Friday, October 14, 2016

A New General

Image result for Arturo Sosa AbascalThe new Jesuit General, Fr Arturo Sosa Abascal, from Venezuela.

At one time the whole Ultramontane project depended on the Jesuits, that fourth vow that senior Jesuits take of obedience to the person of the Pope, has meant that from their origin there has been a certain special relationship of Pope and Jesuits.

Ignatius of Loyola had said, 'Putting aside all private judgment we should always be ready to accept this principle: I will believe that the white I see is black, if the hierarchical Church so defines it.'

For many the Jesuits are a law unto themselves, a secretive, plotting group, known for their duplicity. From their beginning they grew wealthy and powerful, owning vast estates, the size of countries in South America, they were major exporters of and traders in both Asia and the Americas. Their education establishments were designed to form the influential and the wealthy and to extend their power base.

In the 20th century there were many heroic Jesuits suffering in the prisons and gulags of the Communists, and many struggled on the side of their people against the right-wing dictatorships of South America. Yet there were many accusations that not an insignificant number of the Jesuits themselves had taken on a theology that was more inspired by Marx and Engels than Jesus Christ. In Argentina, as in many places throughout the world the Society was deeply divided. In the case of Argentina and its Provincial, Fr Jorge Bergoglio, the division seems to have focused on eirenical group around the the Provincial, engaging in real-politik and radical cultural-warriors, whether they were wielding the Rosary or the red flag. The divisions have lasted and continued when the Provincial became archbishop of Buenos Aires within the diocese, and now within the Church as a whole.

Their fourth vow is perhaps the Society's greatest problem, really because the Pope's mind and will is interpreted by the General, or by the Provincial. Rarely have Popes revealed their minds to the Society as a whole, Benedict XVI did of course by telling them to return to promoting devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Holy Eucharist. When the General can say he has the Pope's mind on a matter he does indeed become a second Pope, and if the Pope is weak or politically oppressed, the Black Pope can easily become the real power within the Church, especially if the Society of Jesus has control of many the Church's formational, educational and financial institutions.

Bergoglio was banned from even entering a Jesuit house by Arrupe because of his disruptive influence how interesting it will be to see how gets on with the new General.


Michael Leahy said...

From what Malachy Martin said of Arrupe, this seems very much to our Pope's credit.

Jacobi said...

I was brought up in a large Jesuit parish and they were excellent. Lots of priests, good Rel. Know. and Apologetics, superb choir, vast numbers of altar boys and no suggestion at all of child abuse whatsoever. We were a city-centre rough lot and would have picked up the slightest hint. One priest was known however for his liking for teenage girls, about sixteen I think which used to make my older sisters and their pals laugh and no doubt tease.

I was back there some 4 years ago. There was one priest I met, rather odd looking, thin scattered congregation, and possibly one other priest. All so different. Sad really.

Physiocrat said...

The Jesuits have a parish in Stockholm with a perfectly horrid church, St Eugenia, asymmetrical and with a rough concrete finish. Goodness knows how much dust it collects.

They also have a parish in Uppsala, St Lars. The church architecture is like a factory canteen, and the liturgy is dire. Despite six priests in residence, they cannot even find one to say Mass on a Friday evening. They run the seminary for Sweden. It must be tough for students with even mildly conservative inclinations.

Physiocrat said...

Why is the person in the photograph dressed like the kind of retired odd-job man who changes light bulbs for his elderly female neighbours?

Nicolas Bellord said...

Off topic but I think very interesting.

Sandro Magister reports that Cardinal Antonelli in Florence with the agreement of the Archbishop of Florence has issued a guide to confessors concerning Amoris Laetitia. He has had it translated into four languages and the English version is in very good English and can be read at:

It seems to me remarkable that he has gone to such lengths to give the widest possible distribution to this document on a scale which one might expect of the Vatican although the English translation is rather better than the Vatican's usual efforts. It will be interesting to hear comments on this document.

Simple Simon said...

Jacobi, what is really really sad is that the Catholic Church can no longer say that it is One. Absolutely heartbreaking. Two faiths now co-exist, claiming to be Catholic. The Jesuits are a sort of mirror image of all of the religious orders today. Totally divided on essentials. As is the Church at large. With regard to AL for example, what has come to pass is what one Polish commentator feared would happen. A 'Rotten Compromise'. The Catholic Church, once upon a time firmly and truly believed and taught quite clearly with no gloss whatsoever, that sacramental marriage was for life. The Church now accepts that marriage can be not so in certain circumstances. So, Pope disagrees with Pope, Cardinal disagrees with Cardinal,Bishop disagrees with Bishop,priest disagrees with priest, lay person disagrees with lay person. We now have to live our faith as best we can in a Church of make believe. The levers of power in the Church today are in the hands of the so called 'loyal dissenters'. The song these people all sing to those of us who still follow the Church's traditional teaching is 'Pretend you're happy when you're blue, it isn't very hard to do, the Church is ours it can be yours my friend, if only you pretend.' Make the faith up as you go along. Let self referencing and inviolable conscience guide you and have a nice day.

