A Milestone in Our History

Tuesday November 29, 2011, will be remembered as a significant date in the history of HUMANITAS. On that day the official presentation of our review took place at the headquarters of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, via della Conciliazione no. 1, Vatican City. The ceremony was presided over by H. Em. Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals, and attended in addition by important prelates of the Roman Curia (Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; Monsignor Jean-Louis Bruguès, secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education), university personalities (Professor Javier Prades, Dean of the Saint Damasus Faculty of Theology of Madrid and member of the International Theological Commission; Professor José Granados, Vice-President of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute; Professor Stanislaw Grygiel, titular of the John Paul II Chair of the Pontifical Lateran University), figures of public life and political thought (The Honorable Rocco Buttiglione), director of prestigious publications (Father Antonio Spadaro, Director of La Civiltà Cattolica), distinguished representatives of ecclesial Movements (Dr. Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus; Father Florián Rodero, of the Regnum Christi Movement), Catholic intellectuals who collaborate with Roman dicasteries (Professor Massimo Borghesi, Professor Pedro Morandé), ambassadors to the Holy See (Chile, Colombia and the United States), etc. The ceremony was opened by Dr. Guzmán Carriquiry, secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, and followed by the greeting and gratitude of the Rector of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Dr. Ignacio Sánchez Díaz, and the Director of HUMANITAS, Review of Christian Anthropology and Culture of the Catholic University, who explained the meaning and scope of the project that had just been inaugurated.

Brief History Different moments in the sixteen years of HUMANITAS’ existence and circulation made this project possible. First was the proposal ten years ago of a Spanish bishop who saw in the structure, contents and objectives of the HUMANITAS review something that could revitalize a publishing “communio around” the important subjects of the Church’s Magisterium, an idea that seemed to be absent at that time in the relationship between Churches in Spain and those of Spanish and Portuguese speaking American nations. The project aroused interest and two distinguished members of HUMANITAS’ Council got involved, Cardinals Paul Poupard, then President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, and Alfonso López Trujillo (R.I.P.), President of the Pontifical Council for the Family. In this connection, a formal proposal was then presented to the highest authorities of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. Although the project was never cancelled by any of the parties, there was now renewed talk of it.

Subsequently, during a meeting of HUMANITAS’ Editorial Committee, Monsignor Jean Louis Bruguès, secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, who was visiting Chilean Catholic Universities, took up the idea of publishing editions in other countries, adding the novel idea of doing so in other languages. Immediately, there was motion to start in France, an initiative that for the time being has not prospered.

Meanwhile (and in a parallel way) informal conversations were held with individuals of the English linguistic universe linked to HUMANITAS from its birth, who refined the idea which was realised in Rome last November 29. Among them, especially, was Dr. Carl Anderson, visible head of the Knights of Columbus and member of HUMANITAS’ Council since its foundation, as well as the Abbot President of the Benedictine Congregation in England, Dom Richard Yeo, also linked to our editorial body, given his spiritual and material support in the materialization of the initiative. Interposed between agreement on the project on the feast of Our Lady of Pilar, October 12, 2010, and its beginning a year later to the day, was the happy news of the beatification of Pope John Paul II. This event determined two things. Firstly, that the 63rd issue of the Spanish edition, corresponding to July-September 2011, would be entirely dedicated to the person and work of the Venerable Pontiff. Secondly, that No. 1 / Year I of the English edition would have the same or a very similar theme, using of course the same title: Blessed John Paul II, Gift of the Divine Mercy. The edition was presented in the Vatican.


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