Jesuit-written periodical La Civilta Cattolica was founded in the mid-nineteenth century but has it only been published in the English language from last year. The following is a speech about the publication’s purpose given by its editor-in-chief Father Antonio Spadaro, SJ, at a meeting of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines in the city of Cebu.

La Civilta Cattolica made its mark during a time when the very meaning of communication changed, over and above its modalities. It was first published in 1850, 168 years ago. So it’s one of the oldest magazine in the world.

La Civilta Cattolica is not a stack of paper, but is a living history. And this history, made up of faces and people, is organic to the recent history of the Catholic Church.

We know however that a cultural magazine is mixed, is kneaded, with the times that it spans.  A journalist defined it as a “barometer.” I would also add the definition of “thermometer.”

What happened in the years in which La Civilta Cattolica was founded? Newspapers began to spread. The question posed then, like today, was: Does the technological innovation of information destine humankind to be more stupid?

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