The coronavirus is pouncing on a world in which inequality has grown in the majority of countries, situated in an economic system that favors the hoarding of wealth, income, opportunities and natural resources by a few people. By not confronting this enormous crisis in a way that is different from others, we will be aiding a sharp growth in poverty and the widening of the gap that divides humankind into those that have access to protection and those that are left to the elements.
New "Virtual Collection" published by Joan Carrera
In this Notebook the Author gathers together the response generated by COVID-19 among the political and economic classes and the consequences that are the prelude to future crises. Because once we are on the other side of the pandemic it is necessary to take on urgently the social and economic aspects of our system that should be questioned in order to foresee and avoid the recurrence in the near future of episodes like the one which we are now living.
Our sincere appreciation for the commitment of the readers of Cristianisme i Justícia in times of exceptionality
Gemma Campmany is the secretary and the person in charge of attending to the enquiries that come in from all over the world from our thousands of readers. During the pandemic she has continued to attend the mail and telephone, and has been moved by reading and listening to the testimonies you have sent her. For this reason she wants to thank you in this short letter. The whole team feel the same way. Thank you very much!
New paper published by Florencia Brizuela González
Racism is something more profound than the explicit prejudices and stereotypes expressed by intolerant or reactionary individuals. That is to say, discrimination is not just a question of people who are bigoted. Discrimination is inevitably produced by a system that classifies and grades persons and peoples. Such a system calls into question the humanity of persons or behaviors that are different from those of the supposedly ideal modern subject, namely, the white, well-off, heterosexual male.
The study center publishes the Paper n. 253: "Coronavirus: One Single Humanity, One Common Vulnerability"
Cristianisme i Justícia study center presents here a reflection on our experiences during these days and on the challenges and risks that await us.
Saved “by the skin of our teeth”
Jaume Flaquer, theological director for the center, in a document published in our Papers collection, warns that “we have been saved as humanity by the skin of our teeth … because, despite the initial hesitancy of some countries, we decided at last to focus our concern on older persons and others who are vulnerable.”
In this booklet, we will be calling upon different people to tell us about their own experiences, in order to give us their personal testimony. These are real life testimonies which will invite us to discover faith from the perspective of justice.
New issue of GUIDES written by Josep M. Rambla and Josep M. Lozano
In fidelity to the purpose of our GUIDES collection, we offer in these pages some basic materials for understanding and practicing apostolic discernment in common. The materials include documents of the General Congregations, along with letters and other relevant texts of the Superiors General of the Society of Jesus. This compendium of texts is also an invitation to engage in a practice that will help us to respond in a realistic and relevant way to the challenges of the historical moment in which we live.
New booklet published by Maria Clara Lucchetti Bingemer
The issue of women and the notion of the feminine has again come to the fore, both in the secular world as well as in the ecclesial sphere. Could this be why women are taking on leading roles in a turbulent, violent and changing world? Could this be why Pope Francis has brought up the issue time and time again? Whatever the reason, at this point in time, when the world as a whole finds itself immersed in violence, and facing so many economic, political and social problems, there is a widespread sense that women can play an important role in the process of change.
Growing inequality and the corruption of leaders have split our society apart. Neoliberalism has become an intolerable ideology for the majority of people. For some that is because they suffer its consequences in their own lives. For others it is because the ideology subtly reduces them to individual consumers whose only value is being interchangeable numbers instead of persons. This is causing a great sense of unease throughout the world. In spite of this reality, the framework that we propose chooses hope, a hope based on the conviction that it is necessary to forge new bonds.
The political construction of places safe from profanation involves defending those “sacred places” we have already established, demolishing dwellings that have become unlivable, and building new multicultural homes that are sustainable and non-discriminatory, recognizing and welcoming negated identities. The author invites us to abandon our passivity and become architects and masons so as to keep the world from ending up “a huge commercial center where every reality carries a sticker price and a bar code.”
New issue of GUIDES written by David Guindulain Rifà
You have in your hands a compilation of practices that seek to be an aid for personal and community prayer. These 49 spiritual practices include a variety of approaches to God that have been inspired by pastoral ministry and psychology. From the most elementary function of human nature —breathing— to the highest operation —language— each person will be able to choose an appropriate manner of praying by focusing attention on one resource or another. We hope that this booklet will help both those seeking to advance in the spiritual life and those who wish to help others to do so.
New paper published by the Working Group on Christian Nonviolence.
On the 10th and 11th April, a spiritual retreat took place at the Casa Santa Marta, (in the Vatican), with the leaders of South Sudan, Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, the most prominent figures in the South Sudanese conflict. The retreat ended with the presence of Pope Francis, who called for peace, but in such a special way that the whole world took notice: he got down on his knees and kissed the feet of the leaders responsible for the conflict, one by one, and without exception.
In this essay the author proposes ten reasons for involving the world’s religions in the environmental debate. The ten reasons offer important keys for understanding the religious declarations of recent years as valid strategies for personal, institutional, and social transformation. The author seeks to open up the prophetic, ascetical, penitential, apocalyptic, sacramental, soteriological, mystical, wisdom, communitarian, and eschatological dimensions that pervade the spiritual experience of humankind.
Carles Marcet, sj. has a degree in Theology, and for a number of years has been Parish Priest of Bellvitge (L’Hospitalet del Llobregat), whilst also giving the Spiritual Exercises to groups of ordinary lay people. He is a team member of the International Spirituality Centre attached to the Cave of Manresa, where he runs an Ignatian Immersion Course and another course, ‘Two Months of The-ological Recycling’. In the series EIDES (in Catalan and Spanish), he has also published Ignacio de Loyola: un itinerario vital [Ignatius of Loyola: A Lifelong Journey] (no. 75, 2015).
