. For a long time I used to think this a silly, straw-splitting distinction: how could you hate what a man did and not hate the man? But years later it occurred to me that there was one man to whom I had been doing this all my life—namely myself. However much I might dislike my own cowardice or conceit or greed, I went on loving myself. There had never been the slightest difficulty about it. In fact the very reason why I hated the things was that I loved the man. Just because I loved myself, I was sorry to find that I was the sort of man who did those things. Consequently, Christianity does not want us to reduce by one atom the hatred we feel for cruelty and treachery. We ought to hate them. [‌]

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On the year of Mercy

I have often thought to myself how it would have been if, when I served in the First World War, I and some young German had killed each other simultaneously and found ourselves together a moment after death. I cannot imagine that either of us would have felt any resentment or even any embarrassment. I think we might have laughed over it. I imagine somebody will say, ‘Well, if one is allowed to condemn the enemy’s acts, and punish him, and kill him, what difference is left between Christian morality and the ordinary view?’ All the difference in the world. Remember, we Christians think man lives forever. Therefore, what really matters is those little marks or twists on the central, inside part of the soul which are going to turn it, in the long run, into a heavenly or a hellish creature. We may kill if necessary, but we must not hate and enjoy hating. We may punish if necessary, but we must not enjoy it. In other words, something inside us, the feeling of resentment, the feeling that wants to get one’s own back, must be simply killed. I do not mean that anyone can decide this moment that he will never feel it any more. That is not how things happen. I mean that every time it bobs its head up, day after day, year after year, all our lives long, we must hit it on the head. It is hard work, but the attempt is not impossible. Even while we kill and punish we must try to feel about the enemy as we feel about ourselves—to wish that he were not bad, to hope that he may, in this world or another, be cured: in fact, to wish his good. That is what is meant in the Bible by loving him: wishing his good, not feeling fond of him nor saying he is nice when he is not. I admit that this means loving people who have nothing lovable about them. But then, has oneself anything lovable about it? You love it simply because it is yourself. God intends us to love all selves in the same way and for the same reason: but He has given us the sum ready worked out in our own case to show us how it works. We have then to go on and apply the rule to all the other selves. Perhaps it makes it easier if we remember that that is how He loves us. Not for any nice, attractive qualities we think we have, but just because we are the things called selves. For really there is nothing else in us to love: creatures like us who actually find hatred such a pleasure that to give it up is like giving up beer or tobacco.

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The Pope in his Words

AMORIS LAETITIA

POST-SYNODAL APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS To bishops, priests and deacons, consecrated persons, christian married couples, and all the lay faithful on love in the family Selected passages of the Exhortation

35. As Christians, we can hardly stop

advocat ing marriage simply to avoid countering contemporary sensibilities, or out of a desire to be fashionable or a sense of helplessness in the face of human and moral failings. We would be depriving the world of values that we can and must offer. It is true that there is no sense in simply decrying present-day evils, as if this could change things. Nor it is helpful to try to impose rules

HUMANITAS Nยบ 8 pp. 120-129

by sheer authority. What we need is a more responsible and generous effort to present the reasons and motivations for choosing marriage and the family, and in this way to help men and women better to respond to the grace that God offers them.

36. We also need to be humble and realistic,

acknowledging that at times the way we present our Christian beliefs and treat other

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As Christians, we can hardly stop advocating marriage simply to avoid countering contemporary sensibilities, or out of a desire to be fashionable or a sense of helplessness in the face of human and moral failings. We would be depriving the world of values that we can and must offer. people has helped contribute to today’s problematic situation. We need a healthy dose of self-criticism. Then too, we often present marriage in such a way that its unitive meaning, its call to grow in love and its ideal of mutual assistance are overshadowed by an almost exclusive insistence on the duty of procreation. Nor have we always provided solid guidance to young married couples, understanding their timetables, their way of thinking and their concrete concerns. At times we have also proposed a far too abstract and almost artificial theological ideal of marriage, far removed from the concrete situations and practical possibilities of real families. This excessive idealization, especially when we have failed to inspire trust in God’s grace, has not helped to make marriage more desirable and attractive, but quite the opposite.

“blocked”. I think too of the fears associated with permanent commitment, the obsession with free time, and those relationships that weigh costs and benefits for the sake of remedying loneliness, providing protection, or offering some service. We treat affective relationships the way we treat material objects and the environment: everything is disposable; everyone uses and throws away, takes and breaks, exploits and squeezes to the last drop. Then, goodbye. Narcissism makes people incapable of looking beyond themselves, beyond their own desires and needs. Yet sooner or later, those who use others end up being used themselves, manipulated and discarded by that same mind-set.

53. “Some societies still maintain the practice of

polygamy; in other places, arranged marriages are an enduring practice… In many places, not only in the West, the practice of living together before marriage is widespread, as well as a type of cohabitation which totally excludes any intention to marry”. In various countries, legislation facilitates a growing variety of alternatives to marriage, with the result that marriage, with its characteristics of exclusivity, indissolubility and openness to life, comes to appear as an old-fashioned and outdated option. Many countries are witnessing a legal deconstruction of the family, tending to adopt models based almost exclusively on the autonomy of the individual will.

39. This is hardly to suggest that we cease

warning against a cultural decline that fails to promote love or self-giving. The consultation that took place prior to the last two Synods pointed to the various symptoms of a “culture of the ephemeral”. Here I think, for example, of the speed with which people move from one affective relationship to another. They believe, along the lines of social networks, that love can be connected or disconnected at the whim of the consumer, and the relationship quickly

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This excessive idealization, especially when we have failed to inspire trust in God’s grace, has not helped to make marriage more desirable and attractive, but quite the opposite.


I think too of the fears associated with permanent commitment, the obsession with free time, and those relationships that weigh costs and benefits for the sake of remedying loneliness, providing protection, or offering some service. 56. Yet another challenge is posed by the various forms of an ideology of gender that “denies the difference and reciprocity in nature of a man and a woman and envisages a society without sexual differences, thereby eliminating the anthropological basis of the family. This ideology leads to educational programmes and legislative enactments t hat promote a personal identit y and emotional intimacy radically separated from the biological difference between male and female. Consequently, human identity becomes the choice of the individual, one which can also change over time”. It is a source of concern that some ideologies of this sort, which seek to respond to what are at times understandable aspirations, manage to assert themselves as absolute and unquestionable, even dictating how children should be raised. It needs to be emphasized that “biological sex and the socio-cultural role of sex (gender) can be distinguished but not separated”. 62. The Synod Fathers noted that Jesus, “in

speaking of God’s original plan for man and woman, reaffirmed the indissoluble union between them, even stating that ‘it was for your hardness of heart that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so’ (Mt 19:8). The indissolubility of marriage –‘what God has joined together, let no man put asunder’ (Mt 19:6)– should not

be viewed as a ‘yoke’ imposed on humanity, but as a ‘gift’ granted to those who are joined in marriage… God’s indulgent love always accompanies our human journey; through grace, it heals and transforms hardened hearts, leading them back to the beginning through the way of the cross.

77. Appealing to the Bible’s teaching that all was created through Christ and for Christ (cf. Col 1:16), the Synod Fathers noted that “the order of redemption illuminates and fulfils that of creation. Natural marriage, therefore, is fully understood in the light of its fulfilment in the sacrament of Matrimony: only in contemplating Christ does a person come to know the deepest truth about human relationships. ‘Only in the mystery of the Incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light… Christ, the new Adam, by the revelation of the mystery of the Father and his love, fully reveals man to himself and makes his supreme calling clear’ (Gaudium et Spes, 22). It is particularly helpful to understand in a Christocentric key… the good of the spouses (bonum coniugum)” which includes unity, openness to life, fidelity, indissolubility and, within Christian marriage, mutual support on the path towards complete friendship with the Lord. 123. After the love that unites us to God, conjugal love is the “greatest form of friendship”. It is a union possessing all the traits of a good

In various countries, legislation facilitates a growing variety of alternatives to marriage, with the result that marriage, with its characteristics of exclusivity, indissolubility and openness to life, comes to appear as an oldfashioned and outdated option.

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An ideology of gender that “denies the difference and reciprocity in nature of a man and a woman and envisages a society without sexual differences, thereby eliminating the anthropological basis of the family. friendship: concern for the good of the other, reciprocity, intimacy, warmth, stability and the resemblance born of a shared life. Marriage joins to all this an indissoluble exclusivity expressed in the stable commitment to share and shape together the whole of life. Let us be honest and acknowledge the signs that this is the case. Lovers do not see their relationship as merely temporary. Those who marry do not expect their excitement to fade. Those who witness the celebration of a loving union, however fragile, trust that it will pass the test of time. Children not only want their parents to love one another, but also to be faithful and remain together. These and similar signs show that it is in the very nature of conjugal love to be definitive.

124. A love that is weak or infirm, incapable of accepting marriage as a challenge to be taken up and fought for, reborn, renewed and reinvented until death, cannot sustain a great commitment. It will succumb to the culture of the ephemeral that prevents a constant process of growth. Yet “promising love for ever is possible when we perceive a plan bigger than our own ideas and undertakings, a plan which sustains us and enables us to surrender our future entirely to the one we love”. If this love is to overcome all trials and remain faithful in the face of everything, it needs the gift of grace to strengthen and elevate it. In the words of Saint Robert

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Bellarmine, “the fact that one man unites with one woman in an indissoluble bond, and that they remain inseparable despite every kind of difficulty, even when there is no longer hope for children, can only be the sign of a great mystery”.

126. In marriage, the joy of love needs to

be cultivated. When the search for pleasure becomes obsessive, it holds us in thrall and keeps us from experiencing other satisfactions. Joy, on the other hand, increases our pleasure and helps us find fulfilment in any number of things, even at those times of life when physical pleasure has ebbed. Saint Thomas Aquinas said that the word “joy” refers to an expansion of the heart. Marital joy can be experienced even amid sorrow; it involves accepting that marriage is an inevitable mixture of enjoyment and struggles, tensions and repose, pain and relief, satisfactions and longings, annoyances and pleasures, but always on the path of friendship, which inspires married couples to care for one another: “they help and serve each other”.

