The Holy Founder

The Holy Founder
St. Ignatius of Loyola

Welcome the "Reforming the Jesuits" blog.

This blog has the objective of reforming the Jesuits. The logic is first to show that the Jesuits need to be reformed and second to consider the means needed to achieve that end.

Why should non-Jesuits be concerned about reforming the order?
The Jesuit order like any religious order has as an end to serve Christ by serving His Church. The members of the Church have the right to control the quality of the service that it is receiving.

The service that the Catholic faithful receive comes from institutional decisions and from individual Jesuits. Many love the traditional Society of Jesus, her saints, her mysticism, and her history but are dismayed by the direction taken by the current management. Many have been served by pious orthodox Jesuits but are scandalized by others. It seems that there is an identity crisis. The very institution does not know what its ends are. While the documents of the order are clear, institutional discipline has broken down, some members are confused and leaders have refused to lead.

What should be done? Some argue that the Society should be suppressed again. That would be a shame. Given that the name of the Society of Jesus in Spanish is La Compañía de Jesús, maybe what should be preferred is a hostile takeover of the Company. That does not seem possible. During the crazy post VCII days some Orthodox Spanish Jesuits advanced the proposal of the establishment of a reformed ordered following the example of the Carmelites and Trapists, others proposed the foundation of "strict observance" provinces.

This blog aims to apply moral pressure advancing arguments for what seems to be a clear truth: the Jesuits need reformed. Then it invites brain storming looking for possible solutions. Ideas are powerful but prayer is more powerful. We invite readers to pray. Invoke the Jesuit saints.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Ecology and the S.J.

This fell into my hands. It is a circular from the Jesuit central office about ecology. Moved by Al Gore's Nobel Prize the central planning office of the Society seems to jump on the bandwagon. This is an example of the nonsense that is on the minds of Jesuit Superiors. In a world where the eternal salvation of millions lies in the balance they propose to use important time in the General Congregation to debate this issue.
Preparation for General Congregation 35 – 4


1. Introduction:

Ecology was one of the themes on which we received many postulates, coming from all parts of the world. This indicates a new sensitivity and a growing concern in the Society.

The postulates recommend that GC35 give this theme special attention, emphasizing the bond between ecology and justice, and affirming it as a constitutive dimension of our mission today. The Society should accept this ecological dimension not only as an apostolic priority, but also should consider it as a permanent dimension of our Mission.

Questions for reflection and community discussion:

* Do we agree with the integrated view offered by these postulates?
* Compared to several years ago, do we have today a “new sensitivity” and “growing concern” about this problem? Or do we consider it rather of interest only to younger generations or to some smaller political parties?

2. Facts justifying the importance of this dimension today:

The postulates refer to certain glaring facts: more frequent ecological disasters, studies demonstrating the worsening situations in some regions and the risks facing the very planet, an increasingly dire impact of all this on the poor, and the growing number of refugees that has resulted.

Regarding the present situation of the Society they point out a paradoxical fact: though the Society and our lay companions enjoy nowadays ample possibilities to join forces with other institutions inside or outside of the church in addressing this enormous ecological problem, nevertheless the Society has not been sufficiently prophetic, nor has it committed itself in an area so critical for the fate of the planet.

Our greatest contribution has been We Live in a Broken World: Reflections on Ecology (Promotio Justitiae 70, 1999), which does not appear to have had much of an impact on the life of the Society.

Questions for reflection and community discussion:

* Are there examples of ecological problems or disasters in our city or region? Are there any serious and effective institutions in our area engaged in this question?
* Do we agree or not with the judgment of some postulates that in this area the Society has lacked a prophetic stance and commitment?
* How do you judge the opinion of some who say that the complexity of this issue makes a commitment by individuals and communities unrealistic, and that only governments have the capacity to respond to it?

3. Recommendations of the coetus praevius:

It is clear that in a changing context the universality of the problem and the sense of shared responsibility have grown greatly since GC34 (cf. Decree 2, nº 9, Decree 20).

On the other hand, reconciliation with nature, as spoken of today, not only embraces but also gives a new standing to the social dimension of the problem, constituting something novel that raises new theological perspectives.

Regarding the contribution of the Society, it is important that we not overlook the “pantheistic” focus of some ecological movements, to say nothing of the difficulty in finding in them a Christological aspect. For this reason the Society is challenged to work with others in theology and spirituality so as to make here a truly Christian contribution.

Nor should we overlook the close bond between the ecological dimension and the matter of justice: Environmental degradation (global warming, deforestation, desertification, flooding, etc.) affect not only nature, God’s creation, and future generations, but principally the poor who live in worsening urban and rural situations because they do not possess the means to protect themselves. “Unscrupulous exploitation of natural resources and the environment degrades the quality of life; it destroys cultures and sinks the poor in misery” (GC34, Decree 3, nº9).

Questions for reflection and community discussion:

* Have we read any articles or books on the ecological problem, and more concretely, any with a focus on the light of faith?
* Where do we think the Society should make its specific contribution in this area? How should we reconsider our option for faith and justice?
* What place does this concern have in the programs of our schools and universities, in the formation of our social centers, in the preaching in our churches and parishes?

GC34, Decree 3, nº9 and Decree 20.
Promotio Justitiae, We Live in a Broken World: Reflections on Ecology, #70, 1999.
The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, Vatican 2004, nº 471, 478.
The Ignatian Ecological Network, coordinated by the Secretary for Social Justice in the General Curia.

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