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24th February 2020

Lent in Black and White – A Reflection

Two centuries after Nieuw Amsterdam had become New York, a treat still somewhat unique to that city was born, the black and white cookie. It is coated half-and-half with dark and light frosting. Though when I was a kid I gave up eating them during Lent, those cookies are an apt symbol for the season. We generally think of Lent as a time of gloom. … Read more

Pope Francis’ Love Letter to the Peoples of the Amazon: A Moving Reflection

As we are on the road, I start reading a good number of articles, previews and reflections about this, and most of them come from elsewhere, from all around the world. This is good in a way, but then I start sensing again and again the lack of understanding in commentaries that are not truly concerned with the Amazon and its peoples. The reflections are … Read more

Cameroon: Bishops from across the Globe Call for Urgent Peace Talks

Roman Catholic bishops from around the world are calling on the Cameroon government to hold urgent peace talks with the country’s English-speaking separatists and moderates. As violence grows in the central African country, church leaders are urging President Paul Biya to enter negotiations to find a peaceful constitutional settlement that addresses the grievances of the Anglophone community. Human rights groups report that both the Cameroon … Read more

Vatican: Training for Diplomatic Service to Include a Year of Mission

There is no doubt that the decision, now formalized by the Successor of Peter, represents a truly significant change in the course of studies for those who will serve in the Nunciatures and who will, in many cases, be made bishops at a relatively young age. A fundamental piece of the curriculum now becomes the year dedicated to missionary service in the field, far from … Read more

A Closer Look at the Sermon on the Mount

Whatever be its ecclesial provenance, from its content and inner structure Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount is evidently aimed at presenting an authoritative portrait of Christian discipleship. After a description of Jesus’s introductory healing ministry the scene is set in his ascending the hill and solemnly sitting down to address his disciples and the crowd of interested bystanders. In the opening section of his address … Read more

Querida Amazonia: Antonio Spadaro SJ’s Commentary on Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhoration

Let me say straightaway that Querida Amazonia is a unique text. I will try to highlight why. This is the first time that a document of such magisterial importance explicitly presents itself as a text that “accompanies” another one, namely, the synod’s Final Document, The Amazon: New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology. The pope immediately wishes to affirm a posture, that of listening and discernment. He writes … Read more

How to Spot Fake News?

False allegations and rumours about the coronavirus outbreak have been running riot on social media and in some mainstream media. Misinformation is rampant and conspiracy theories have added to the confusion. Examples include reports that the virus can kill a person in seconds, that Ghana has developed a successful vaccine and that HIV drugs have been used as a cure. There has even been a photo showing dozens of coronavirus victims lying dead … Read more

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