127. The love of friendship is called “charity” when it perceives and esteems the “great worth” of another person. Beauty –that “great worth” which is other than physical or psychological appeal– enables us to appreciate the sacredness of a person, without feeling the need to possess it. In a consumerist society, the sense of beauty is impoverished and so joy fades. Everything is there to be purchased, possessed or consumed, including people. Tenderness, on the other hand, is a sign of a

It needs to be emphasized that “biological sex and the sociocultural role of sex (gender) can be distinguished but not separated”.


The indissolubility of marriage –‘what God has joined together, let no man put asunder’ (Mt 19:6)– should not be viewed as a ‘yoke’ imposed on humanity, but as a ‘gift’ granted to those who are joined in marriage… love free of selfish possessiveness. It makes us approach a person with immense respect and a certain dread of causing them harm or taking away their freedom. Loving another person involves the joy of contemplating and appreciating their innate beauty and sacredness, which is greater than my needs. This enables me to seek their good even when they cannot belong to me, or when they are no longer physically appealing but intrusive and annoying.

133. The love of friendship unifies all aspects

of marital life and helps family members to grow constantly. This love must be freely and generously expressed in words and acts. In the family, “three words need to be used. I want to repeat this! Three words: ‘Please’, ‘Thank you’, ‘Sorry’. Three essential words!”. “In our families when we are not overbearing and ask: ‘May I?’; in our families when we are not selfish and can say: ‘Thank you!’; and in our families when someone realizes that he or she did something wrong and is able to say ‘Sorry!’, our family experiences peace and joy”. Let us not be stingy about using these words, but keep repeating them, day after day. For “certain silences are oppressive, even at times within families, between husbands and wives, between parents and children, among siblings”. The right words, spoken at the right time, daily protect and nurture love.

135. …“the perfect families proposed by deceptive consumerist propaganda do not exist. In those families, no one grows old, there is no sickness, sorrow or death… Consumerist propaganda presents a fantasy that has nothing to do with the reality which must daily be faced by the heads of families”. It is much healthier to be realistic about our limits, defects and imperfections, and to respond to the call to grow together, to bring love to maturity and to strengthen the union, come what may.” 141. Let us acknowledge that for a worthwhile

dialogue we have to have something to say. This can only be the fruit of an interior richness nourished by reading, personal reflection, prayer and openness to the world around us. Otherwise, conversations become boring and trivial. When neither of the spouses works at this, and has little real contact with other people, family life becomes stifling and dialogue impoverished.

151. To those who fear that the training

of the passions and of sexuality detracts from the spontaneity of sexual love, Saint John Paul II replied that human persons are “called to full and mature spontaneity in their relationships”, a maturity that “is the gradual fruit of a discernment of the impulses of one’s own heart”. This calls for discipline and selfmastery, since every human person “must learn, with perseverance and consistency, the

Natural marriage, therefore, is fully understood in the light of its fulfilment in the sacrament of Matrimony: only in contemplating Christ does a person come to know the deepest truth about human relationships.

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Children not only want their parents to love one another, but also to be faithful and remain together. meaning of his or her body”. Sexuality is not a means of gratification or entertainment; it is an interpersonal language wherein the other is taken seriously, in his or her sacred and inviolable dignity. As such, “the human heart comes to participate, so to speak, in another kind of spontaneity”. In this context, the erotic appears as a specifically human manifestation of sexuality. It enables us to discover “the nuptial meaning of the body and the authentic dignity of the gift”. In his catecheses on the theology of the body, Saint John Paul II taught that sexual differentiation not only is “a source of fruitfulness and procreation”, but also possesses “the capacity of expressing love: that love precisely in which the human person becomes a gift”.

164. In the course of every marriage physical appearances change, but this hardly means that love and attraction need fade. We love the other person for who they are, not simply for their body. Although the body ages, it still expresses that personal identity that first won our heart. Even if others can no longer see the beauty of that identity, a spouse continues to see it with the eyes of love and so his or her affection does not diminish. He or she reaffirms the decision to belong to the other and expresses that choice in faithful and loving closeness. The nobility of this decision, by its intensity and depth, gives rise to a new kind of emotion as they fulfil their marital mission. For “emotion, caused by another human being as a person… does not per se tend toward the conjugal act”. It finds other sensible expressions. Indeed, love “is a single reality, but with different dimensions; at different times,

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one or other dimension may emerge more clearly”. The marriage bond finds new forms of expression and constantly seeks new ways to grow in strength. These both preserve and strengthen the bond. They call for daily effort. None of this, however, is possible without praying to the Holy Spirit for an outpouring of his grace, his supernatural strength and his spiritual fire, to confirm, direct and transform our love in every new situation.

222. The pastoral care of newly married

couples must also involve encouraging them to be generous in bestowing life. “In accord with the personal and fully human character of conjugal love, family planning fittingly takes place as the result a consensual dialogue between the spouses, respect for times and consideration of the dignity of the partner. In this sense, the teaching of the Encyclical Humanae Vitae (cf. 1014) and the Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio (cf. 14; 2835) ought to be taken up anew, in order to counter a mentality that is often hostile to life... Decisions involving responsible parenthood presupposes the formation of conscience, which is ‘the most secret core and sanctuary of a person. There each one is alone with God, whose voice echoes in the depths of the heart’ (Gaudium et Spes, 16). The more the couple tries to listen in conscience to God and his commandments (cf. Rom 2:15), and is accompanied spiritually, the more their decision will be profoundly free of subjective caprice and accommodation to prevailing social mores”. The clear teaching of the Second

If this love is to overcome all trials and remain faithful in the face of everything, it needs the gift of grace to strengthen and elevate it.


Marital joy can be experienced even amid sorrow; it involves accepting that marriage is an inevitable mixture of enjoyment and struggles, tensions and repose, pain and relief, satisfactions and longings, annoyances and pleasures. Vatican Council still holds: “ [The couple] will make decisions by common counsel and effort. Let them thoughtfully take into account both their own welfare and that of their children, those already born and those which the future may bring. For this accounting they need to reckon with both the material and the spiritual conditions of the times as well as of their state in life. Finally, they should consult the interests of the family group, of temporal society and of the Church herself. The parents themselves and no one else should ultimately make this judgment in the sight of God”. Moreover, “the use of methods based on the ‘laws of nature and the incidence of fertility’ (Humanae Vitae, 11) are to be promoted, since ‘these methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them and favour the education of an authentic freedom’ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2370). Greater emphasis needs to be placed on the fact that children are a wonderful gift from God and a joy for parents and the Church. Through them, the Lord renews the world”.

237. It is becoming more and more common

to think that, when one or both partners no longer feel fulfilled, or things have not turned out the way they wanted, sufficient reason exists to end the marriage. Were this the case, no marriage would last. At times, all it takes to decide that everything is over is a single instance of dissatisfaction, the absence of

the other when he or she was most needed, wounded pride, or a vague fear. Inevitably, situations will arise involving human weakness and these can prove emotionally overwhelming. One spouse may not feel fully appreciated, or may be attracted to another person. Jealousy and tensions may emerge, or new interests that consume the other’s time and attention. Physical changes naturally occur in everyone. These, and so many other things, rather than threatening love, are so many occasions for reviving and renewing it.

243. It is important that the divorced who

have entered a new union should be made to feel part of the Church. “They are not excommunicated” and they should not be treated as such, since they remain part of the ecclesial community. These situations “require careful discernment and respectful accompaniment. Language or conduct that might lead them to feel discriminated against should be avoided, and they should be encouraged to participate in the life of the community. The Christian community’s care of such persons is not to be considered a weakening of its faith and testimony to the indissolubility of marriage; rather, such care is a particular expression of its charity”.

245. The Synod Fathers also pointed to “the consequences of separation or divorce on children, in every case the innocent victims of the situation”. Apart from every other consideration, the good of children should be the primary concern, and not overshadowed by any ulterior interest or objective. I make this

Loving another person involves the joy of contemplating and appreciating their innate beauty and sacredness, which is greater than my needs.

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The love of friendship unifies all aspects of marital life and helps family members to grow constantly. appeal to parents who are separated: “Never ever, take your child hostage! You separated for many problems and reasons. Life gave you this trial, but your children should not have to bear the burden of this separation or be used as hostages against the other spouse. They should grow up hearing their mother speak well of their father, even though they are not together, and their father speak well of their mother”.

246. The Church, while appreciating the situations of conflict that are part of marriage, cannot fail to speak out on behalf of those who are most vulnerable: the children who often suffer in silence. Today, “despite our seemingly evolved sensibilities and all our refined psychological analyses, I ask myself if we are not becoming numb to the hurt in children’s souls... Do we feel the immense psychological burden borne by children in families where the members mistreat and hurt one another, to the point of breaking the bonds of marital fidelity?”. Such harmful experiences do not help children to grow in the maturity needed to make definitive commitments. For this reason, Christian communities must not abandon divorced parents who have entered a new union, but should include and support them in their efforts to bring up their children. “How can we encourage those parents to do everything possible to raise their children in the Christian life, to give them an example of committed and practical faith, if we keep them at arm’s length from the life of the community, as if they were somehow excommunicated? We must keep from acting in a way that adds even more to the burdens that children in these situations already have to bear!”. Helping heal

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the wounds of parents and supporting them spiritually is also beneficial for children, who need the familiar face of the Church to see them through this traumatic experience. Divorce is an evil and the increasing number of divorces is very troubling. Hence, our most important pastoral task with regard to families is to strengthen their love, helping to heal wounds and working to prevent the spread of this drama of our times.

