At the launch of its first digital publication, the director of a prominent Jesuit Catholic magazine said the Pope’s actions “clearly show” his Jesuit roots.
“We already recognize in all his words, especially in his actions, very clear Ignatian roots,” Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, the director of Civiltà Cattolica, said April 5 at the Vatican press office.
“In this edition there is a section that talks about the Ignatian dimension of his first words and actions,” he added in response to a question from CNA.
“Having a Pope that has grown up with our same spirituality, probably at an affectionate level, at a spiritual level, we feel more united,” Fr. Spadaro remarked.
The priest heads La Civiltà Cattolica (The Catholic Civilization), a culture magazine whose contributors are all Jesuits and which is Italy’s oldest magazine to publish without interruption.
The cultural review put out its first edition in 1850, and today it launched itself into the digital world, making its two most recent issues available online.
The journal will also be available on applications for iPad, iPhone, Android, Kindle Fire, and Windows 8.
And a project with Google is underway to make all the issues published from 1850 to 2008 accessible on the web.
It is currently published in its full form in Italian and excerpts are available in English.
Fr. Spadaro also told CNA that the possibility for the Pope to write for the magazine exists.
“Civiltà Cattolica can welcome articles written by Jesuits, only Jesuits, and the Pope is a Jesuit, so he can write,” he said. “We will see.”
“The fact that a Jesuit has become a Pope has excited us Jesuits, but it has also stunned us because we’re not used to having a Jesuit Pope, so we’re trying with time to understand what this means,” he commented.
But the priest clarified that Pope Francis is more than a Jesuit Pope, he is “everyone’s Pope.”
The bi-monthly magazine has a circulation of 15,000, and Fr. Spadaro noted it “uses a language for readers who are not experts in different areas.”
“Communicating means nowadays less and less transmitting news and more sharing other visions and ideas,” he said.
“This is why the journal's content, in its essential form of abstracts, has been opened to the social networks for using, sharing, commenting, and debating in ways made possible in arenas such as Facebook and Twitter,” Fr. Spadaro said.
The cultural review is considered authoritative because it is reviewed by the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, giving it a level of approval not shared by similar publications.
The Vatican’s Under Secretary for Relations with States, Monsignor Antoine Camilleri, said the launch was a “celebration of a renewal.”
“It’s not only exterior, as it could appear superficially, but it is an update which situates La Civiltà Cattolica in an adequate way in the contemporary panorama of high profile culture journalism,” said Msgr. Camilleri.
“La Civiltà Cattolica has always had a particular bond with the Pope and with the Holy See, a bond of love and of faithfulness,” he added.
According to the top Vatican official, the magazine “needs to open itself to the world’s greatest modern day social, political, economical, moral, scientific, artistic and religious problems.”