All 180 active and retired bishops in the Philippines received their first copies of a gift subscription to La Civilta Cattolica at the conclusion of their bishops' conference meeting in Cebu on Jan. 29.
The gifts come courtesy of a Cebu-based philanthropic trust, the LH Foundation, set up by the Liu family, a prominent Catholic business family based in the central Philippines city.
La Civilta Cattolica is, as Pope Francis has said, a "unique" publication in the Catholic media world. The English edition is edited, produced and distributed by UCAN from Bangkok.
Father Antonio Spadaro, speaking to the bishops in Cebu, said the 168-year-old periodical is dedicated to "sharing an intellectual experience illuminated by the Christian faith profoundly grafted onto the cultural, social, economic, and political life of our times.
"Its contribution is serious and educated but not elitist or for specialists. It is above all a journal sharing its own reflections, not only with the Catholic world but also with everyone seriously involved in the world and wanting trustworthy sources of formation that inspire thought and allow personal judgment to mature," said Father Spadaro.
"It is in its genetic code to be a bridge, interpreting the world for the church and the church for the world, contributing to an open, full, cordial and respectful dialogue."
La Civilta Cattolica was founded by Pope Pius IX in 1850 and given to the Italian Jesuits. It is now published in five languages — Italian, English, French, Spanish and Korean.
"From its earliest days, the journal has been able to perform a service to the church, and in particular to the pope.... This particular bond with the pope and the Apostolic See is an essential part of the journal," Father Spadaro said.
You can see what appears in the monthly periodical in English here.