250. The Church makes her own the attitude of the Lord Jesus, who offers his boundless love to each person without exception. During the Synod, we discussed the situation of families whose members include persons who experience same-sex attraction, a situation not easy either for parents or for children. We would like before all else to reaffirm that every person, regardless of sexual orientation, ought to be respected in his or her dignity and treated with consideration, while ‘every sign of unjust discrimination’ is to be carefully avoided, particularly any form of aggression and violence. Such families should be given respectful pastoral guidance, so that those who manifest a homosexual orientation can receive the assistance they need to understand and fully carry out God’s will in their lives. 264. Parents are also responsible for shaping the will of their children, fostering good habits and a natural inclination to goodness. This entails presenting certain ways of thinking and acting as desirable and worthwhile, as

Sexuality is not a means of gratification or entertainment; it is an interpersonal language wherein the other is taken seriously, in his or her sacred and inviolable dignity.


Although the body ages, it still expresses that personal identity that first won our heart. Even if others can no longer see the beauty of that identity, a spouse continues to see it with the eyes of love and so his or her affection does not diminish. part of a gradual process of growth. The desire to fit into society, or the habit of foregoing an immediate pleasure for the sake of a better and more orderly life in common, is itself a value that can then inspire openness to greater values. Moral formation should always take place with active methods and a dialogue that teaches through sensitivity and by using a language children can understand. It should also take place inductively, so that children can learn for themselves the importance of certain values, principles and norms, rather than by imposing these as absolute and unquestionable truths.

282. A sexual education that fosters a healthy

sense of modesty has immense value, however much some people nowadays consider modesty a relic of a bygone era. Modesty is a natural means whereby we defend our personal privacy and prevent ourselves from being turned into objects to be used. Without a sense of modesty, affection and sexuality can be reduced to an obsession with genitality and unhealthy behaviours that distort our capacity for love, and with forms of sexual violence that lead to inhuman treatment or cause hurt to others.

287. Raising children calls for an orderly

process of handing on the faith. This is made difficult by current lifestyles, work schedules and the complexity of today’s world, where

many people keep up a frenetic pace just to survive. Even so, the home must continue to be the place where we learn to appreciate the meaning and beauty of the faith, to pray and to serve our neighbour. This begins with baptism, in which, as Saint Augustine said, mothers who bring their children “cooperate in the sacred birthing”. Thus begins the journey of growth in that new life. Faith is God’s gift, received in baptism, and not our own work, yet parents are the means that God uses for it to grow and develop. Hence “it is beautiful when mothers teach their little children to blow a kiss to Jesus or to Our Lady. How much love there is in that! At that moment the child’s heart becomes a place of prayer”. Handing on the faith presumes that parents themselves genuinely trust God, seek him and sense their need for him, for only in this way does “one generation laud your works to another, and declare your mighty acts” (Ps 144:4) and “fathers make known to children your faithfulness” (Is 38:19). This means that we need to ask God to act in their hearts, in places where we ourselves cannot reach. A mustard seed, small as it is, becomes a great tree (cf. Mt 13:31-32); this teaches us to see the disproportion between our actions and their effects. We know that we do not own the gift, but that its care is entrusted to us. Yet our creative commitment is itself an offering which enables us to cooperate with God’s plan.

317. If a family is centred on Christ, he will

unify and illumine its entire life. Moments of pain and difficulty will be experienced in union with the Lord’s cross, and his closeness will make it possible to surmount them. In the darkest hours of a family’s life, union with Jesus in his abandonment can help avoid a breakup. Gradually, “with the grace of the Holy Spirit, [the spouses] grow in holiness through married life, also by sharing in the mystery of Christ’s cross, which transforms difficulties and sufferings into an offering of love”.

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THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD

FOUR CATHOLIC NUNS (MISSIONARIES OF CHARITY) MARTYRED IN YEMEN

“THE MARTYRDOM OF INDIFFERENCE” “I express my closeness to the Missionaries of Charity for the grave loss they suffered two days ago with the killing of four Sisters in Aden, Yemen, where they were assisting the elderly. I pray for them and for the other people killed in the attack, and for their family members. These are the martyrs of today! They may not be on the cover of a magazine … [they] may not even make the news, but they gave their blood for the Church. These people are victims of the attack of those who killed them and of indifference too, of this globalization of indifference, which does not care… May Mother Teresa accompany her martyr daughters of charity in Heaven, and intercede for peace and the sacred respect for human life”. POPE FRANCIS. ANGELUS. Saint Peter’s Square, 6 March 2016

Missionaries of Charity killed in Yemen are ‘martyrs of charity’

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he four Missionaries of Charity murdered March 4 in Yemen “are the martyrs of today,” Pope Francis said. “They gave their blood for the church.” After reciting the Angelus with thousands of people gathered in St. Peter’s Square March 6, Pope Francis publicly offered his condolences to the Missionaries of Charity and prayed that Blessed Teresa of Kolkata would “accompany to paradise these daughters of hers, martyrs of charity, and that she would intercede for peace and a sacred respect for human life.”

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The four Missionaries of Charity and 12 other people were killed by uniformed gunmen, who entered the home the sisters operate for the elderly and disabled in Aden. The superior of the Missionaries of Charity at the home survived by hiding, according to the Vatican’s Fides news agency. Father Tom Uzhunnalil, an Indian Salesian priest who had been living at the home since Holy Family Parish in Aden was sacked and burned in September, was missing after the attack.

HUMANITAS Nº 8 pp. 130-137


Teresa of Calcutta, the founder of the order of Missionaries of Charity of Calcutta in will be canonised on September 4th. The congregation grew rapidly, and from their single house on its foundation in 1946, it came to serve 500 centres all over the world. She died in 1997 and was beatified in October 2003 by Pope John Paul II.

Although the sisters would not make news headlines, Pope Francis said, the martyred sisters “gave their blood for the church.” The sisters and the 14 others killed “are victims of the attack by those who killed them, but also (victims) of indifference, this globalization of indifference that just doesn’t care,” the pope said. Yemen has been experiencing a political crisis since 2011 and is often described as being in a state of civil war with members of the Shiite and Sunni Muslim communities vying for power; in the midst of the tensions, terrorist groups have been operating in the

country, including groups believed to be associated with the so-called Islamic State and al-Qaida. Although most Christians have fled the country, a handful of Salesian priests and about 20 Missionaries of Charity chose to stay and continue their ministry. In a condolence message released March 5 by the Vatican, Pope Francis described the Aden murders as an “act of senseless and diabolical violence.” The pope “prays that this pointless slaughter will awaken consciences, lead to a change of heart, and inspire all parties to lay down their arms and take up the path of dialogue,” the message said. “In the

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Prayer

Lord, teach me to be generous.

Teach me to serve you as you deserve; to give and not to count the cost,

to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest,

to labor and not to ask for reward,

save that of knowing that I do your will. Saint Ignatius of Loyola prayer, habitually said by the sister of charity after Mass. It was prayed that morning just before the attack and their martyrdom.

name of God, he calls upon all parties in the present conflict to renounce violence, and to renew their commitment to the people of Yemen, particularly those most in need, whom the sisters and their helpers sought to serve.” Bishop Paul Hinder, head of the vicariate of Southern Arabia, which includes Yemen, told AsiaNews, a Rome-based missionary news agency, that at 8:30 a.m. March 4, “persons in uniform” broke into the Aden compound, killing the guard and all employees who tried to stop them. “They then reached the sisters and opened fire.” Two of the sisters killed were Rwandan, one was from India and one was from Kenya, the bishop said. Father Uzhunnalil apparently was kidnapped,

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he added. “The signal was clear: This has to do with religion,” Bishop Hinder said. In a statement released March 8, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Administrative Committee said that, through their sacrifice, the “martyrs of charity” were “transformed into signs of Christ’s victory over sin, violence and death.” They echoed the remarks of Pope Francis and invited people to join in solidarity with people “who see their lives threatened by evil, indifference, hatred, and terrorism.” The bishops also urged the U.S. State Department to issue a declaration that genocide is occurring against Christians, Yezedis and other religious minorities in the Middle East.


The Church as the visible sacrament of unity “Behold the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. . . I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts, and they shall be my people . . . For they shall all know me from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord”. Christ instituted this new covenant, namely the new covenant in his blood; he called a race made up of Jews and Gentiles which would be one, not according to the flesh, but in the Spirit, and this race would be the new People of God. For those who believe in Christ, who are reborn, not from a corruptible seed, but from an incorruptible one through the word of the living God, not from flesh, but from water and the Holy Spirit, are finally established as “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation . . . who in times past were not a people, but now are the People of God”. That messianic people has as its head Christ, “who was delivered up for our sins and rose again for our justification” (Rom. 4:25), and now, having acquired the name which is above all names, reigns gloriously in heaven. The state of this people is that of the dignity and freedom of the sons of God, in whose hearts the Holy Spirit dwells as in a temple. Its law is the new commandment to love as Christ loved us (cf. Jn. 13:34). Its destiny is the kingdom of God which has been begun by God himself on earth and which must be further extended until it is brought to perfection by him at the end of time when Christ our life (cf. Col. 3:4), will appear and “creation itself also will be delivered from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the sons of God” (Rom. 8:21). Hence that messianic people, although it does not actually include all men, and at times may appear as a small flock, is, however, a most sure seed of unity, hope and salvation for the whole human race. Established by Christ as a communion of life, love and truth, it is taken up by him also as the instrument for the salvation of all- as the light of the world and the salt of the earth (cf. Mt. 5:13-16) it is sent forth into the whole world. As Israel according to the flesh which wandered in the desert was already called the Church of God (2 Esd. 13:1; cf. Num. 20:4; Deut. 23:1 ff.), so too, the new Israel, which advances in this present era in search of a future and permanent city (cf. Heb. 13:14), is called also the Church of Christ (cf. Mt. 16:18). It is Christ indeed who has purchased it with his own blood (cf. Acts 20:28); he has filled it with his Spirit; he has provided means adapted to its visible and social union. AU those, who in faith look towards Jesus, the author of salvation and the principle of unity and peace, God has gathered together and established as the Church, that it may be for each and everyone the visible sacrament of this saving unity.[1] Destined to extend to all regions of the earth, it enters into human history, though it transcends at once all times and all racial boundaries. Advancing through trials and tribulations, the Church is strengthened by God’s grace, promised to her by the Lord so that she may not waver from perfect fidelity, but remain the worthy bride of the Lord, until, through the cross, she may attain to that light which knows no setting.

