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Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash
Questions about the source and execution of power are dominating political discourse, as the Supreme Court has now been asked to rule on whether the Prime Minister’s prorogation of Parliament was lawful. Patrick Riordan SJ draws on a long tradition of political theory to outline the different ways in which political power can be considered to derive from or be given to the populace. So much depends on a preposition. The slogan, ‘power to the people!’ calls for something to be given to some...
Botticini’s ‘The Assumption of the Virgin’
James Hanvey SJ contemplates Botticini’s ‘The Assumption of the Virgin’ and finds that it not only captures the complex mystery of the Assumption, but also illuminates the truth contained within this great feast. ‘The Assumption gives us a vision of the home that awaits us, and the promise that is and will be fulfilled.’ In the National Gallery in London there is an impressive painting by Francesco Botticini. Its theme is ‘The Assumption of the Virgin’ and it is believed to have been...
Cardinal Cláudio Hummes at the pre-Synod meeting at St Ignatius, Lethem in Nov 2018
The Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region in October 2019 will place the experience of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon at its centre. Michael Czerny SJ, Special Secretary to the Synod, explains why there is an urgent need for the Church to be present in the region with compassion and justice. The Church is committed to modelling its presence in the Amazon on the example of the Good Samaritan: it seeks to act on the gospel commitment to compassion and justice. It must observe,...
If the Society of Jesus was founded to help souls, the souls of those outside the Society, why have Jesuits always been so determined to tell their own story? As Thomas Flowers SJ celebrates the work of Jesuit historian James Brodrick, he discovers that ‘Jesuit history is not about glorying in the past triumphs of the Society. Rather, Jesuit history is about teaching Jesuits to be better Jesuits, and all Christians to be better followers of Christ.’ In 1960, looking back over fifty years...
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2019 is the centenary year of the International Labour Organization. At the International Labour Conference that is taking place this week, delegates from around the world are celebrating that anniversary and seeking solutions to the challenges of the future of the world of work. What are those challenges and how is the ILO uniquely placed to address them? In an article that first appeared in the social justice journal of the Italian Jesuits, Giacomo Costa SJ and Paolo Foglizzo answer those...
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The prospect of true peace is as bewildering and demanding as it is wonderful, says Theodora Hawksley CJ. The same can be said of resurrection, and so the Easter story can speak daringly to us as we seek to understand what peacebuilding really looks like in a divided Britain. ‘Jesus’s greeting, “Peace be with you”, does not mean, “Let bygones be bygones”- so what does it mean? The results of the European elections told us something that we already knew: this country is deeply divided. Pro-...
Peter Canisius by Moriz Bermann
The Society of Jesus has recently announced four Universal Apostolic Preferences, which are intended to guide Jesuit works in their mission of reconciliation and justice over the next ten years. The preferences, says Thomas Flowers SJ, ‘are a call to a renewed personal, communal and apostolic discernment of how to serve the Church and the world today’. What can the modern Society learn from the example of a sixteenth century Jesuit who had to listen carefully to the way in which God was calling...
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At the beginning of Lent, Pope Francis asked us in his Ash Wednesday homily to think about where we are heading on the journey of life. Formed by our Lenten discipline and with Easter eyes, we now hope to be able to see more clearly the contours of that journey, for ourselves and others, says Joseph Simmons SJ. ‘No matter where we are in life, we are always somewhere on the Easter path.’ My childhood had many grand traditions. One of them was that every year on our birthdays, Grandma...
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The late American football player and coach, Vince Lombardi, was an inspirational figure, so much so that the most sought-after prize in his sport, the Super Bowl, is now named in his honour. Before his sporting career took off he was a candidate for the priesthood, and studied at Fordham University in New York where he was powerfully influenced by its Jesuit ethos. He is credited with several stirring sayings about the importance of character and integrity, which many people attribute to the...
Stephen Noon SJ
Earlier this year, Fr General Arturo Sosa SJ announced four new Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society of Jesus for the next ten years: Promoting Discernment and the Spiritual Exercises; Walking with the Excluded; Caring for Our Common Home; and Journeying with Youth. Jesuit scholastic Stephen Noon is confident that the Spirit has been at work in the discernment of these priorities for the Jesuits. It was not quite at the same level as my childhood eagerness for the coming of Santa...

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