Source for theology of the future. The German Edition of the Complete Works of Karl Rahner (1904-1984) was celebrated in Munich on April 19th. During the ceremony in the Jesuit School of Philosophy the chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, honored the work of the famous Jesuit theologian and philosopher as a "great treasure and source for what we will do theologically in the future". The Edition comprises more than 27,000 pages in 40 volumes and is published by the Publishing House Herder (Freiburg). Marx said that Rahner taught him to think in the present day's horizon. A theology that does not confront the thought and life of its time is superfluous. A self-referential theological approach, which he occasionally experiences, has no future, said the archbishop of Munich and Freising. He wished that as many theologians would be inspired by Rahners works. Rahner is one of the most important Catholic Theologians of the 20th century and a bridge builder between classical and modern theology. The Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), where he was engaged in the preparation and as Peritus ("expert"), was highly influenced by his thoughts. Rahner found his themes in church history, the Ignatian spirituality and the tradition of the Jesuit order, and the questions that brought readers and listeners to him. So he was not only concerned with God's universal salvific will, but also with the railway mission or with the needs of parish libraries. Until now, his considerations of ecumenism, of some structural problems within the roman curia, priestly celibacy or ordination are discussed, and other hot-button issues. The Edition includes all writings published by Rahner himself, from encyclopedia articles to monographs, as well as his interviews and a few unpublished manuscripts, including a student essay, in which he describes the cleaning and tidying of his teachers at a School trip. The theologian was born in a teacher family at Freiburg and joined 1922 the Society of Jesus. The register of works includes about 1,900 independent publications. Philip Endean SJ (Paris) presented the French Edition „Œuvres de Karl Rahner“ (Cerf) including already 7 volumes.
The Tax Justice & Poverty research project In 2010 the Jesuitenmission in Nuremberg got in touch with the Jesuits in Africa and Madagascar (JESAM): We agreed that we should no confine ourselves to do FOR Africa, but start to do things WITH Africans at eye level. And by that, not only editing books and organizing conferences, but to cooperate in a research and advocacy project of “mutual interest”. Hence, we decided to inquire into the link between (the lack of) Tax Justice and Poverty in our three countries. From 2012-2017, staff of the Jesuitenmission, the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (Lusaka) and the Jesuit Hakimani Centre (Nairobi) read research reports, conducted expert interviews and consulted Catholic Social Teaching: On March 19, 2018 we published our results. Looking at our very different countries, there are surprising similarities: Income and wealth inequality are on the increase, the top 1% of wealth holder influence political decisions via lobbyism, personal “entanglement” or corruption, tax authorities are ignorant about the dimension of asset ownership and therefore unable to tax in accordance with the Principle of Ability to Pay and they are understaffed and overworked. The tax burden is disproportionate on the shoulder of the poor and the middle class, states do not have enough resources for adequate public investment and services. A difference is that wealthy countries profit from the situation: Money leaving developing countries via Illicit Financial Flows, aggressive tax avoidance, tax evasion, corruption etc. passes through Offshore Jurisdictions, is wrapped in secrecy via shell companies, trusts and foundations and continues to developed countries, Germany included, where it then is profitably invested. Not surprising, that developed countries dominate the global “tax architecture” via the OECD and refuse, for example, to increase the role of UN institutions. Not surprising, too, that those countries profiting a lot from this system try to delay, water down or even veto any proposals which would increase transparency, enforcement and a fairer burden-sharing. If African countries were able to prevent illicit and illegal outflows and to tax that which is being produced in their countries, they would no longer need developmental aid. And: Many decades after political independence they could gain financial independence. Therefore: Developed countries are called to assist developing countries with the exchange of information and the support of tax administrations by improving their equipment and training. Last not least: Our research came to the conclusion that taxation, tax related instruments and institutions are a prime tool to advance change away from the present neoliberal philosophy towards a society aiming for the Common Good of All.   Find here the Short Version of our Synthesis Report. Find detailed information on the Project Website
Diaconate and priestly ordinations and Final vows in Britain, France, Germany,  Portugal and Spain. Britain Anuranjan Ekka from the Darjeeling Province and George Stephen Thayriam from Madurai were ordained to the diaconate on Saturday 10th February by Bishop John Sherrington at Farm Street Church. France      On February 10 the priestly ordination of Claude Philippe and Romain Subtil was celebrated at the Saint-Ignace Church by bishop Antoine Hérouard, Auxiliary Bishop of Lille. Germany Clemens Kascholke SJ (Munich), Sebastian Maly SJ (Berlin) and Jörg Nies SJ (Rome) were ordained deacons in Berlin on Saturday 17 February by the archbishop of Berlin, Dr. Heiner Koch, in the full church St. Canisius in Berlin-Charlottenburg.  Portugal. Within the liturgical calendar, February 4 marks the feast of Saint John de Brito. For the Portuguese Province of the Society of Jesus this date is particularly important since the Portuguese Saint is the patron of the Jesuits in Portugal. This year this day was also marked by the last vows of Fr. Luis Onofre Pinto, sj. Spain The richness and diversity of the universal Church filled the diaconal ordination of the Jesuits Carlos Gómez-Vírseda, Roberto Quirós (ESP), Marto Piaia (EUM), Alain Pitti and Émile Agbede and (AOC), on Saturday, February 3 in Madrid. The ceremony was presided over by the Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid, Carlos Osoro Sierra, at the Nuestra Señora del Recuerdo School.