DOGMATIC CONSTITUTION ON THE CHURCH - LUMEN GENTIUM, 9

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Meeting of his Holiness Pope Francis with his Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia "José Martí" International Airport - Havana, Cuba, Friday, 12 February 2016

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he Vatican and the Russian Orthodox Church reported on the historical encounter that Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill held in Cuba on February 12th. A statement released jointly in Moscow and in Rome said the meeting marked “an important stage in relations” between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches and a “sign of hope for all people of good will”. Pope Francis announced at the start of the Jubilee year of mercy that he himself intended to make some practical gestures showing God’s mercy to the world on one Friday of each month. Friday February 12th may prove to be the most significant of all those gestures, as the leader of the Catholic world and the head of the largest Orthodox Church meet together to show that, despite the issues still dividing them, they are determined to pursue the path of mercy, forgiveness and the restoration of full Christian unity. The historic encounter has been years in the making, at least since the fall of the Soviet Union, when Pope John Paul II first expressed his desire to visit Russia and further the reconciliation of East and Western Christianity which officially divided in 1054. Since then there have been several behind-the-scenes attempts to orchestrate a meeting between popes

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and patriarchs, but political and religious tensions continued to stand in the way. Following a significant warming of relations – Cardinal Koch of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity travelled to Moscow and Metropolitan Hilarion came to Rome four times last year – the opportunity arose for a meeting on neutral territory in Cuba. The island nation was a key ally of Moscow during the Cold War and more recently Pope Francis played an important role in the rapprochement between Washington and Havana. The Pope and Patriarch Kirill had a two hour private conversation, in Spanish and Russian, with just their interpreters and closest advisers present in the airport salon. They exchanged gifts and signed a joint declaration before speaking briefly with journalists to share their impressions and expectation. Both leaders asked Christians everywhere to pray for this encounter, a practical sign of healing, forgiveness and great hope for the future. THE JOINT DECLARATION https://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/ speeches/2016/february/documents/papa-francesco_20160212_dichiarazione-comune-kirill.html


Inter-Religious Encounter at Universidad Católica To celebrate the 50 th anniversary of the Conciliar Declaration Nostra Aetate, an ecumenical encounter was held at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile to pray for world peace. The ceremony was presided by the Archbishop of Santiago, Ricardo Ezatti and was attended by religious authorities representing Judaism, the Catholic Church, and Islam. This document, one of the latest to be issued during Vatican II, bears upon the relationship between the Church and non-Christian religions. The event took place within the context of the Year of Mercy, in response to Pope Francis’ invitation to “open us to even more fervent dialogue so that we might know and understand one another better; may it eliminate every form of closed-mindedness and disrespect, and drive out every form of violence and discrimination” (Misericordiae Vultus, n. 23). The friendship b e t w e e n R ab b i Abraham Skorka and Pope Francis. The Argentine Rabbi Abr aham Skorka is an advocate for inter-religious dialogue and one of the main voices of the global Jewish community seeking peace and harmony among all peoples. What distinguishes this rabbi from others is his long and profound friendship with Pope Francis since his time as Archbishop of Buenos Aires. Their close friendship became even deeper when they took part in a series of inter-religious colloquies which were afterwards published in the book On Heaven and Earth (2013). Skorka stresses that the continued value of their friendship rests on their willingness to talk to one another without imposing their views, but instead respecting the individual. Their friendship was reinforced in televised encounters with the Protestant Bible scholar Marcelo Figueroa, in which they discussed faith-related issues

and current events. The program sought to promote dialogue in society through the media, respectfully and without imposing one’s views. These conversations were collected in the book The Bible. A living Dialogue (2013). The most emblematic image of this friendship was their strong embrace by the Western Wailing Wall in Jerusalem during an inter-religious encounter of the three monotheistic religions in 2014. Around the world, the photograph was regarded as a sign of hope for dialogue between religions. On that occasion, the Holy Father put aside all protocol to manifest his love and openness. This fraternal embrace was an icon of reconciliation after 2000 years of tensions between Jews and Chris tians, who did not understand one another despite their common origin. For both, this visit to Jerusalem was a peregrination for dialogue. Despite his hectic schedule during his short stay, the Rabbi devoted a few minutes to an exclusive conversation with HUMANITAS. In this encounter, the Rabbi referred to his last meeting with Pope Francis in Philadelphia during his visit to the United States in 2015. He stated that such an open inter-religious encounter between the monotheistic religions would have been inconceivable before Nostra Aetate and tanked the Catholic Church for taking the first step by issuing this document. He noted his positive impression of Her commitment to the Judeo-Christian dialogue and expressed his deep appreciation to Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI for their contributions and their openness to dialogue in search for truth, goodness and justice, which will pave the roads towards peace.

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The Normal and Human vs. The Abnormal and Antihuman Foreword by Robert Spaemann to Gabriele Kuby’s book The Global Sexual Revolution Destruction of Freedom in the Name of Freedom. Angelico Press. 2015. In this essay, Spaemann reflects upon the reeducation which is being forced on the western polulation, largely by the media, in order to aquaint people with the notion of ‘gender’. The German philospher Professor Dr. Robert Spaeman has been a member of the comittee board of Humanitas form its very onset and was granted the Doctor Scientia et Honoris Causa by the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in 1998.

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ost people don’t know the term “gender ma- freedom” was coined in ancient Greece and initially instreaming”. As a result, they also don’t know meant being allowed to live in the customary manner. that for years governments, the European authorities A tyrant was someone who prevented people from and part of the media have been subjecting them to doing this -someone who wanted to re-indoctrinate a reeducation program that insiders know by that them. This book is about that sort of tyranny. It is a book of enlightenment. It enname. What this education is suplightens us about what is happeposed to remove from our heads WHAT THIS EDUCATION ning to us right now, the methods is a millenia-old habit of mankind: IS SUPPOSED TO REMOVE the re-educators use, and what The habit of distinguishing men FROM OUR HEADS IS A reprisals await those who oppose from women. This includes extinMILLENIA-OLD HABIT OF this project. And this includes guishing the fundamental truth MANKIND: THE HABIT OF that mutual sexual attraction not only those who take sides in DISTINGUISHING MEN FROM the discussion, but, as this book between man and woman forms shows, all those who have ever the basis of humankind’s current WOMEN. THIS INCLUDES advocated the freedom to express and future existence. Therefore EXTINGUISHING THE their opinion on these matters in it is distinguished from all other FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH an open discussion. ways of satisfying people’s drives, THAT MUTUAL SEXUAL For years, all over Europe, dissubjected to certain humanizing ATTRACTION BETWEEN MAN cussion has been increasingly suprules and given privilege through AND WOMAN FORMS THE pressed in the name of “political institutionalization. In the end, the BASIS OF HUMANKIND’S correctness”. Someone deviating reeducation intends to eliminate CURRENT AND FUTURE from the mainstrem is not shown the beautiful custom we call huEXISTENCE. manity and human nature, which with reason why he is wrong, buy has been established since time is merely told, “you shouldn’t say immemorial. We are to emancipate from our nature. that”. What lurks behind this is a relativism regarThe word “emanicpation” once meant something ding truth. To assert the truth is called intolerance, like liberation. Emancipation from our nature can only although the opposite is true. Making an assertion mean liberation from ourselves. The term “political of truth means subjecting one’s opinion to discursive

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tests. If there is no truth, then no such test can exist. mal is taboo and placed under ideological suspicion. Consequently, discussions are just veiled power Nonetheless, normalcy is what constitutes every living struggles in which an opinion is not true or false, but thing. In inanimate nature –that is, in physics- there is dominant or deviant, and the latter of the two brings no normalcy, but just strict laws. On the other hand, ostracism. Naturally, the truth does not arise from whereever there is life, species aim at fulfilling their nature in their own specific ways. discourse; it is only tested by it. And this very nature that drives Even before this test, it is true and DISCUSSION HAS BEEN them to fulfillment can miss its intuitively convincing. INCREASINGLY SUPPRESSED aim. As Aristotle wrote, there can We have heard that in London IN THE NAME OF “POLITICAL be “errors of nature”. The instinct kindergartens –and in Swedish CORRECTNESS”. SOMEONE to teach lion cubs to hunt is part of ones –which are considered esDEVIATING FROM THE the mother lion’s nature. Without pecially progressive –use of the MAINSTREM IS NOT SHOWN it, her young would not be capable words “father” and “mother” is of living, and consequently, there forbidden. They must be replaced WITH REASON WHY HE IS would be no lions at all. The absby gender-neutral words. Similar WRONG, BUY IS MERELY cence of this instict is therefore news is coming from Austria’s TOLD, “YOU SHOULDN’T SAY an anomaly. government offices. This causes THAT”. WHAT LURKS BEHIND The concept of normality is reactions from head-shaking THIS IS A RELATIVISM indispensable when it comes to to outrage, mainly because the REGARDING TRUTH. TO dealing with life processes. Mispeople have not authorized their ASSERT THE TRUTH IS takes in this regard threaten the representatives to educate them. CALLED INTOLERANCE, What is the motive for this life of humanity. Gabriele Kuby ALTHOUGH THE OPPOSITE IS has the courage to show how our absurdities? It’s stated loud and TRUE. freedom is threatened by an anticlear: children on whom adoption human ideology. She deserves our by a same-sex couple has been imposed, should not have the feeling that others thanks for enlightening us through her work. As many have something they are missing. Because there’s no people as possible should read this book to be aware longer any such thing as abnormal, the concept of nor- of what to expect if they do not fight back. Prof. Dr. Robert Spaemann

