|The 35 General Congregation|
Exposcit debitum of Pope Julius III, July 21, 1550
From experience, the Society has learned that pivotal to its fidelity in chastity has been the strong though humble and simple devotion to the Blessed Virgin that has flourished among us since the time of St. Ignatius.
General Congregation 34, "Chastity in the Society of Jesus," §247
Although serving God our Lord much out of pure love is to be esteemed above all, we ought to praise much the fear of His Divine Majesty, because not only filial fear is a thing pious and most holy, but even servile fear -- when the man reaches nothing else better or more useful -- helps much to get out of mortal sin. And when he is out, he easily comes to filial fear, which is all acceptable and grateful to God our Lord: as being at one with the Divine Love.
Saint Ignatius Loyola, Spiritual Exercises, 18
When Ignatius wondered in Barcelona whether he should study and how much, it was a question of whether after his studies he should enter a religious order or go through the world as he was. And when he thought of entering a religious order, then he thought and desired to enter one that was corrupt and unreformed ... to be able to suffer more, and also perhaps thinking that God would help them.
Autobiography of Saint Ignatius Loyola, §71
The fervour that characterized our beginnings, manifested in Ignatius and in his friends in the Lord, must also be apparent in our present day. Father Nadal, speaking in the name of the first Jesuits, noted that the Society is a light shining forth from Christ. It fills our beings, arouses strong desires and urges us to work for the salvation of all in a mission received from the Vicar of Christ on earth.
Introductory Allocution of Father General Peter Hans Kolvenbach
to the Congregation of Procurators, Sept 17, 1999.
Today the Jesuit is a man whose mission is to dedicate himself entirely to the service of faith and the promotion of justice.
General Congregation 32, "Our Mission Today," §41
In like manner, we are to [call to mind the] sin of one who went to hell because of one mortal sin. Consider also countless others who have been lost for fewer sins than I have committed.... Enter into conversation with Christ our Lord. Recall to memory that of those who are in hell; some came there because they did not believe in the coming of Christ; others, though they believed, because they did not keep the commandments.
St. Ignatius Loyola, Spiritual Exercises, §§52, 71.
In the years after final vows, the ordained Jesuit experiences all the pressures and complexities of priestly ministry in the Society: he will probably be engaged in a ministry which makes constant and exhausting demands on him.
General Congregation 34, "Jesuit Identity and Ministerial Priesthood," §189
Such men should be appointed superiors who enjoy a good reputation and authority among their subjects.
Complementary Norms, 340
We do not publish this decree because we judge that infidelity in chastity is widespread within the Society of Jesus. On the contrary, we are convinced that, despite the challenges and testings of these years, fidelity in chastity characterizes the life of the Society today as it has characterized it in the past.
General Congregation 34, "Chastity in the Society of Jesus," §228
It would be unreasonable for traveling Jesuits to expect local people to view their conduct as it would be understood in their own native land.
General Congregation 34, "Chastity in the Society of Jesus," §255
Respect for the dignity of the human person created in the Image of God underlies the growing international consciousness of the full range of human rights.
General Congregation 34, "Our Mission and Justice," §55
And touching our Society, be it known that we have made a league -- all the Jesuits in the world, whose succession and multitude most overreach all the practices of England -- cheerfully to the carry the cross you shall lay upon us, and never to despair your recovery, while he have a man left to enjoy your Tyburn, or to be racked with your torments, or consumed with your prisons.
Saint Edmund Campion, S.J., final address to the Privy Council, 1581
The Society expects from every Jesuit not only fidelity to his vows but the normal public signs of this fidelity. Jesuits should embody in their ministry and in their lives an unequivocal "professional" conduct (modestia) that manifests their commitments as priests and as religious. Their manner of proceeding -- both as a community and as individuals -- ought to preclude any ambiguity about their lives, enabling those to whom they minister to rely instinctively upon their disinterestedness and fidelity.
General Congregation 34, "Chastity in the Society of Jesus," 187
As servants of the Gospel, we are channels of the creative Spirit working in and through our persons to build the body of Christ.
Introductory Allocution of Father General to the Congregation of Procurators, Sept 17, 1999
Obedience is to be offered by all promptly, cheerfully, and in a supernatural spirit, as to Christ.... Our holy Father Saint Ignatius desired that we should all excel in the virtue of obedience. Accordingly, with all our force and energy we should strive to obey, first, the Sovereign Pontiff, and then the superiors of the Society, not only in matters of obligation, but also in others, even at the mere hint of the superior's will, apart from any express command.
