Thursday, February 21, 2008

Diogenes On Jesuit Translations

lost in translation
Posted by: Diogenes - Today 2:32 PM ET USA
Pope Benedict delivered a stern, no-nonsense message to Jesuit leaders on February 21. The CWN coverage of the Pope's talk was not terribly different from the accounts carried here and here and even here. If you read Italian, or if the Vatican eventually posts a translation, you can find the full text here, and judge for yourself. The Holy Father's intention was unmistakable. Leaders of the Society of Jesus have done their best to downplay the tension between the Jesuit order and the Vatican.
The new superior general suggested that the perception of a rift between the Jesuits and the Pope is a myth created by the mass media. Pope Benedict was fairly blunt in acknowledging that the problem is real.
You might think that when the Pope chooses to send a strong message, the Vatican press office would be careful to convey that message. But curiously, if you read the official summary and excerpts provided by the Vatican Information Service, the severity of the Pope's message doesn't come through to English-language readers.
Make of it what you will.
Link (here)


A Jesuit from Europe said...

I did read the Italian version and honestly can't see a big tension there... The Pope speech was a lot softer than the Letter read by the Cardinal at the beginning of the General Congregation.

Out of 10 paragraphs only in one or two of them you could see a remainder of the Pope's invitation to the jesuits to stay true to their charism and the fourth vow.

The Pope asks the Jesuits to keep the discussions on important theological and moral issues trying to keep tuned with the Magisterium (In order to have a discussion there must be at least two points of view... So he is asking the Jesuits to bring different perspectives to the table and then find the argument that is in tune with the Magisterium)
He even entrust them the formation of priests and religious orders...

The Pope uses words of understanding. He understands that Jesuits that work in theological research, interreligious dialogue or dialogue with the culture may find very difficult to be in tune with the Magisterium but he invites them to attach themselves (effectively and affectively) to the Vicar of Christ

Phrases as “I understand” or “I invite you” are soft and welcoming to the members of the General Congregation.

In the other 8 paragraph the Pope's praises the work of the SJ in education, social issues, Spiritual exercises etc.. And asks them to keep doing what they are doing and find ways to share the Gospel with everyone in our secular world.

I spoke personally with 4 Jesuits that were inside of the aula with the Pope and they said that the ambiance of the audience was very cordial and invigorating. They did not feel tension with the Pope or the people; from the Vatican. The relationship of the SJ is in a very good stance with His Holiness. The love of the delegates towards Benedict XVI was true and evident.

PhD in Ecclesiology said...

I would read very carefully any reports regarding the Society of Jesus if they come from CWN, Catholic news Service or Catholic News Agency. They are run by groups that usually do not sympathize with the Jesuits (at lest one or two of them belong to the Legion of Christ)
I have followed these three sources and when they talk about the Jesuits they lack objectivity and always have a negative twist.

Peter said...

I'm another Jesuit from Europe. I read the Italian and thought your phrase "the severity of the Pope's message" was well wide of the mark. Yes, there was a reminder of the need for faithfulness to the hierarchical Church, but this was not worded more strongly than Father General had put it in his own letter to the Holy Father. It was not a "severe" message, but warm, encouraging and really quite inspiring.

Joseph Fromm said...

Dear Jesuits and Doctors of Theology. Thank you for your great input! I love the Society. Your readership is greatly appreciated.


Anonymous said...

Dear phd in ecclesiology,

are you sure that CWN, CNS or CNA have anything to do with the Legionaries of Christ? Is there any evidence for this claim?

I read the Legioanries National Catholic Reporter and I did not notice negative comments about the jesuits in general.