Tuesday, April 30, 2013

“If This Is Poverty, Bring On Chastity.”

The most popular joke about Jesuit poverty is this:  A first year novice is visiting a large Jesuit community during a big celebration of the feast day of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, on July 31, usually an occasion for grand dinners.  The novice spies the immense dining room, the tastefully appointed tables, the flower vases and the filet mignon ready on the table and announces, “If this is poverty, bring on chastity.”
Link (here) to read the quote by Fr. James Martin, S.J.

Bishop Aloysius Jin Luxian Became A Jesuit In 1938

Bishop Jin Luxian and his chosen successor, Joseph Xing Wenzhi
Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin, who was to succeed Bishop Aloysius Jin Luxian, astonished and enraged officials by publicly declaring he was leaving the state-run church. The issue has not been resolved, with Bishop Ma reportedly stripped of his title and his movements curtailed. Catholics in China say the pressure from the state-run church can be unbearable, and priests, especially younger ones and those who “look to Rome,” may prefer to remain at a lower level in the hierarchy. Bishop Jin’s life was marked by extraordinary political conflict. Born in 1916, he was a patriot: in “The Memoirs of Jin Luxian, Volume One: Learning and Relearning 1916-1982,” a translation of which was published late last year in English, he wrote: “I was born at a time when the people of our country were suffering from the chaos of civil disorder and foreign occupation, so during my youth there was no National Day and only national disgrace.”
Bishop Jin had both “the unalterably Catholic faith and the unassailable confidence of a Chinese patriot,” wrote Father Michael Kelly, a fellow Jesuit who is executive director of the Union of Catholic Asian News.
In 1985 he was appointed a bishop by the state-run church, and in 2004 he was recognized by the Vatican, bringing full circle a life that included studies in Rome in the 1940s. Bishop Jin, who was orphaned by the age of 14, attended Jesuit high school in Shanghai and became a Jesuit in 1938, aged about 22. He obtained a doctorate in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, returning to China not long after Mao Zedong took power in 1949, Union of Catholic Asian News reported
He was a “come-back kid,” it reported, whose reputation and influence led to his being dubbed the “Yellow Pope,” the title of a 2006 biography by a French journalist, Dorian Malovic. ignificantly, by cooperating with the authorities, he persuaded them eventually — by a circuitous route — to allow prayers for the pope to be said during Mass and helped to develop the liturgy in Chinese, Union of Catholic Asian News wrote. 
Writing in Ignatius Insight in 2010, the historian Anthony E. Clark described Bishop Jin as “China’s most powerful aboveground bishop” (in contrast to the “underground” church that follows the Vatican). “He is one of the Church’s most enigmatic men, and one often wonders if what he is saying is a direct truth or a circuitous statement, a result of his years of dealing with Communist officials who hold an ever-tighter grasp on his movements as China’s most public prelate,” Dr. Clark wrote. 
Link (here) to the New York Times

Monday, April 29, 2013

Fr Marko Ivan Rupnik, S.J. And The Incarnation

Jesuit theologian Fr Marko Ivan Rupnik will lead a Marian symposium, entitled La Fede Professata dalla Pietra (Faith Professed in Stone), at Ta’ Pinu Sanctuary hall between Friday and Saturday. Fr Rupnik, of Slovenia, who will be making three interventions in Italian, will speak about the Mystery of Incarnation as the beginning of Christian art. Fr Rupnik is an artist who communicates faith with mosaic art. 
Fr Rupnik is the author of various spiritual books. He is known for his unique style of art, through which he brings forth the message of faith based on Sacred Scripture and Holy Tradition with a special emphasis on the beginning of iconography with its roots in Eastern Europe. 
With a doctorate from the Faculty of Missiology at the Gregorian Pontifical University of Rome, he works at the Centro Aletti of Rome, of which he is the director. He is also professor at the Oriental Pontifical Institute in the Gregorian University and in the Pontifical Liturgical Institute of St Anselm. Fr Rupnik is also a member of the Pontifical Council for Culture.
Link (here) toThe Times of Malta

"Corruptio Optimi, Pessima"