Green light for Heinrich Pesch housing estate construction project - GER The idea of a social settlement - called “Heinrich-Pesch-Village” - will become reality. The plans were presented to the public and to the construction committee of the city of Ludwigshafen and were received  with great approval. All parties in the committee voted unanimously for the project. The "village" will be developed on an area of ten to twelve hectares, which is owned by the founding association of the Heinrich Pesch Haus (HPH) and the Church community of Ludwigshafen. The basic idea was to create a social housing complex for people in precarious situations. In order to make this at all possible, the HPH did find various partners in business, administration and politics. "It's a very nice experience, what kind of people participate and get involved, so that our crazy idea can now become reality," says Father Johann Spermann SJ, Director of the HPH. The experts emphasize, that all sections of the population have to be represented in such a district, so that no ghetto comes into being. This consideration should be implemented in the Heinrich Pesch Village. 450 housing units are planned for up to 1500 residents - in terrace houses, single and multi-family houses. People should come from all over and live together here; those who have a good income, and those who "do not have such a simple life and an increased need for support" in life, as described by Ulrike Gentner, deputy director of the HPH. The village should serve as a house for encounter and have a neighborhood manager. Also planned are a kindergarden and maybe a primary school. Subordinated, there should also be industry in the field. The Pfalzwerke, the main energy provider in the region, is looking for a new location, and the HPH is in contact with management to become one of three potential investors. Jutta Steinruck, lord mayor of Ludwigshafen, calls the project a "a huge step forward" for new housing and commercial settlements. For her, the planning fulfills the ideal of "how we want to live and interact in the future". This opinion is also shared by the mayors of the district Anton Priolo and Barbara Baur, who describe the Heinrich Pesch settlement as a "huge opportunity". They welcome the idea that many different people from different backgrounds will find a living there. In fact, the plans open up many opportunities. In addition to various forms of living - property or rent - the neighborhood offers encounters, education, recreational opportunities, communication and networking. It will be a largely residential area designed to use alternative energies as much as possible. The goal is to obtain the recognition as a sustainable urban development project - or "smart city". Investors and residents should become members of an association, the plots of land won´t be sold, but rented on a long-term lease. The rental income should help to ensure that the project - including the neighborhood manager - is self-supporting. The meeting house will have rooms for common activities, exchange and educational services. The plan encompasses accommodations for overnight stays. "We have learned that we need attractions for such a project," says Father Spermann. Such an attraction could be a café, or even a communal garden. The HPH as an educational facility could provide services in the field of ​​education and, at the same time, will profit from a shorter distance to the city. According to the actual calculation the planning costs for the village will be about 500,000 euros, another five million euros for the development and 700,000 euros for the construction of the meeting house. The city council will decide on March 19 to draw up the land development plan. This is supposed to be completed by spring 2019, then the development work can begin. Residential construction could start in 2020. The people in charge expect the development to be largely completed by 2023 or 2024. Co-initiator Johann Spermann SJ is happy about the approval from the construction committee.