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BOOKS The Name of God is Mercy Jorge Mario Bergoglio –Pope Francis. A conversation with Andrea Tornielli Barcelona, Planeta. 2016 144 pages

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n the book cover, the title seems to be written in Pope Francis’ own handwriting. It not only informs of the book’s content, but also of its style: a conversation. The Pope feels truly comfortable in the art of dialogue, as it has been made evident in other books with the same style and which received great coverage at the beginning of his papacy. The Pope, as a good guide and teacher, easily becomes attuned to his audience, regardless of whether it is composed of school or university students, or, as it happens nowadays, by people from all over the world who follow his speeches and homilies. Mercy is a core subject in Francis’ teachings, but it already was just as important for the Buenos Aires Archbishop, Jorge Mario Bergoglio. In this sense, it is not strange that, after publishing his Encyclical Letter “The Joy of the Gospel,” the pope decided to call for a Holy Year of Mercy. In fact, one can assert that the “joy of the Gospel” is precisely that: the revelation of God’s mercy. We do not find anything in this book that is different to what the Pope has already said during the years of his papacy. However, while reading it, one becomes enthusiastic again and re-connects with that source that seems to flow from the inside of his heart and that remains present in that smiling and

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happy face of his; always inviting us to leave behind that “sour face,” which he himself warned us against. In this conversation with Andrea Tornielli, the Pope takes us by the hand to introduce us, in a friendly way, to God’s heart; and, in case anyone could feel coy or self-conscious about taking this path, Francis sweeps any resistance away by reminding us that he is the first one in need of God’s mercy, because he is a sinner, just as Saint Peter, the first Pope in history. According to the Supreme Pontiff’s teachings, which faithfully follow those of Jesus Christ, man’s humility is the key that opens the door to divine mercy, always ready to be poured abundantly. Only the truly humble can realise that there is a healthy kind of shame which makes us feel rejection for our own sins and also allows us to cry over them when regret is deep. The Pope is also careful in clarifying, with his usual strength, that it is one thing to be a repented sinner, and a very different one to be corrupt. It could be said that we are all sinners, however, we do not say we are corrupt. A corrupt person is that who has lost all sense of shame over his own sins and who even flaunts them. But God is always aware of the corrupt, trying to find that “crack” in their souls through which He could enter. The art of a good confessor is, in fact, the ability of identifying that “crack” in the penitent, in order to apply to it the medicine of divine mercy. The confessional is nothing like a torture chamber, but rather a privileged space of grace where each believer receives confirmation that “mercy will always be greater than any sin, because nobody can put a limit on God’s love when He forgives.”

HUMANITAS Nº 8 pp. 138-146


There is not enough space here to expand on other topics that appear in this book in the flow of conversation. The reader is invited to discover them by himself. If anyone should feel frightful or undecided, I believe this book will serve as a motivation to dare cross the threshold of mercy that introduces us into God’s heart, following the example of the old lady who Pope Francis himself quotes. She addressed him with these exact words: “if God did not forgive all, the world would not exist.” Benito Rodríguez O.S.B. Abbot of Holy Trinity, Las Condes

John Henry Newman: Man of Letters Katherine Tillman Marquette University Press Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 2015 353 pages

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ardinal Newman never stops surprising us. Every new publication about himself or his work does nothing but reconfirm his greatness of soul and intellectual stature. So is the case with M. Katherine Tillman’s work. The book rightly titled ‘Newman a Man of Letters’ places a true humanist in the most literal sense of the word in front of our eyes. The author presents us with a fine selection of 20 critical essays written along her academic career, which elaborate on a wide spectrum of topics related to his thought - both human and divine-, taking them

far beyond our common understanding. In each chapter she theorizes on a particular aspect of Newman’s principles and ideas as an educator, philosopher and theologian, among others. Writing from her scholarly knowledge, Tillman takes an original approach in her treatment of the themes, bringing Newman together with great thinkers of all times and having his ideas enter into dialogue with those of some classic writers such as Plato, Aristotle, Saint Benedict, Pascal, Monet, W. Dilthey, just to name a few. Her deep insights on Newman’s discernments are drawn from years of a thorough study and personal reflexion on his writings together with her sound knowledge of the classic literature and philosophy. She lays down her arguments on a wealth of material written by Newman at different stages of his life such as diaries, sermons, letters, essays, papers, poems, tracts, etc., what shows her familiarity with his work. Moreover, her considerations are complemented with contributions by renowned classical and modern scholars who have written about him. Despite the invaluable worth of all publications on Newman’s life, work and spirituality, this collection offers something new. Tillman, a philosopher herself, outlines some facets of Newman’s philosophical notions, treating them in themselves as well as in relation to those of classic philosophers and ancient writers. This is noticeable in her essays in connection to his notions of ‘realising,’ ‘viewing’ and ‘imagination’ as aspects of learning and apprehending reality. She expands on Newman’s concept of ‘viewing’ as part of the process of grasping the whole circle of knowledge

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from different perspectives. She also discusses the notion of ‘realizing’ as a way to fully understand the classic literature. Tillman argues that it marks the difference between a true comprehension of the works as opposed to mere abstractions. Likewise, she deals with the value of ‘imagination’ in education. In no few papers she deals with Newman’s educational conceptions and his commitment to higher education —a commitment shared by the author as well. This is clearly seen in her chapters regarding the idea and image of a university, and on the disquisition whether virtues can be taught. Yet, his mindful educational dedication is more dearly illustrated in the article which presents his concern with the care of the students’ souls, thus showing his delicate sensitivity as an educator. Although each essay has its own richness and worth, some deserve a special mention. While some stand out for the rigour of her reasoning and convincing arguments, others shine for their beauty. Among the latter group is the one on Monet’s views of the Cathedral of Rouen - a philosophical and artistic masterpiece. Another one which attracts the attention is the paper called “Sed Contra: Newman on Research and System,” in which Tillman argues against the criticisms towards his concern with university teaching as opposed to research work and responds to the charge that he does not think “systematically.” Not less important are the reflections on matters central to Newman’s thought, such as the relation between faith and reason, the place of the Humanities, Liberal Arts in education, and on properly philosophical themes such as phronesis and predicative experience. Newman’s deep understanding of human nature is beautifully echoed in some papers where she exposes his views on the deepest sense of life, which is only achieved when lived as consequent Christians. Her views are highlighted in the piece that describes and praises the genuine ‘gentleman’ represented by the Oratorian as opposed to the merely correct university educated man. On the same lines, this idea can be contemplated in her discussion on the differences between holy wisdom and mere worldly wisdom. On a more practical note, the bibliography deserves a special remark. It is extensive and detailed with regard to source materials, including recent Newman scholarship works. Similarly, she offers a meticulous

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index organised exclusively by topic rather than by author’s name. It may be said that the author has managed to depict the immensity and worth of Newman’s production and the versatility of his mind. She renders food for thought on abiding issues, which prove to be a concern to experts as to readers unfamiliar with his work alike. Tillman’s book highlights the human quality and intellectual stature of someone whose figure grows bigger and bigger to our eyes with every new published study. The overall work hints that the author is not only familiar with Newman’s work but with his very person as well. Newman’s human and supernatural insightful views run throughout her lines and serve as the guiding thread, thus connecting the varied essays into a unified volume. All in all, it is a harmonic collection beautifully presented in a single book. Paula Jullian

Islâm e Modernità nel Pensiero Riformista Islámico Paolo Nicelli Edizioni San Paolo, Cinisello Balsamo Milano, 2009 276 pages

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his is an interesting book that puts forward a very current subject, even though it is not properly studied or well-known in the West: reformist thinking and its attempt to establish a dialogue with Western modernity while preserving the intellectual character of the Islamic world. The author, a missionary from the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, presents a general picture on different authors and countries that have been witness to the development of several movements and schools of thought that look for a dialogue with Western modernity, since the beginning of the 19th century. They have sought an exchange that does not mean, on the one hand, a definite rejection against all the good that Western European development could offer to the Islamic world, nor, on


the other, leaving behind the centrality of religion in Muslim society, or its guiding role in those countries’ life and culture. Dividing it into two great sections, in addition to an introduction and a conclusion, the author provides a very general overview of the subject. The selection was based on chosen authors from the last “two centuries of philosophical, theological, and political thought,” who have promoted Islamic reform and “re-thought Muslim tradition not only from a philosophical and theological point of view, but also from a social and political perspective” (p. 17). The underlying question throughout the book (and found in these authors) is whether it is possible “to Islamise modernity or modernise Islam” (p. 24). Beginning at the crisis of the Turkish Ottoman empire and at the ever-growing colonial influence of European empires during the 19th century, the author first studies nationalist independence movements, which were usually constituted by the new bourgeois Muslim intellighenzia. These movements had formed upon the basis of revolutionary and pro-independence European ideals” and sought a “national unification against the established political authority” (p. 31). The groups, however, despite the enlightened Western influence to which they were subjected, are found “still within a society that is only partially modernised and, moreover, in political tension with the countries that serve as ‘model’ of that system due to colonialism. That is why its focus results in a debate more concerned on how society and the world should be Islamised (or re-Islamised) rather than how Islam could be modernised” (p. 49) They are ways of thinking that have allowed themselves to be touched and stimulated by modernity, but which have focused on “recovering the presence of an assumed original Islamic model, reconstructed mythically and not revised with a critical purpose… remaining anchored in an idealised vision of classical Islam, expressed in the form of an institutional ideal: the supreme caliphate” (p. 50).

