Catholicity as Gift and Task
“Only by assuming a non-polemic role of tranquility in the center will it be possible to assume genuine responsibility for the whole.” – The Mission of "Communio"
In the mission statement for Communio: International Catholic Review, Hans Urs von Balthasar set forth a vision that he and the other founders hoped would inform a print journal and give shape to a theological movement born from the heart of the Church. For Balthasar, Communio set out to “fight at all costs against the deadly polarization brought on by the fervor displayed by traditionalists and modernists alike” and “to perceive of the Church as a central communion, a community that originated from communion with Christ, who presented himself as a gift to the Church; as a communion that will enable us to share our hearts, thoughts, and blessings.”
Given the persistent relevance of this mission, the upcoming anniversary seems an appropriate moment to consider the theological and cultural engagement of a journal that is now realized in 14 language-editions around the world.
The purpose of the conference is three-fold:
- To understand and appreciate the contribution of Communio to the Church over the past fifty years
- To continue and further the trajectories of theological and cultural engagement present in the pages of Communio
- To ponder the same questions posed by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger in 1992 after Communio’s first twenty years: “Have we been courageous enough? …Have we really spoken the Word of faith intelligibly and reached the hearts of a hungering world?”