It was a novelty: for the first time, all provincial treasurers of the future new Province ECE (Eastern and Central Europe) met in Vienna for an exchange of ideas. P. Alois Riedlsperger as treasurer and host of the Austrian Province, P. Attila András as treasurer of the Hungarian Province and member of the steering committee, P. Ralf Klein from Germany, P. Artūras Sederevičius from Lithuania and P. Hansruedi Kleiber from Switzerland attended the meeting. Martin Tanzer was also present as Director of the Austrian Province. There was a lot to discuss on these two days: first the economic situation in all the provinces was discussed, afterwards an exchange of views on the current structures and legal forms took place. Each country has its own particularities and legal idiosyncrasies. Subsequently, fields of action were worked out which will be essential for the future joint ECE Province. Examples include: clarifying the national legal situation regarding the introduction of the ECE Province and the future headquarters of the Province, taking stock of the individual assets (Arcae) and clarifying their future management or ensuring pensions in the context of harmonisation and national differences in pension legislation. Other important points are the clarification of future contribution payments and their calculation, as well as the future monitoring (Revision) of the individual administrative units. 10 Fields of action are passed on by the treasurers to the steering committee, which then derives further measures and tasks. Another important point was the discussion of future costs per diem (day rates for overnight stays) and the compensation keys for the settlement of the ECE process. But it was not only the contents that were worked on intensively; the programme was embedded in a visit programme. The dinner took place in the restaurant INIGO, a charity project of the Caritas in a property of the Jesuits. Afterwards we went to a classical concert - as befits Vienna - to round off the evening. The new Province offers many opportunities: to break existing structures, to creatively break new and simple paths, to create subsidiary and flexible processes, to remain regional and yet to think in a unified way. For example, when discussing the new billing codes, it became clear that at the end of the process, there will only be a single pot left over and, in the end it will pay for a new Province. This common thinking beyond (still) existing borders makes things much easier. And is actually original: because everything is ultimately assets of the Society of Jesus. The treasurers enter this process with great mutual trust and a positive attitude. The challenges are clearly identified and will probably become even more complex with increasing concreteness. The next steps have been taken and the ECE treasurers are ready. Picture description from left to right: P. Hansruedi Kleiber SJ, Martin Tanzer, P. Artūras Sederevičius SJ, P. Ralf Klein SJ, P. Attila András SJ, P. Alois Riedlsperger SJ
Father Johannes Siebner SJ, Provincial of the German Province, was in Rome at the "Colloquium" for new provincials. This time is a framework for intensive exchanges among the new provincial, newly appointed last year, Superior General P. Arturo Sosa and the General Curia in Rome. Years ago, a former Superior General once said, in connection with the invitation of the new provincials to Rome, that the event should not be called "school for new provincials", as you cannot teach anything to provincials: that’s the reason, why it has been called "Colloquium" for several years. It quickly became clear that Father General P. Sosa is very keen on this kind of introduction or further formation. Father Sosa SJ not only welcomed us warmly at the beginning, he also participated in most of the two-week colloquium. The group: 13 Provincial Provinces of the Northwest Africa Provinces, from the Antilles, Ecuador, Paraguay, Venezuela, Canada, Bombay (Mumbai), Hazaribagh (in northeastern India), Vietnam, Ireland, Croatia, Hungary, and just Germany. Already the composition is something special, a privilege: worldwide church at it's best. Exchange, conversation, prayer together, listening and telling are in the center - in fact a ‘colloquium’. In addition to the Superior General, numerous staff of the General Curia are involved and give generous time. The provincials clearly felt the esteem, many of the staff of the curia have been once provincial and know the “job”. Their message: we are here in Rome for two reasons: first and foremost, to help the Superior General to fulfill his task, and secondly, for you, the Major Superiores on the ground. And Siebner and his colleagues realize, it´s really true: the "apparatus" does not take itself seriously, all the assistants, delegates and secretariats put themselves in the service. Universal and regional Of course, the reception of the latest General Congregation in October / November 2016 also plays a central role. The decrees of this assembly want to give direction and orientation worldwide for the mission on all continents, regionally and therefore in completely different cultural, religious, political and social contexts they should be implemented. During the conversations, it became clear that the decrees of 2016 are well received: The new provincials are mainly concerned with how they inspire and also motivate the aspect of fellowship. Their most important tasks are to be concerned for each brother, their mission and for community life (cura personalis). And so the exchange of experiences of the "Young Provincials", not quite so universal, for example, revolves around the so-called visitation of each individual community by the Provincial. How you do that? Where do you set accents? But also: How do you do that with the cooperation between head of work and superiors? In general, the issue of cooperation with non-Jesuits plays a central role in our discussions. A good "practice field" seems to be where Jesuit collaborators are in a work whose leader is a non-Jesuit. Many other topics and aspects of our work are taken up during the days in Rome, some also very practical, almost technical (legal and financial issues). Siebner and the other “young provincials” also were guests in the Gregoriana and the College Il Gesù, they visited the rooms of St. Ignatius and had an extremely interesting tour through the archives. “Of course, as a special experience stands out the morning Mass with Pope Francis in Santa Marta and the short personal meeting with him after the mass. His warmth touches and his simplicity, the humor and the sincerity. He radiates the "joy of the gospel" of which he always speaks - that is catching,” remembers Siebner.