General Congregation 31, "The Life of Obedience," §277f.
In the light of our tradition, we can say that no ministry which prepares the way for the Kingdom or which helps to arouse faith in the Gospel is outside the scope of Jesuit priests. In recent years we have come to recognize that it is for the priest, as sign and minister of the Lord's active presence, to be present in or to collaborate with all human efforts which help in establishing the Kingdom.
General Congregation 34, "Jesuit Identity and the Ministerial Priesthood," §172
Since Vatican Council II, at the request of the Church itself, consecrated life has not ceased being in motion. Still today, even under the pen of certain of our confreres, publications are not lacking which describe our deeds, and especially our misdeeds, in this time of permanent upheaval, showing a certain nostalgia for the times of stability, when the orientation of a religious institute seemed more sure of itself.
Final Allocution of Father General to the Congregation of Procurators, Sept 23, 1999.
The mission of the Society derives from our continuing experience of the Crucified and Risen Christ who invites us to join him in preparing the world to become the completed Kingdom of God. The focus of Christ's mission is the prophetic proclamation of the Gospel that challenges people in the name of the Kingdom of his Father; we are to preach that Kingdom in poverty.
General Congregation 34, "Servants of Christ's Mission," §31
Few are called to the life of a Jesuit, but for the man who is called, chastity only makes sense as a means to greater love, to a more authentic apostolic charity.
General Congregation 34, "Chastity in the Society of Jesus," 236
Each Jesuit enriches the Society's mission and contributes to what Saint Paul calls "the priestly service of the Gospel of God."
General Congregation 34, "Jesuit Identity and Ministerial Priesthood," §163
In Jesus Christ, we can accept the magnitude of this challenge: to work at the integration of faith and justice, to strive to understand how the Gospel is to be inculturated, to embark with new zeal on the task of interreligious dialogue, to continue to join our professional and pastoral skills to the Ignatian way of proceeding. The Crucified Jesus reminds us that in weakness and vulnerability God's love can shine forth mightily.
General Congregation 34, "United with Christ on Mission," §7
No community life is possible, however, and no renewal can be truly fruitful unless each Jesuit "keep before his eyes God, and the nature of this Institute which he has embraced and which is, so to speak, a pathway to God." His vocation summons each Jesuit to find privileged time and space to pray with Christ, as friend to friend, learning from this encounter how to be a servant of his mission.
General Congregation 34, "United with Christ on Mission," §11
The task for the Jesuit priest, in the midst of these multiple demands, is to continue a life of faith and a generous and humble service of Christ. Even if he is not primarily involved in direct pastoral service of others, it will help him to keep his priestly identity alive if he is able to minister regularly to a sacramental community; lay people, especially the poor, build the personal faith of those who serve them.
General Congregation 34, "Jesuit Identity and Ministerial Priesthood", §190
General Congregation 34, "Servants of Christ's Mission", §15
Father General Pedro Arrupe, S.J., in a BBC interview by Malcolm Muggeridge, January 25, 1970
In these years, throughout the Society, we have been purified in the faith by which we live, and have grown in our understanding of our central mission. Our service, especially among the poor, has deepened our life of faith, both individually and as a body: our faith has become more paschal, more compassionate, more tender, more evangelical in its simplicity.
We never go into politics, never; politics as such. It is true we try, for instance today, in the whole question of international justice, to help the underdeveloped countries and so forth. We are for truth, for justice. If you call politics this high idea of justice, fine. But if you speak of politics in the sense of parties, or working for governments, we are completely out of this.
Father General Pedro Arrupe, S.J., in a BBC interview by Malcolm Muggeridge, January 25, 1970
I think former Jesuits are Jesuits. You don't leave. I really believe that. Ignatius recognized that laymen are the core of the Society. Although it's not necessarily true canonically, I would say they are Jesuits.
Father General Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., quoted in Company Magazine, Fall 2000, p. 22.
Nor can it be said that the pope was speaking of matters that do not involve our faith, since the essence of his teaching directly concerns the human and divine dignity of man and of love. In the enormous crisis of growth which envelops the whole world, the pope himself has been what the entire Church must be, and Vatican II affirmed, "both a sign and a safeguard of the transcendence of the human person" (Gaudium et Spes, §76). For this reason the service we as Jesuits owe to the Holy Father and to the Church is at the same time a service we owe to humanity itself.
Letter of Father General Pedro Arrupe, S.J. to the whole Society,
on the encyclical Humanae vitae, in Acta Romana Societatis Iesu. Vol. XV, Fasc. II, 1968