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Friday, March 15, 2013

JPII, Francis, and Jesuit reform

Update 11/25/16: Francis' Amoris Laetitia may very well "suspend" his Magisterium altogether.  I pray he may correct the document and clarify his teaching to be more in accord with Familiaris Consortio and Veritatis Splendour.

Since the election of Francis I, formerly Jorge Mario Bergoglio S.J., much surprise and misunderstanding has surrounded the Jesuit order.  Known for bordering on unorthodox social teaching, including liberation theology, the Jesuits have produced the likes of Pedro Arrupe and others who outrightly enacted the 'spirit of Vatican II' as opposed to the 'hermeneutic of continuity' of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.  However, Pope Francis I may stand as a direct descendant of true orthodoxy from the council fathers, even in the throes of various Jesuit disorders.  

Blessed John Paul II attempted early on in his pontificate to reform the Jesuit order with mixed results.  Indeed, George Weigel claims that the Jesuits were like a thorn in the side of JPII--always evading his strategic reforms with more and more unorthodoxy: 
(speaking of the election of Francis I)
   I suspect there were not all that many champagne corks flying last night in those Jesuit residences throughout the world where the Catholic Revolution That Never Was is still regarded as the ecclesiastical holy grail. For the shrewder of the new pope’s Jesuit brothers know full well that that dream was just dealt another severe blow. And they perhaps fear that this pope, knowing the Society of Jesus and its contemporary confusions and corruptions as he does, just might take in hand the reform of the Jesuits that was one of the signal failures of the pontificate of John Paul II.  GEORGE WEIGEL--http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/342964/first-american-pope-george-weigel?pg=3

Apparently, the Jesuits were more or less forerunners in the brain-child of liberation theology (please reference my 2012 post on "JPII vs Liberation Theology").  Not only that, but they espoused outlandish teaching on women's ordination, homosexual activity, and contraception.  For an order that originally was formed to pledge absolute allegiance to the seat of St. Peter, Jesuits had fallen far away from the tree.

It is easy, then, to guess that JPII did very little to correct such disobedience.  Likewise, it is easy to think him aloof in addressing problems that constantly arose during his days as Pope.  On the contrary, JPII acted somewhat harshly on the Jesuits soon after their vicar general, Pedro Arrupe, passed away from stroke:
  The Pope picked his own team to head the powerful order. The Jesuits swear an oath of obedience to the papacy but, throughout their 441-year history, their independent ways and elitist style have ruffled many Popes. John Paul II, no stranger to controversy, last week took a bold step to bridle the Society of Jesus. In a move interpreted as a warning to all religious orders, he suspended the normal workings of the Jesuit Constitutions, removed the acting leader of the organization and replaced him with two Italian Jesuits who enjoy the Vatican's confidence: Paolo Dezza, 79, and Joseph Pittau, 53.
And, the New York Times reported similar measures in 1999:
The Jesuits, formally the Society of Jesus, an order founded in the 16th century, grew politically divided in the social unrest of the 1960's and 70's. One of the first concerns of John Paul II's papacy was ridding the Roman Catholic Church of Marxist-tinted 'liberation theology' movements in Latin America, of which Jesuits were often leading advocates. Jesuits in the United States and Europe were also prominent in theological rifts with Rome.
In 1979 the newly elected pope warned a gathering of Jesuits that their order was 'causing confusion among the Christian people and anxieties to the church.'
Based on those events in JPII's lifetime, it becomes much more clear why George Weigel notes Jesuit reform as one of the few 'failures' of Blessed John Paul's pontificate.
But, I repeat that the 'redemptive suffering' endured by JPII on behalf of the Jesuit order may have, at long last, opened the door for true reform in the pontificate of Francis I.  The Jesuits are bound to re-discover their roots of allegiance to the chair of St. Peter, because one of their own will call them out of error! 
Final note on a tangential Catholic/Jewish connection between JPII and Francis I--within the first 3 days of his pontificate, Pope Francis issued this statement to the chief rabbi of Rome, Riccardo Di Segni:
'Trusting in the protection of the Most High, I very much hope to be able to contribute to the progress that relations between Jews and Catholics have experienced since the Second Vatican Council, in a spirit of renewed collaboration and at the service of a world that can be ever more harmonious with the will of the Creator.'  
(Please reference my 2013 post on Jerzy Kluger and Karol Wojtyla).  It appears that the Jewish/Catholic relations begun by JPII will be picked up again with Francis, just as they were with Benedict XVI!

Update as of Cannonization of Argentine Blessed Jose Brochero (proponent of Ignatian Spiritual Exercises):
http://opeast.org/2013/10/01/holy-cowboy/ & http://www.news.va/en/news/argentianian-priest-fr-brochero-beatified


JorgeMario said...

