Tuesday, January 18, 2011

American Jesuit Fr. Ferdinand Azevedo, S.J. Found Dead Under Suspicious Circumstances In Brazil

An American Jesuit priest teaching at a Catholic university in northeastern Brazil since 1975 has been found dead. Tuesday's statement from the Catholic University of Pernambuco state says that 72-year-old  Fr. Ferdinand Azevedo, S.J. was found dead in his room at a spiritual retreat.
Link (here)

The American priest, Ferdinand Azevedo, 72, was found dead in the early evening of Monday.
According to unofficial information, the priest was found n@ked and kneeling with his hands tied to his waist.  He was also with a chain used in networks around the neck. 
The body had no signs of injury and was already in an advanced state of decomposition, indicating that death occurred more than two days.
 Link (here) to watch the Brazilian news account at YouTube.

FERDINAND AZEVEDO, S.J., is the provincial superior of the North Brazilian Province of the Society of Jesus. He entered the Jesuits in California, studied Latin American history at The Catholic University of America and served from 1974-95 at the Catholic University of Pernambuco, in Recife, as university librarian, vice president of administration and vice president for student affairs. The interviewer is James S. Torrens, S.J. an associate editor of America.
Read the entire November 28, 1998 America Magazine interview (here)

Dr. Ferdinand Azevedo, SJ - Father Ferdinand entered the Society of Jesus on July 14, 1957 and was ordained priest on June 20, 1970. (here) Doctor of History. The Catholic University Of America (1974) . Graduated in philosophy from Gonzaga University (1963), MA in History from Loyola University of Los Angeles (1968) and Ph.D. in History from The Catholic University of America (1974). He is currently Coordinator and Researcher at the Catholic University of Pernambuco. . He has experience in history, with emphasis on the history of Brazil. Acting on the following topics: Society, the Catholic Church, Politics, Spirituality. tel.: 4338 Research Institute (7 of G4), tel.: 4338
Currículo Lattes >> Lattes>>
E-mail.: fazevedo@unicap.br E-mail.: fazevedo@unicap.br 
Link (here)

Homicide or Suicide?
 The news of the death of Father Ferdinand surprised everyone Unicap, where he worked and lived since 1975. Very shaken, the dean of Unicap, Father Peter Rubens, knows that police work with the chances of homicide or suicide. 
For him, the colleague's behavior presented no evidence that he could take his own life. "We did not find any trace or sign of depression, sadness, bitterness or anger.  He was an extremely pragmatic. This causes us to this eerie and we feel bound, not only us Jesuits, but all those who knew him, to witness a life that does not match that death, whatever the outcome of the investigation, " said the rector
His body was interred in the late afternoon of Tuesday, the cemetery of Santo Amaro.  Rather, friends and colleagues said goodbye to him at a Mass in the chapel of the Catholic University of Pernambuco.  The Mass was celebrated by the archbishop of Olinda and Recife, Dom Fernando Saburido, along with the university president, Father Peter Rubens, and the dean Community, 
Father Miguel Martinez.  "We never saw any trace of sadness, anger ...  He was an extremely pragmatic. A life that does not fit with this death," says Father Peter Rubens. 
After the ceremony, the body was taken to the cemetery of Santo Amaro, where he was buried.  The direction the university is awaiting the outcome of police investigation, to understand whether what happened was murder or suicide.  The Precinct of Janga is responsible for the investigation. The deadline for completion of the inspection report is 10 days.
Link (here) Christ the Redeemer


Anonymous said...

Comon, the hands tied? A rope tied to his neck and no signs of aggression? It sounds NOT like suicide, but more like auto erotic asphyxiation.

Anonymous said...

How tacky to gossip this way; the dead deserve their peace.

Anonymous said...

This is very serious, if this happened in the Jesuit Community house? One can conclude negligence or complicity by others.

Anonymous said...

Why is the label "The Problem" associated with this post? I thought that label applied only to instances sexual abuse? Does it now apply to unsubstantiated gossip? And even if there is some evidence of sexual activity, how is this expression of sexuality related to "the problem" as you've previously labeled it?

Sexuality is not "the problem." Sexuality is a gift.

Daniel Latinus said...

There appear to be at least two people here, posting as "Anonymous", and arguing against each other.

I understand the need/desire to maintain one's privacy, (I do it myself), but at least give yourself a nom-de-cyber so we can keep the different commentators straight.

Having a sexual faculty may indeed be a gift, but deviant sexual activity is an abuse of that gift, and a sin. And it seems the Jesuits do have a serious problem in this area, and a serious need for reform.

Joseph Fromm said...

The reports, including those by the priests from same University all corroborate the fact that Fr. Ferdinand did not die of natural causes. I have linked to as many reports as can find for any reader to draw his own conclusions and find a little depth to the subject. It is very likely that more information will be forth coming to clarify the story.

The primary purpose of the Society of Jesus is the for the Society to ensure the Salvation of its own members and secondly to others.

If the truth is consistent with the evidence that is available at this time. Then there is indeed "a problem" it is unfortunate to read these accounts, however there are many of these "problems" as you have plainly seen.

The question is how does this "problem" get fixed?

If any readers have ideas or solutions. Please take the opportunity to present them thoughtfully.



Please use a handle or your first name with your comments, it helps the reader follow the discussion.

Anonymous said...

Was there ever a resolution to this case? Father Azevedo was a childhood friend and I am grieved over his death.