Vie et mission






Communio at 50: A Mission in Retrospect

Communio: An International Catholic Review was founded in 1972 by Hans Urs von Balthasar, along with Joseph Ratzinger, Henri de Lubac, and others. Balthasar, who regarded the journal as an important part of his mission, intended it to be an organ of theological exchange in service of ecclesial communion. In the fall of 2022, St. Bernard’s School of Theology (Rochester, New York) hosted a conference in honor of the 50th anniversary of the journal’s founding. Entitled “Catholicity as Gift and Task,” the conference provided an occasion to ponder the questions Joseph Ratzinger had posed at a similar event 30 years earlier: “How successfully has the review carried out its original program?... Have we been courageous enough? Or have we in fact preferred to hide behind theological learnedness and tried too often to show that we too are up-to-date? Have we really spoken the Word of faith intelligibly and reached the hearts of a hungering world? Or do we mostly try to remain within an inner circle throwing the ball back and forth with technical language?” In his keynote address, Fr. Jacques Servais S.J., Rector of the Casa Balthasar (Rome) and a noted specialist in the work of Balthasar and Adrienne von Speyr, took up these searching questions in light of the founders’ original vision for Communio. The text of the address is published here with the kind permission of its author.


Jacques Servais

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Communio at 50: A Mission in Retrospect



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