The second section, already in the 20th century, studies the issue “of the relationship between Islam and several cultures in general, and the Western one in particular” (p. 153). It presents two well-defined positions: modernistliberal, which defends modernisation, “producing the innovative force that opens up the path for a laicisation and secularisation process in Islamic society on its own” (p. 156); and fundamentalistapologetic, which supports “the everlasting validity of the classical Muslim model, attributing the current state of decay and backwardness of Islamic society” to “the lack of application of Muslim values in a more systematic and coherent way” (p. 157). Three phases have taken place this century: an era of nationalism, the rise of the revolutionary Marxist ideology, and the birth of radical Islamic ideology. In this complex picture, which does not provide a solution to the relationship between Islam and modernity either, there appears a reformist thinking “that considers that Islamic tradition is a heritage to be preserved, but also revised critically” (p. 158). These authors face “the difficult issue of hermeneutic re-reading and the modern interpretation of the Sharia (Islamic law), from its primary sources: the Koran and the Sunnah” (p. 234). They have tried to “re-read the history of Islamic civilization with honesty,” using “reason to critically read the past and understand the historical reasons that have generated the dichotomy between ideal Islam and real Islam; between a Muslim tradition enclosed in formalism and its new interpretation open to modern questions” (p. 237). It is a “critical and creative reinterpretation of tradition” (p. 182), distinguishing, as the Iranian intellectual Abdulkarim Soroush says, “between the ‘sources of religion,’ which are immutable, and ‘religious thinking,’ which is subject to change and evolution” (p. 192). Or, as his countryman Sayyed Muhammad says, “the fact that a given element is immutable does not imply that our interpretation of it should also be immutable” (p. 197).

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This work shows us that inside the wide, rich and diverse Islamic world we find a very interesting school of thought that seeks to start a debate within Muslim religion related “to new ways of interpretation that do not contradict the Quranic revelation, but which purify it from successive ideological additions” (p. 198). This path not only opens up a dialogue with Western modernity, but also leads to an interreligious dialogue, which is a path of peace and humanism bringing hope for the future of humanity, from which we all can and should learn. Rodrigo Polanco

Newman on Vatican II Ian Ker Oxford University Press, 2014 167 pages

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ather Ian Ker has long been considered, not only in England, one of the most important authorities on the life and work of John Henry Newman, beatified in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI. In a symposium that took place the day before the beatification, Ker set forth some ideas about the English cardinal’s thoughts in relation to the Second Vatican Council. These are the ideas developed in this book. Already in the introduction, Ker asserts how Newman’s theology foreshadowed the nouvelle théologie, which in turn preceded the Council. Many of its documents reflect a Newmanian influence, especially Dei Verbum, which acknowledges dogmatic development, and Lumen Gentium, about the mystery of the Church. On the other hand, the author warns about the misunderstanding of those who have surprisingly tried to identify Newman as a traditionalist conservative or as a dissident liberal, taking this or that quotequotations out of the context of his whole work. He was neither one nor the other, but “a complex and subtle thinker who refused to see

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issues in black and white alternatives.” Consequently, his theology “is both innovative and conservative, and his own theological development evinces both change and continuity.” Such was his relationship with the Second Vatican Council. The first chapter, “The conservative radical,” delves on this distinct feature in Newman. As a matter of fact, his Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine shows the existence, throughout the Church’s history, of a homogeneous development marked by continuity since its origins, but also including changes that do not constitute a rupture with itself. Here, the author quotes the sensible warning of Benedict XVI on the two hermeneutics set forth on Vatican II: one of continuity and one of rupture, supporting the legitimacy of the former. The second chapter is on the subject of “The hermeneutics of change and continuity.” Ker also presents what he calls a “mini-theology of Councils,” which he identifies in the letters written by Newman during and after the First Vatican Council in 1870. Looking at this collection of letters, a historical connexion arises between different Councils which shows “how one Council modifies by adding to what a previous Council taught, and how Councils represent both change and continuity.” This third chapter, “Towards a theology of Councils,” is followed by “The charismatic Church.” According to the author, such a theology would allow a hermeneutic to understand how, after Vatican II, questions arose that not even the Council had touched upon, such as the issue of evangelization and ecclesiastical movements and communities. Newman sheds light on this in his Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, showing that “religious ideas become clearer in the course of time.” These movements, born from the organic ecclesiology of the baptised, which we find in the first two chapters of Lumen Gentium, would have imbued Newman, leader of the Oxford Movement as an Anglican, and founder of the Oratory of St, Philip Neri as a Catholic, with the hope of starting a similar movement


within the context of the period’s anti-Catholicism. The fifth chapter, “Some unintended consequences of Vatican II,” acutely analyses the exaggerations that have distorted some of the Council’s documents, and how what Newman foreshadows regarding these teachings provides a corrective hermeneutics. The sixth and last chapter, “Secularization and the new evangelization,” puts forward the question of whether Newman can contribute to these current issues. The author shows that, in fact, “Newman anticipated the phenomenon of secularization” in one of his last Catholic sermons, and also proposed a type of evangelization based on an personalist catechism, which father Ker uncovers in the novel “Callista.” Here, Newman “appeals to the universal human desire for happiness and self-fulfilment, emphasising the need to respond to the affections and aspirations pent up within the human heart.” The Gospel of Christ responds to this need. For Newman, the need of a personal God is implied in human existence itself, which he experienced in his own youth and of which he gives an account in Apologia pro vita sua: “the thought of two and only two absolute and luminously self-evident beings, myself and my Creator.” Therefore, he presents in young Callista that search for “something, we do not know well what; but we are sure it is something which the world has not given us,” “some object which may possess me,” “an object to rest upon,” “something to love.” “The soul of man is made for the contemplation of its Maker; and … nothing short of that high contemplation is its happiness.” The author identifies how Newman sought in his sermons to make the figure of Christ in the Gospels “real,” and how this is what converts that young lady living in the 4th Century. He also explains how Newman, lamenting the ignorance regarding the Gospels among the Catholics of his time, insists that Catholicism was nothing but the live contemplation of Christ. He was concerned with justifying religious faith in a secular culture and society, proposing a type of apologetics that considered the individual’s dispositions. He would have recommended this to the Church today for the new evangelization of post-Christians. Father Ker reminds us in the conclusion that Newman refused to participate in the First Vatican Council, to which he had been invited. It can, therefore, be supposed that he would have done the same if he had lived during the time of Vatican II. In fact,

he has been called the “absent Cardinal.” The author claims that Newman would have been on the side of the reformists, but not arguing for a discontinuity with the past. He would have been in favour of the moderate views of great theologians like Daniélou, De Lubac, the young Bishop Karol Wojtyla, the future John Paul II, or Joseph Ratzinger, later Benedict XVI, all of whom interpreted the Council according to the hermeneutics of reform within continuity. We are truly in the presence of a very illuminating and highly recommendable work, published fifty years after the Council and guided by the thoughts of Blessed John Henry Newman. According to father Ker, the at once absent and present Cardinal, if canonized, will be declared Doctor of the Church in connection to the Second Vatican Council, in the same way that Saint Robert Bellarmine is considered Doctor of the Church in relation to the Council of Trent –an interesting analogy. Fernando María Cavaller

The University Education for the 21 st Century: The Opening of the American Mind. Fr. Juan R. Vélez Createspace (available on Amazon) 2015 176 pages

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n times when universities are subject to constant scrutiny by accrediting agencies, international rankings (e.g. The QS or The Times Higher Education World University Rankings), internationalization demands, modifications to meet set standards (e.g. Bologna Process), adjustments to receive state benefits, etc., universities have gradually lost their horizon and have become more and more competitive and business-like institutions. Never before has there been so much talk and debate about universities, but little is said about University. And this is not a minor difference. In fact, one of the most valuable points Fr. Vélez makes in his book is to address both realities jointly and separately.

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The author, who holds degrees in medicine and theology, provides a realistic and well-informed picture of universities at large. He gives an account of the current state of the American higher education system, presenting us with an overview of the modern trends that dominate universities today. In spite of this, most aspects of the discussion surely apply to what happens in other parts of the world as well. His analysis brings into attention some of the pitfalls of the modern curricula, school programmes, and degrees offered, among others. Against this frame of confusion, the author reinstates the purest and most genuine conception of a university by tracing it back to its origins. He takes the reader into a journey from the Old Greek schools of learning to the foundations of the universities in the Middle Ages. In his discussion, he invites the reader to reflect on the real purpose of university education, drawing on Cardinal J.H. Newman’s timeless work, The idea of a University. In these lectures, Newman stated that the ultimate goal of a university should be the cultivation of the intellect and will. In other words, it should prepare students to think for themselves and educate the mind to right reasoning. Newman, an academic in practice and at heart, advocated for the study of a Liberal Education as the most appropriate means of developing the students’ intellectual culture. Here, Fr. Vélez features the values of the Classics, the influence of Hellenistic and Roman philosophy, and Christian values upon which modern culture is rooted. After outlining the history of liberal education, he lays bare the worth of the humanistic subject matters, which confer the students the basic knowledge to understand such heritage and the values that have shaped our modern society. He warns us of the current attack on Classical Western Culture and Thought and asserts that familiarity with such cultural knowledge serves as background and points of reference to tackle the present. He also declares that the lack of such knowledge makes it