Unknown said...

"Rarely have Popes revealed their minds to the Society." They certainly did at one stage in the 1700s when the papacy supressed the Jesuits in a most ruthless manner at the behest of the secular powers.. That was some thanks for the Jesuits loyalty.
Fr Iggy O Donovan,

cogito said...

The Jesuits in Stockholm are fortunate to have a church at all. Their original Church, really just a chapel, was torn down to make way for a shopping mall. The Swedish Lutheran Church has a long history of persecuting Catholics, and they used all the political power they (still) enjoy to prevent the Catholic Church from acquiring this building for Catholics to attend Mass.

For the pope's visit on October 31, to commemorate the Protestant Reformation, there will be an indoor arena for the Lutheran part of the joint ecumenical service. But for the Papal Mass, on 1 Nov., the Catholics are being forced into an outdoor football stadium.

Early November in Sweden is most often marked by sleet, snow or sub-zero temperatures.

They had better bundle up.

Jacobi said...

@ Simon,

I find it sad to the point of incomprehension. I will not abandon my Catholic Faith which I owe largely to my Jesuit upbringing, for the simple reason that it based on logic and rational thought, but I do not understand how or why the Church has so collapsed in my lifetime.

The Vatican, and you can read into that what you will is out of its depth and floundering. So what are we to do. Just soldier on I suppose. You and I know that marriage is for life and that re-married divorcees who knowingly receive Holy Communion are committing a mortal sin, whoever says or implies otherwise, and I mean whoever!

This applies to any other, any other mortal sin whether it is to do with sex or not.

So have a nice day my friend. I'm off out into the rain to the supermarket to carry the shopping for Herself, since I am still a big strong man and in any case, I'm after a good bottle of sherry and Herself has no judgement in these matters.

John Fisher said...

The new Jesuit General looks like a Sanadanista! What is wrong with Catholicism on South America?
"Notwithstanding so many and so great favours, it appears from the apostolical Constitutions, that, almost at the very moment of its institution, their arose in the bosom of this Society divers seeds of discord and dissension, not only among the companions themselves, but with other regular orders, the secular clergy, the academies; the universities, the public schools, and lastly, even with the princes of the states in which the Society was received."

"These dissensions and disputes arose sometimes concerning the nature of their vows, the time of admission to them, the power of expulsion, the right of admission to holy orders without a sufficient title, and without having taken the solemn vows, contrary to the tenor of the decrees of the Council of Trent, and of Pius V., our predecessor; sometimes concerning the absolute authority assumed by the General of the said order, and on matters relating to the good government and discipline of the order; sometimes concerning different points of doctrine concerning their schools, or such of their exemptions and privileges as the ordinaries and other civil or ecclesiastical officers declared to be contrary to their rights and jurisdiction. In short, accusations of the greatest nature, and very detrimental to the peace and tranquility of the Christian republic, have been continually received against the said order. Hence the origin of that infinity of appeals and protests against this Society, which so many sovereigns have laid at the foot of the throne of our predecessors Paul IV., Pius V., and Sixtus V."
Dominus ac Redemptor Noster

Bull of Pope Clement XIV PERMANENTLY suppressing the Jesuit Order. Given at Rome on July 21, 1773.

Mary said...

There are 4 types of love in Greek in the Bible. Philia - natural bounding love, agape - rational love, also between King and subjects, eros - sensual love, and storge - deeply bounding love between family members. Before St. Peter betrays Christ he says "philio Te!" (I closely love you), Christ replies "agape te." (I rationally love you, I love you if you give me reason). I am not the only one observing that today we demand God Philia while we forget that in the end He gave us Agape. I listened to a conference of Mt. Athos monks and they always said "agape" this, that. They were angry at th Synod in Crete this year. Bartholomew is no longer mentioned as bishop on certain parts of Athos.
The Jesuits, even though unpopular with Orthodox world too, are the ones to have met St. Paisie the Aggiorite, who said "I can pray for you but not with you." They have been on the rise. Orthodoxy accuses them of being to emotional the Catholic of being too cold. I think the closest ones know them best. If they are cold - scheming, logical etc - maybe they can grasp 'agape' better than others.
This being sad, the man above looks sad and tired like my granpa and I wanna hug him and give him a very warm good soup. Who knows...

Lepanto said...

@Physiocrat. I was waiting for a Church (a beautiful, old one) to open for Mass in Spain a couple of years ago and an old Danish lady sat beside me and chatted. She asked if I was waiting for Mass and I said that I was. I said that I was surprised to meet a Danish Catholic and she said that she was not a Catholic but since moving to Spain she had discovered that churches existed that didn't look inside and out 'like barns' as the Lutheran churches in Denmark did. She loved the statues,paintings and stained glass and said that she felt close to God when praying in our churches.

Remnant Clergy said...

The Jesuits should be suppressed again and make to sell all their property. As a Jesuit told me, being Catholic and Jesuit at the same time is nearly impossible.

The Lord’s descent into the underworld

At Matins/the Office of Readings on Holy Saturday the Church gives us this 'ancient homily', I find it incredibly moving, it is abou...