When we speak about government finance and taxes, we are confronted with a lot of questions: do we pay too many taxes? are they really put to good use? could we save on them? does it make sense for me to pay taxes when there is so much government corruption? For a long time the question of tax policy has been left out of political and social debate. Only in recent years, with the impact of economic crisis and globalization, are we again focusing on this question that is crucial for maintaining our welfare states.
In the face of the hells created by violence, oppression, and repression, the victims of injustice seem to have no other alternative than fight (action-reaction) or flight (silent submission). This booklet explores the “third way” of Jesus, which goes far beyond those two options. This “third way” is the path of active non-violence, a path that requires great lucidity, creativity, faith, and constancy. It comes out of a long biblical tradition, and it acquires special meaning in the context of our present-day society.
The policies of the so-called New Right and its questioning of the most basic human rights, especially as regards migrants and refugees, undermine the deepest foundations of the Old Europe. The present text seeks to investigate the causes and conditions that lie behind this specter that is haunting the continent, and it warns of the attempts by movements of the extreme right to use Christianity and religious confrontation in order to justify their ideology.
Given that the worldwide movement of migrants and refugees is a “sign of the times,” the situations that give rise to this reality cannot remain on the margins of theological reflection. Responding to this need is the theology of migrations, a new discipline grounded in biblical tradition and the magisterium. The author of the present booklet examines this pressing concern in depth, highlighting the five most important issues for our day and age: identity, dignity, justice, hospitality, and integration.
New issue of GUIDES written by Francesc Riera i Figueras
Francesc Riera sj was director of Cristianisme i Justícia almost from its beginning and served for 25 years before becoming director of the Cave of Saint Ignatius in Manresa. He is presently coordinating the EIDES project, a collection of booklets on Ignatian spirituality. In an effort to help with evangelization in poor neighborhoods, he has prepared five pedagogically oriented commentaries on the synoptic gospels (published in Catalan and Spanish). He has published several works on the Exercises in Ordinary Life.
We cannot understand modern-day Europe without understanding the role played by Luther in the Reformation of the 16th century. That event went far beyond the religious realm and revealed the existence of two cultures, two models of social relations, two manners of understanding political power, and even two economic systems. Many of the topics debated during the Reformation and the early Renaissance period are still being debated in our contemporary European society, which is as perplexed and perplexing today as it was in those days.
Change and social transformation, addressed form a polyhedral point of view, are the central issues of this booklet.
In a time where it seems the course of history is accelerating, we reflect on the present time drawing from some of the most relevant political events in the last years; we make an approach to the notions of change and transformation and, finally, we take a closer look to some of the areas from which we can work for social change and transformation, attempting to start from a hopeful gaze over reality although this is not always easy.
Cristianisme i Justícia join the pain of the victims and claim no more deaths in the name of God
From Barcelona, with deep sadness, we join the pain of the victims and their familiars of the attack perpetrated yesterday, 17th August 2017. Our city, plural and diverse, always welcoming and peace defending, has been a victim of this terrorist barbarism that affects our 21st century.
St Ignatius dictated his autobiographical reminiscences to Fr Gonçalves da Câmara shortly before his death. This booklet aims to help us re-examine our own biographies in the light of Ignatius’s, not something purely anecdotal or chronological but one attending to force lines that are at work within. We may grow through the discovery that God has led our own lives too, ‘dealing with us in the same way as a schoolmaster deals with a child, teaching him’ [Au 27].
Throughout history, God acts and shows himself in many ways, and especially in his martyred male and female friends. Even at the cost of their lives such women undeniably witness to the identification and rejection of political systems that turn their backs on the most basic huuman rights. This booklet seeks to further their recognition and help us understand why such apparently fragilebeings should have come to threaten those who are powerful in worldly terms.
We take leave of the year 2016 with a long list of unresolved problems, to which new ruptures keep getting added. The pain keeps increasing, and the deaths of so many “saints Innocents” threaten to eclipse whatever hopes are engendered by the “birth” of many initiatives of solidarity. Those of us at Cristianisme i Justícia want to make a plea for dialogue and debate so as to keep from advancing toward the precipice. For, despite all the evidence, our faith in humanity and in what is most sacred therein encourages us to believe that we can help to turn the tide.
Eschatology is concerned with the 'beyond'. Politics, on the other hand, deals with this world, in its public dimension. Politics and eschatology are intimately linked : the former, because without the ultimate goal of a common good present dispensations degenerate into mere bureaucracy ; the latter, since invoking a Heaven that demands no historical transformation 'on Earth' is mere escapism and phoney spirituality.
The feminization of poverty has been long invisible, since analyses of poverty and social exclusion have not taken gender into account. The difficulty of access to education, to land and to credit together with greater in security and vulnerability in the labour market have contributed to female impoverishment, with the result that 'poverty has a woman's face'. This state of affairs needs to become more visible with gender understood as a risk factor when it comes to undergoing poverty.
In the thirty-fifth year of its existence, Cristianisme i Justícia now issues its 200th booklet. We have always sought to kindle hope and feed a widely-shared desire for a world that is more just and more fraternal. In keeping with that desire and alert to the world around us, the present publication aims to provide a clear account of the teamwork in which our Centre is engaged, and a reliable guide to the challenges on which Cristianisme i Justícia reflects now and in the future.
The Holy Spirit might seem at first sight absent from the Exercises, but such is not in fact the case. The author of our booklet re-reads the experience of the Exercises, uncovering the Spirit's silent presence there. What might initially have seemed a cerebral, tough, ascetic text is shown to be a source of mystical prayer of profoundly contemporary relevance.