Amazingly, JPII visited Buenos Aries in 1987 for WYD!
Here's his letter on it:

He calls for a 'new evangelization' even then!

The theme was, "And so we know and rely on the Love of God" (1 Jn 4:16)

Anonymous said...

from www.wdtprs.com
J_Cathelineau says:
4 September 2013 at 11:00 pm
Im argentine. From Buenos Aires. Let me say something, and may God help me to put it right in english.
before start: Im not a peronist.
Bergoglio was never close to Liberation Theology, but he is something very dificult to understand to an angle-saxon mind because he is a peronist, and peronismo was the way to be anti-marxist in Argentina from 1945 to 1973. Something between spanish Gen. Franco and Nasser. From 1973 to present times peronismo is just a mess, impossible to understand to anybody, even to us, argentines.
Said that, Bergoglio is quite old school peronist. He is quite populist (at this point everybody knows that), in the sense that he doesnt like elites (nor intellectual left, nor traditional right). He doesnt like aristocracy, maybe because he is a son of immigrants, and old families in Buenos Aires can be snobbish (the fight between that groups explain the raise of peronism quite well). Maybe that is why he doesnt like traditional forms.
He likes poor people, and the priests that work in the slums had his protection. These priests fight against marxists parties and drug dealers. Their work is beyond judgment, its true that they sometimes dont respect some forms, but they live among the extremely poor. I have visited them there and i know what im talking about. Their work is outstanding, but its another dimension. As I said, beyond judgment. I saw them baptizing, caring old people, saving drug addicts, teaching them to work and helping the young for decent jobs. All the streets in the neighbourhood have name of Saints, and chappels flourished around. Dealers wanted to kill them.

The problem, maybe, is that not everybody is argentine, or latin-american, or lives in a slum, surrounded by killers, or needs initial basic cathechism, so maybe its not too fair that we are all treated the same. Are Catholics in Japan (think about forms, PLEASE!), in Europe, North America….not everything is the same. Catholic identity doesnt mean latin-american-poverty catholic identity. I dont know if im clear.
But forget it, he is not a Liberation Theologist. In fact Liberation Theologists always hated him: he is an old school peronist.

Maybe a good book about Peron (and Argentina) is “Peron”, by Joseph Page (with some warnings)

Anonymous said...

And again,
J_Cathelineau says:
5 September 2013 at 12:36 pm
McCall1981 says:
“@ J_Cathelineau (or anyone else that knows)
Would you mind explaining what a “Peronista” is, in this context?”

In this context, is someone keen to “popular” expressions of faith and huge public demonstrations. Someone that relies on the support of people to strenght his political assessments. Take what is happening now about Syria: Just think that a Benedict letter would not have had the same effect than the declarations of Francis. Because, for the world, now the Pope counts in a political meaning, since “people” is with him.
Im just describing, not saying that I agree. And Im just talking about politics, and a fine politician he is.

Then, about Liturgy, I think (personal opinion) that he is not against the Tridentine Mass, but he doesnt like THE KIND OF PEOPLE that attend to it. Here in Argentina, we are seem like a ghetto, a very small group of extreme right, anti-semitic fascists. That is rooted in our local history, and would be too long to explain. And as I said, he doesnt like (at all) elites, or segregated groups.
Personal opinion again: I think that he would not meddle with the Mass if he perceive that in the world traditionalists are not a small angry bunch, but a dynamic force of faithfull. That is what a peronist is, in this context.
On the other hand, the danger is not that he forbids the Mass but that he may would like to change something in the rite, to make it a bit more “popular”. Lets pray for that never happens.

Saint11106 said...

Saint1106 says:
11 December 2013 at 5:31 am
Most are missing the point. Pope Francis is a Peronist. There are two strands, one a left-wing Marxist one, which he is not. The other is a populist one, based on Peron-type policies of big government, taxing the rich, but respecting private property, and very respectful of the Catholic Church and its moral/social teaching. Our Pope’s favorite book is La Comunidad Organizada, by Peron himself, but likely by ex-Jesuit Benitez, who was Eva Person’s spiritual director and ghost writer.
To understand a person’s ideas, one has to understand the context of that person’s formation. He grew up in the hey day of the Peronist years. When FDR-type policies really did deliver and change the standard of living for much of Argentina. Commentators here are trying to put in into the left/right spectrum of U.S. politics. This is a not the way to understand his ideas.

Anonymous said...

Equivocator https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/13548428/Equivocation%20and%20the%20Legal%20Conflict%20Over%20Religious%20Identity%20In%20Early%20Modern%20England.pdf?sequence=1