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Ponto SJSeptember 15, 2023
Pope Francis listens as Jesuit Father Nuno da Silva Goncalves, rector of Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University, greets him during an audience at the Vatican May 13, 2022, for participants in a conference on the family and moral theology sponsored by the university and the Pontifical John Paul II Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

Nuno da Silva Gonçalves, S.J., has been appointed by the superior general of the Jesuits as the new editor in chief of the magazine La Civiltà Cattolica, the flagship publication of the Jesuits in Italy and one of the oldest publications in the world. His appointment was announced Sept. 14 by the Rome-based magazine. The Portuguese Jesuit will replace the outgoing Italian Jesuit Antonio Spadaro, S.J., starting Oct. 1.

La Civiltà Cattolica was founded in 1850 by a group of Jesuits and focuses on themes of faith and culture, including views on science, religion, politics, history and more. Published every other week in Italian, it has editions in English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Russian and, since last year, an edition in Portuguese that comes out every two months.

Given its proximity to the popes, the magazine of the Jesuits in Italy is often seen as the unofficial journal of the Vatican, publishing articles that address the concerns and priorities of the Holy See. In fact, its outgoing editor in chief, Father Spadaro, has reported on Pope Francis’ conversations with the Jesuits whenever, during his apostolic visits, the pope holds a meeting with the local Jesuits. This happened most recently on Aug. 28, following the meeting of the Portuguese Jesuits with Francis in Lisbon.

“In a world divided, wounded and in need of healing, peace and reconciliation, La Civiltà Cattolica offers everyone a message of hope,” Nuno da Silva Gonçalves, S.J., said in reaction to the appointment.

“Faithful to our identity and our history, we want to be a magazine capable of speaking to everyone,” Father da Silva Gonçalves said in reaction to the appointment. “In a world divided, wounded and in need of healing, peace and reconciliation, La Civiltà Cattolica offers everyone a message of hope, committing itself to a Christian reading of today's world while looking to the future. We do this, as always, in faithful and creative harmony with the views of the Roman Pontiff and the Holy See.”

Father da Silva Gonçalves, who now takes over the direction of the magazine, had already been a member of the college of writers of La Civiltà Cattolica since the beginning of 2023, following the completion of his mission as rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in the summer of last year, a position he had held since 2016.

Born in Lisbon in 1958, Father da Silva Gonçalves entered the Society of Jesus in 1975 and was ordained a priest 11 years later, in 1986. He has licentiates in philosophy and humanities, and theology, and a doctorate in church history. For six years, 1994-2000, he was a member of the editorial board of Brotéria magazine—a publication of the Portuguese Jesuits similar to La Civiltà Cattolica, which is also part of the network of European Jesuit magazines—and toward the end of that period was appointed director of the philosophy faculty at the Portuguese Catholic University, a post he held until June 2005.

Subsequently, he assumed the position of provincial superior of the Portuguese province of the Jesuits, a post he held until 2011. After that, he moved to Rome as a professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University, where he served as the director of the faculty of History and Cultural Heritage of the Church. In 2016, he was appointed as the rector.

In 2018, he was honored with the Order of Saint James of the Sword, receiving the rank of Grand Officer, bestowed upon him by the president of the Republic of Portugal. He was also appointed as a member of the Council of Ancient Military Orders, a nomination proposed by its chancellor, and formally inaugurated into the position by the president of the Portuguese Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, on Dec. 12, 2022.

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