La Civiltà Cattolica, founded in 1850 and one of the oldest journals in the world, has launched a new edition in simplified Chinese to mark its 170th anniversary.

UCA News reporter 
April 21, 2020

The Chinese edition of La Civiltà Cattolica has news, world, culture and Christian reflection sections.

This initiative is also offered as a gesture of friendship given the increasingly important role that the Chinese language plays in the world.

The secretary of state of the Holy See, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, praised the move in a letter to Father Anthony Spadaro, director of the Rome-based Catholic magazine. This corresponds, he wrote, with the “particular vocation” of the review, which is “to build bridges and to establish dialogue with all people.”

Cardinal Parolin added: “Therefore, I can only express from the depths of my heart my warmest best wishes and the fervent hope that your review in the Chinese language might become a solid instrument of mutual cultural and scientific enrichment.”

The journal has always enjoyed a very intimate and special relationship with the Holy See and Roman pontiffs, promoting the dialogue between the Christian faith and contemporary culture with patience and respect.

And it was precisely Pope Francis who gave La Civiltà Cattolica the model of Matteo Ricci (1552-1610) or Li Madou as he was known in China. This Italian Jesuit, who moved to China at 30 years old, drafted a huge map of the world, which served to create a wider understanding of the world and to connect the Chinese people with other civilizations.

In 1601, Ricci composed a treatise on friendship. That text offered an opportunity for the Mandarin Chinese and the literati of the Ming Dynasty to know the thinking of the great philosophers of the West; but for the Jesuits and for the great scholars within Western culture, it also offered the foundation for dialogue with the great intellectuals of China.

The Chinese edition of La Civiltà Cattolica contributes to making the magazine truly international. For some years, its writers — all Jesuits hailing from different countries and continents — have offered unique and original contributions.

Since 2017 the review has been published in five languages: Italian, English, French, Spanish and Korean.

In his message to the journal, Pope Francis wrote that he hoped that in its pages “the voices of many different frontiers might be heard.”

The Chinese website, which has news, world, culture and Christian reflection sections, can be found at

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