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difficult upon which to build anything. The argument is set against a world dominated by sciences, technology, and business, where there seems to be no place for the study of the Humanities. In this context, Fr. Vélez asks: why the Liberal Arts? Why struggle to get an apparently useless degree, which just renders nothing but general culture and brings no immediate reward? A chapter titled “God in the university classroom” deals with another point of major interest: the common practice of today’s rule of a secular education which discards God in most courses from the start, without even discussing the possibility of His existence. Likewise, he notes the modern approach that disregards the influence Christianity has had in moulding the Western tradition. Related to this, the author alerts students against the intellectual relativism they may find in the teaching of many subject matters. He cautions future students on the fact that most modern universities are dominated by a “generally accepted and unquestioned academic dogma of relativism” (p.15), which instantiates the academia today. It is a firmly held dogma that claims there is no one truth about things and reality. Similarly, he raises awareness about programmes and subjects, which may be slanted with popular ideological trends. The author also puts forward the challenges university and college courses and practices represent to Catholic youths, together with some of the adversities they may find. In this regard, he encourages them to seek a sound intellectual and spiritual education together with a deep Christian life to reassure their faith and values. Fr. Vélez upholds that true scientific and humanistic knowledge is in perfect keeping with Catholic teachings, which has been demonstrated by significant contributions made by prominent Catholics in the scientific and academic world. All in all, he provides shrewd insights on these matters and their implications for students themselves and for society at large, looking to further inspire readers to make efforts


to recover the essence of a true university education. However, his exposition does not end there. Life after College is also brought in. The author alerts students against an indiscriminate desire for postgraduate degrees; the narrow specialization and the blind and unreal prospects of making easy money and becoming highflyers from the onset of their professional life. Taking this into account, the book is addressed to anyone who wants to reflect on the deepest meaning of the university, but will be of particular help for future and current students, as well as those finishing their programmes. Common sense fills the book with wise advice given by an experienced college mentor, caring for the student as a whole person, not only their intellect but also their souls. A tangible way in which the author helps readers in their choices is a simple yet thorough list of questions they should ask themselves when making a decision. Fr. Vélez adopts a down-to-earth approach, noting the many aspects students and parents should have in mind when it comes to choosing the right college. He offers convincing counsel supported by sound academic arguments to guide future students to make the right choice according to their real needs and possibilities. Father Vélez offers a very well documented and updated description of reality, and the points made are supported by a vast number of quotes and references ranging from Dickens to Pope Benedict XVI; from St. Augustine to Einstein — just to name a few. A pleasant book to read, it presents ideas in a clear and direct manner, yet written in a polished prose. In addition to its intrinsic value, the book is enriched with a foreword by Most Reverend James D. Conley, founder of the Newman Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture, and supplemented with a brief but illuminating text on the history of universities in the appendix. This work evokes arguments from Allan Bloom’s influential book in the 80’s and will certainly serve to further debate on the nature and reality of university education. In the context of a world sunk into an appa-

rently selfish and materialistic view of professional careers, the book is an elegy to the Liberal Arts and a vindication of the permanent value of the Humanistic tradition - a breath of fresh air with considerations that go beyond the modern contingency. Food for thought, as we rethink and dream with building up a new University Culture. Paula Jullian

The Bible: Living dialogue Jorge Mario Bergoglio - Pope Francis Conversations with Abraham Skorka and Mauricio Figueroa American Bible Society Philadelphia, 2015 252 pages

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ix years ago in Buenos Aires, a Jewish rabbi, a Protestant layman and a Catholic archbishop decided to start a television show where they could, together, share and discuss fundamental life issues, under the light of the only principle that all of them shared, despite their differences: the Bible. The show was very successful, having aired more than thirty shows that were later compiled in the book The Bible: Living Dialogue. What no one could have ever anticipated was that this work could be “not only a book about a television show, but […] a literary document of a historical and unrepeatable event: the only cycle in world television that had a pope as one of its members.” In March 2013, just after recording the 31st show, cardinal Bergoglio was summoned from Rome in order to participate in the conclave that would elect Benedict XVI’s successor. One day before the journey, the cardinal called his co-hosts and told them: “I’ll be right back and we’ll continue recording.” He did not suspect that the conclave would choose him as the new pope of the Catholic Church.

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The Bible: Living Dialogue is divided into 31 chapters, each corresponding to the 31 shows that were broadcasted on the Buenos Aires archbishopric channel. Each includes the transcript of the dialogue among the rabbi Abraham Skorka, the Protestant pastor Marcelo Figueroa, and the then cardinal Bergoglio. These conversations dealt with the most current issues, which are at the same time the most universal. Subjects like justice, suffering, violence, education, forgiveness, ecology, family or sexuality are some of the most relevant. All these are always illustrated under the light of the Bible, to which allusions are constantly made. It is a book that is an invitation to pray, but also to ask oneself vital questions. Every intervention is a treasure worth digging into. Moreover, in the tone of the conversations, it is much appreciated that when one of them intervened, they always did so without taking into consideration what separated them for belonging to different religions, but that which united them: the fact they are sons of the same God. The show’s objective was no other than build bridges that would facilitate dialogue and understanding among different denominations, an end that the Pope himself corroborates with his words and example. However, we appreciate a second level of reading in The Bible: Living Dialogue. Together with the dialogues among the protagonists, some anecdotes about the then cardinal Bergoglio are mixed in. The book, without wanting to, uncovers the most human and simple face of Pope Francis. First, it is possible to

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see that the issues that concerned cardinal Bergoglio years ago are the same ones that are in Pope Francis’ mind. Corruption, ecology, the elderly and children, the discard culture of current socio-economical systems are only some of them. On the other hand, the descriptions and anecdotes illustrated around the figure of the Buenos Aires cardinal allow the reader to get closer to a very human Pope, who deeply feels man’s sufferings and who grieves over what happens around him: “Why do children suffer? Personally, this question reaches down to my soul.” Third, this text shows us that Pope Francis, despite having become Peter’s successor in the Church, has not changed the way he is. He is the same that walked the streets of Buenos Aires, who concerned himself with the problems of his Argentina and took care, painstakingly, of the members of his community: “I am not going to deny it. After I snapped out of the shock that provoked in me to see cardinal Bergoglio dressed in the white papal robes, I searched for camera shots that showed particularly two parts of his clothes and accessories: his old and worn, though impeccably polished, black shoes, and his old black watch, plastic and of almost inexistent value. These shoes and watch were very well known to me because of the amazement that they had always caused in me, as they were worn by the highest ecclesiastic authority in Argentina,” Mauricio Figueroa reveals. María del Pino Gil de Pareja


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About the Authors CARDINAL ANDRÉ VINGT-TROIS. Archbishop of Paris. Member of the Pontifical Council for the Family since 2008. Member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

JAIME V. ANTÚNEZ. Editor of humanitas Review. Member of the Academy of Social, Politics and Morals Sciences from the Institute of Chile.

JOSE GRANADOS. Vice-president of the Pontifical Institute John Paul II for the study of Matrimony and Family. Member of the International Theological Commission. Member of the counselling board of humanitas Review.

M. ISABEL IRARRAZAVAL. Professor of philosophy. Pianist.

CLARE ASQUITH. British independent scholar. Author of Shadowplay: the Hidden Beliefs and Coded Politics of William Shakespeare. She has worked on the existence of the code as a subtext in Shakespeare. GIANDOMENICO MUCCI. S.J. Member of the edition board of the journal La Civiltà Cattolica. This article was published in this journal, issue 3966.

ARCHBISHOP IGNATIUS KAIGAMA. Bishop of Jos, Nigeria. President of the Regional Episcopal Conference of Western Africa. JAVIER MONTSERRAT, S.J. Doctor I Philosophy. Professor at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid. Member of the edition board of the journal La Civiltà Cattolica. CARDINAL GERHARD MÜLLER. Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Bishop Emeritus of Regensburg. DOMINIQUE REY. Bishop of Fréjus-Toulon Member of the counselling board of humanitas Review.

JOSEPH RATZINGER. Pope emeritus Benedict XVI. At the moment of writing this essay, (1969) he was Professor at the University of Regensburg.

FR. THOMAS ROSICA, C.S.B. CEO of Canada’s Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation. He is also the English language media attaché to the Holy See Press Office.

HENRI HUDE. French Philosopher. Professor of moral philosophy and director of the Centre d’Ethique et de Déontologie militaires at the Ecole Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr-Coëtquidan. Member of the counselling board of humanitas Review.

KATHERINE TILLMAN. Professor Emerita of the program of Liberal Studies at the University of Notre Dame. She has worked on the thought and theory of knowledge of Cardinal Newman. JUAN VÉLEZ. Physician and priest for the Prelature of Opus Dei. Author of medical ethics and theology articles.

EDITORIAL COMMITTEE Jaime Antúnez. Director of humanitas the Institute of Chile.

review .

PhD in Philosophy. Member of the Academy of Social, Political and Moral Sciences of

Francisco Claro. Professor of the Faculty of Physics of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. PhD in Physics (University of Oregon, USA). Fellow of the American Physical Society. Member of the Chilean Academy of Sciences. Hernán Corral. PhD in Theology. Member of the Academy of Social, Political and Moral Sciences of the Institute of Chile. Carmen Domínguez. Professor of the Faculty of Law of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. PhD in Law (Universidad Complutense de Madrid). Director of the UC Centre for the Family. Gabriel Guarda O.S.B. Abbot Emeritus of the Benedictine Monastery of St, Trinity of Las Condes. National Prize for History, 1984. Member of the History Academy of the Institute of Chile. Pedro Morandé. PhD in Sociology. Professor of the Faculty of Biological Sciences of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. Member of the Academy of Social, Political and Moral Sciences of the Institute of Chile. Rodrigo Polanco. Professor of the Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. PhD in Sacred Theology (Gregorian University, Italy). Former rector of the Pontifical Seminary of Santiago. Ricardo Riesco. PhD in Geography. Member of the Academy of Social, Political and Moral Sciences of the Institute of Chile. Francisco Rosende. Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences os the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. Master of Arts in Economics, Chicago. Juan de Dios Vial Correa. Former Rector of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. Former President of the Pontifical Academy for Life. Member of the Academy of Sciences of the Institute of Chile. Juan de Dios Vial Larraín. Philosopher. Former Vice-chancellor of the University of Chile. Honoured with the National Award for Humanities and Social Sciences (1997). Member of the Academy of Social, Political and Moral Sciences of the Institute of Chile. Arturo Yrarrázaval. PhD in Law. Former Dean of the Faculty of Law of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.

