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Autumn Studies on Pope Francis

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Studies was one of the Jesuit journals on behalf of which Pope Francis granted an interview to Fr Antonio Spadaro SJ, editor of Civilta Cattolica. In the Autumn 2013 issue, just out, it publishes the full text of that famous interview, as well as a thoughtful reflection on it by Irish Jesuit theologian Gerry O’Hanlon.

The interview has already been published in all the other Jesuit periodicals, including America, Stimmen der Zeit, Razón y Fe, Études, and Thinking Faith. As a quarterly publication, however, Studies has not been in a position to publish the interview before now. “While the interview may already be familiar,” remarks Bruce Bradley SJ in his editorial, “we have judged it right to take part in this special moment in the history of all our journals and – it can be said – in the life of the church.”

“The interview, like the pope himself, is remarkable,” Fr Bradley continues: “That there should be a Jesuit pope is remarkable in itself. Given the position of the Society of Jesus within the church, the reluctance of Jesuits to accept any kind of ecclesiastical preferment and the order’s sometimes troubled relationship with the Vatican in the course of history, there can have been very few Jesuits who had the least expectation that one of their number would become pope, now or ever.”

“Gerry O’Hanlon, in his valuable reflection, speaks of this as an ‘exciting and exhilarating moment’ in the life of the church. Those of us who have, frankly, wondered what ever happened to Vatican II feel we are breathing its fresh air once more. Let us hope that the Irish church, and the church worldwide, can seize this privileged moment and, as Gerry O’Hanlon writes and Pope Francis clearly wishes, ‘warm the hearts of the faithful and of the world with its message of mercy and hope’.”

The Autumn 2013 issue also includes pieces on Pope Benedict, on two anniversaries of Irish interest (The 1913 Lockout and the assassination of President JF Kennedy in 1963), and on major issues of social and public policy, namely the care of prisoners, the care of patients in the health system, and the growing economic inequality of these years after the boom.

For more details, see the Studies website.