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Friday, April 5, 2013


Vatican City, 5 April 2013 (VIS) – This morning in the Press Office of the Holy See, a press conference was held to present the new print and digital versions of the Jesuit journal La Civilta Cattolica (Catholic Civilization), which is published in Italian from Rome. Speaking at the conference were: Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications; Msgr. Antoine Camilleri, under-secretary for the Holy See’s Relations with States; and Fr. Antonio Spadaro, S.J., director of the periodical.

La Civilta Cattolica,” Fr. Spadaro explained, “is Italy's oldest journal among those which have never had an interruption in their publication. Every 12 days for 163 years, it has published a journal of over 100 pages. It is a cultural journal that features articles written only by Jesuits. Its editors are specialists but they use a language for readers who are not 'experts' [in the various areas].”

Established in 1850, La Civilta Cattolica seeks to share an intellectual experience that is enlightened by faith and deeply engaged in the cultural, social, economic, political, artistic, and scientific life of our age. It does not seek to share its reflections merely within the Catholic world, but with whoever is looking for reliable sources of formation, capable of making one thing and of developing one's personal judgement. … By its tradition and nature, La Civilta Cattolica expresses a 'high' form of cultural journalism, which places it within a difficult borderland. … We don't intend to merely 'follow' and comment upon cultural events or ideas that have already been formulated. In as far as possible, we want to grasp the idea of what will be, anticipate trends and events, predict their impact, and keep our reader's attention engaged.”

Thinking of the changes that the periodical will undergo, Fr. Spadaro noted that, “from 1850 to 1933, the journal's articles weren't signed in order to convey that they weren't the expression of one individual, but rather of a community: the so-called 'college or writers', which was actually composed of seven Jesuits. Today more than ever, however, our culture is diversified. In respect to the past, therefore, the presence of international signatures of Jesuit fathers and the topics treated will increase, even If the journal will always remain 'home-made' within the established newsroom.”

La Civilta Cattolica hasn't changed its format since 1970. This is the first time in the journal's 163 years that its graphic layout has been subjected to an actual and coordinated design plan, which covers from a restyling of the masthead … to a version for tablets. … In structural terms, the 'cronache' (reports) section will disappear, since our world is one in which reporting is entrusted to daily newspapers or even to real-time blogs and tweets. Instead, we will be focusing on 'bridges', that is, on reflections, critical evaluations, reasoning, and even on the most current contemporary events, thanks to the 'Focus' section that will consist of articles tied to current events in politics, economics, the international stage, society, and law. Reflection on the Church will have a fixed place at the heart, that is the centre, of the journal. New sections, such as 'Profile' and 'Interview', will be added.”

The journal will also become available for browsing on tablets with applications for iPad, iPhone, Android, Kindle Fire, and Windows 8. Right now it is possible to download the last two issues of the journal: the last one of the old version and the first one of the new version.”

Today, communicating means less and less 'transmitting' news and more 'sharing' with other visions and ideas. 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 debate in the ways made possible in that arena: not on our site but on those such as Facebook and Twitter.”

In addition, thanks to collaboration by Google, a project has been launched to make all the issues published from 1850 to 2008 accessible on the web. In fact, Google had digitalized the volumes for their Google Books project, through agreements with several libraries in Europe and the United States. The issues still protected by copyright law will now be made available by our authorization.”

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