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HUMANITAS Christian Anthropological and Cultural Review HUMANITAS REVIEW came into being to provide the University with a source of reflection and study at the service of the academic community and a wider public in general. Its objective is to reflect on the concerns and teachings of the Papal Magisterium (Decree of the Rector from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile 147/95, par. 2). EDITOR Jaime V. Antúnez EDITORIAL COMMITTEE Francisco Claro Hernán Corral Carmen Domínguez Gabriel Guarda, O.S.B. Pedro Morandé Rodrigo Polanco Ricardo Riesco Francisco Rosende Juan de Dios Vial Correa Juan de Dios Vial Larraín Arturo Yrarrázaval ASSISTANT EDITOR Paula M. Jullian

COUNCIL OF CONSULTANTS AND COLLABORATORS Honorary President: H.E. Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz, Archbishop Emeritus of Santiago de Chile. Héctor Aguer, Anselmo Álvarez, O.S.B., Carl Anderson, Andrés Arteaga, Francisca Alessandri, Antonio Amado, Felipe Bacarreza, Rafael Benguria, Rémi Brague, Jean-Louis Bruguès, O.P., Rocco Buttiglione, Massimo Borghesi, Carlos Francisco Cáceres, José Manuel Castro, Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, Guzmán Carriquiry, William E. Carroll, Inés de Cassagne, Fernando María Cavaller, José Luis Cea, Fernando Chomali, Francesco D’Agostino, Adriano Dall’Asta, José Granados, Vittorio di Girolamo, José Manuel Eguiguren, Carlos José Errázuriz, José María Eyzaguirre, Samuel Fernández, Alvaro Ferrer, María Esther Gómez de Pedro, Juan Ignacio González, Stanislaw Grygiel, Gonzalo Ibáñez, Henri Hude, Reinhard Hütter, Raúl Irarrázabal, Lydia Jiménez, Paul Johnson, Patricio Jottar, Mladen Koljatic, Jean Laffitte, Nicolás León Ross, Alfonso López Quintás, Alejandro Llano, Raúl Madrid, Guillermo Marini, Javier Martínez, Patricia Matte, Carlos Ignacio Massini, Livio Melina, René Millar, Rodrigo Moreno, Andrés Ollero, José Miguel, Mario Paredes, Bernardino Piñera, Aquilino Polaino-Lorente, Cardinal Paul Poupard, Javier Prades, Dominique Rey, Florián Rodero L.C., Cristián Rocangoglio, Alejandro San Francisco, Romano Scalfi, Cardinal Angelo Scola, Cardinal Fernando Sebastián, David L. Schindler, Josef Seifert, , Paulina Taboada, William Thayer, Olga Ulianova, Eduardo Valenzuela, Juan Velarde, Alberto Vial, Aníbal Vial, Pilar Vigil, Richard Yeo, O.S.B.

Council of Consultants and Collaborators Héctor Aguer: Archbishop of La Plata, Argentina. Anselmo Álvarez, OSB: Abbott emeritus of Santa Cruz del Valle de los Caídos. Carl A nderson: Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus. Andrés Arteaga: Auxiliary Bishop of Santiago. Francisca Alessandri: Associate Professor, Faculty of Journalism, UC. Antonio Amado: Associate Professor of Philosophy, Universidad de los Andes. Felipe Bacarreza: Bishop of Los Ángeles, Chile. Rafael Benguria: Associate Professor of the Faculty of Physics, UC. National award for Exact sciences (2005). Rémi Brague: French philosopher. Ratzinger Prize 2012. Jean-Louis Bruguès, OP: Archivist of the Vatican Secret Archives and Librarian of the Vatican Library, Bishop Emeritus of Angers, France. Massimo Borghesi: Italian philosopher. Senior professor of the University of Perugia, Italy. Rocco Buttiglione: Italian philosopher and politician. Carlos Francisco Cáceres: Member of the Academy of Social, Political and Moral Sciences, Institute of Chile. José Manuel Castro: Historian. MA in History, UC Cardinal Antonio Cañizares: Archbishop of Valencia, Spain. Guzmán Carriquiry: Secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. William E. Carroll: Aquinas Fellow in Theology and Science, Blackfriars. Faculty of Theology, University of Oxford. Inés de Cassagne: Argentinian writer. Fernando María Cavaller: President of the Association of Friends of Newman, Argentina. José Luis Cea: President of the Academy of Social, Political and Moral Sciences, Institute of Chile. Fernando Chomali: Archbishop of Concepción, Chile. Member of the Pontifical Academia Pro Vita, UC. Francesco D’Agostino: Professor of Philosophy of Law at the University Tor Vergata of Rome. Former President of the National Bioethics Committee of Italy. Adriano Dall’Asta: Vice President of the Christian Russian Foundation. José Granados: Vice president of the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for Studies of Marriage and the Family. Vittorio di Girolamo: Professor and Art Historian José Manuel Eguiguren: Founder apostolic movement Manquehue. Carlos José Errázuriz: Consultant of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, professor at Pontifical Università della Santa Croce. José María Eyzaguirre: Senior Professor at the Faculty of Law, UC. Samuel Fernández: PhD in. Associate Professor of Patristic Sciences at the Faculty of Theology, UC. Postgrad and Research Director. Álvaro Ferrer: Professor at the Faculty of Law, UC. María Esther Gómez de Pedro: Member of the circle of disciples of Joseph Ratzinger / Pope Benedicto XVI. Juan Ignacio González: Bishop of San Bernardo, Chile. Stanislaw Grygiel: Polish philosopher, tenured lecturer of the John Paul II Chair, Lateranense University, Rome. Henri Hude: French philosopher, former Rector of the Stanislas College, Paris. Gonzalo Ibáñez: Professor and former Rector of the University Adolfo Ibáñez. Reinhard Hütter: Theologian. Professor at Duke University. Raúl Irarrázabal: Architect. Lydia Jiménez: General Director of the Holy Mary Crusaders Secular Institute. Paul Johnson: British historian.

Patricio Jottar: Economist. MBA in Economy, IESE. Mladen Koljatic: Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Economics and business administration, UC. Jean Laffitte: Bishop of Entrevaux. Prelate of the Order of Malta. Nicolás León Ross: Former CEO of Idea-País, Chile. Alfonso López Quintás: Spanish philosopher. Member of the Royal Spanish Academy of Moral and Political Science. Alejandro Llano: Spanish philosopher, former Rector of the University of Navarra, Spain. Raúl Madrid: Professor, Faculty of Law, UC. Guillermo Marini: Associate Professor of the Faculty of Education UC. Javier Martínez: Archbishop of Granada, Spain. Patricia Matte: Member of the Academy of Social, Political and Moral Science, Institute of Chile. Carlos Ignacio Massini: Professor at the National University of Cuyo, Argentina. Livio Melina: President of the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for Studies of Marriage and the Family. René Millar: Former Dean of the Faculty of History UC. Member of the Chilean Academy of History. Rodrigo Moreno: Member of the Chilean Academy of History. Andrés Ollero: Professor of Philosophy. Member of the Spanish Constitutional Tribunal. José Miguel Oriol: President of Editorial Encuentro, Madrid, Spain. Mario J. Paredes: Director of Catholic Ministries at American Bible Society. Bernardino Piñera: Archbishop emeritus of La Serena, Chile. Aquilino Polaino-Lorente: Spanish psychiatrist. Cardinal Paul Poupard: President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Culture. Javier Prades: Dean of the Faculty for Theology at San Dámaso, Madrid, Spain. Member of the International Theological Commission. Dominique Rey: Bishop of Tréjus-Toulon, France. Florián Rodero L.C: Professor of Theology, Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum, Rome. Cristián Rocangliolo: Vice-chancellor UC. Doctor in Theology from the Universita Salesiana, Roma. Alejandro San Francisco: Professor at the Institute of History, UC. Romano Scalfi: Director of the Christian Russia Center, Milan, Italy. Cardinal Angelo Scola: Archbishop of Milan, Italy. Cardinal Fernando Sebastián: Archbishop emeritus of Pamplona, Spain. David L. Schindler: Director of the John Paul II Institute for Studies of Marriage and the Family, Washington D.C., U.S.A. Josef Seifert: Austrian philosopher. Paulina Taboada: Medical doctor, member of the Pontifical Academy Pro Vita. William Thayer: Member of the Academy of Social, Political and Moral Sciences, Institute of Chile. Olga Ulianova: Ph.D. in History, University of Lomonosov, Moscow. Researcher at the University of Santiago. Eduardo Valenzuela: Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, UC. Juan Velarde: Member of the Royal Spanish Academy of Moral and Political Sciences. Prince of Asturias Prize in Social Sciences (1992). Alberto Vial: PhD. In Philosophy by the Paris-Sorbonne University. Aníbal Vial: Former Rector of the University Santo Tomás. Pilar Vigil: Medical doctor, member of the Pontifical Academy Pro Vita. Richard Yeo, OSB: Abbott and President of the Benedictine Congregation, England.


c h r i s t i a n a n t r hop ol o gic a l a n d c u lt u r a l r e v i e w / n º 8 / y e a r v i

THE DOCTRINE WITHOUT MERCY WOULD BE AN IDEOLOGY ABOUT GOD Interview to cardinal Gerhard Müller

year VI

ON THE VIOLENT THREAT OF LAICIST TERRORIST CONFUSION Interview to the Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal Vingt-Trois

THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS: THE ORIGIN OF TIMES José Granados

8

PONTIFICIA UNIVERSIDAD CATÓLICA DE CHILE

INFORMATION, THE CHURCH, GOD’S KINGDOM Giandomenico Mucci, S.J.

Profile for Revista Humanitas

Humanitas Review Nº8  

Humanitas Review Nº8  

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