Corruption is worse than any sin because it hardens the heart against feeling shame or guilt and hearing God's call for conversion, Pope Francis said. "Situations of sin and the state of corruption are two distinct realities, even if they are intimately linked to one another," he said when he was Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The future pope's comments come from a small booklet that was originally published in 2005. Titled "Corruption and Sin: Reflections on the Theme of Corruption," the booklet was based on an article he wrote in 1991 in the wake of a scandal in which local authorities in Argentina tried to whitewash the death of a teenage girl because the murderers' fathers were linked to local politicians and the governor. In the booklet's introduction, the future pope said he wanted to republish the article because the problem of corruption had become so widespread a decade later that people began to almost expect it as a normal part of life. While many sins can lead to corruption, sinners recognize their own weakness and are aware of the possibility of forgiveness, he said. "From there, the power of God can come in." People who are corrupt, on the other hand, have become blind to the transcendent, replacing God with their own powers and abilities, he said.
"A sinner expects forgiveness. The corrupt, on the contrary, don't because they don't feel they have sinned. They have prevailed," he said. One who is corrupt is "so holed up in the satisfaction of his own self-sufficiency" that his bloated self-esteem refuses to face the reality of his fraudulent and opportunistic behavior, he said. 
"He has the face of someone trying to say, 'It wasn't me!' or as my grandmother would say, 'The face of a darling little angel," he said. The ability of the corrupt to disguise their true self should qualify them for an honorary degree in "social cosmetology," he said. They hide their thirst for power by making their ambitions seem frivolous and socially acceptable. With "shameless priggishness," they adhere to "severe rules of a Victorian tint," he wrote. "It's a cult of good manners that cover up bad habits," he said. The future pope referred to many biblical passages to offer concrete examples. Most notably, the corrupt, like the scribes and the Pharisees who criticized Jesus for healing on the Sabbath, launch "a reign of terror" to discredit, attack or eliminate anyone who tries to criticize, question or contradict them. "They're afraid of the light because their souls have taken on the attributes of an earthworm: in the shadows and underground." Corruption, however, can never remain hidden forever; evidence of it eventually oozes or bursts forth like all things that are forced to stay closed in or wrapped up too tightly within themselves, he said. But the corrupt don't notice the stench; 
"It's like bad breath. Rarely the person with bad breath realizes it. It's others who notice it and they have to point it out for him." But "the amount of built-up resistance is enormous." Corruption isn't an instance of one singular act but represents a state of being, a culture that an individual or whole society can get caught up in and accustomed to without realizing it. Priests and religious are not immune to corruption, he said; in fact, "Corruptio optimi, pessima" ("The corruption of the best is the worst of all.") 
The path to corruption for them may begin with a painful situation, which "always demoralizes." "Experiencing defeat leads the human heart to get used to it," he said. People get used to the status quo and feel they shouldn't be surprised or continue to suffer in the face of further defeat. 
Link (here) to CNS

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Seventeenth Century French Jesuit Missions, World Trade Of Beaver Pelts And Trade With China

Sometimes a hat is more than just a hat
April 27, 2008 Hans Werner
Vermeer's Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global Worldby Timothy Brook
Like me, Canadian historian Timothy Brook is captivated by the paintings of sometime tavern keeper and art dealer, Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675).
Vermeer may only have sold one of his own paintings in his lifetime, but his canvases still infiltrate our psyches with the jewel-like finish of their multiple layers of transparent glazes. Their images of intimately observed moments of ordinary life seem almost to dissolve in light, like a memory of eternity.
Unlike me, Brook – principal of St. John's College at the University of British Columbia, he also holds the Shaw Chair of Chinese Studies at Oxford – is an expert in Chinese history. In Vermeer's Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of Global Trade, he combines a passion for the paintings with his historical expertise in a novel and rewarding approach to history. Brook has noticed that the props in Vermeer's paintings each unfold into a story which, in one way or another, leads back to China.
Take that eponymous hat, for example. It refers to the imposing headgear sported by a fashion-conscious cavalier chatting up a young lady in Vermeer's Officer and Laughing Girl.
The hat is constructed of beaver pelt, and that takes us to Samuel de Champlain's early settlement of Canada. By the time Champlain founded Québec (1608), his French backers could count on a 200-fold return on their investment on pelts from Canada – which, you have to admit, is almost as good as drug-dealing.
It worked for the Indians, too, because beaver pelts didn't mean much to them, so they thought they were taking the Europeans for a ride, bartering common fur for stuff they really wanted, like metal goods and weapons technology. A real win-win situation. So what's this got to do with the price of eggs in China? Well, it turns out that Champlain was more obsessed with discovering a route to China than he was with settling Québec. Back then, you have to remember, folks thought that the Pacific washed up somewhere on the other side of Lake-of-the Woods or thereabouts (give or take a few thousand miles). Sure, Champlain was eager to corner the fur trade for his investors, but he really wanted the money to finance further exploration west. Not for nothing did he name Lachine, for la Chine (China). The idea was to build a customs shed there once all the fabulous loot started flowing in from the Far East. If this sounds a trifle bizarre, consider what happened when, in 1630, Champlain got wind of the existence of Lake Superior. He sent out a (You learn something new) coureur-de-bois by the name of Jean Nicollet with a full suit of Chinese court robes in his luggage.
The regalia was a necessary entré to Chinese centres of power, and Champlain probably got it from Jesuit missionaries back in France. Why, we may ask, would a scruffy backwoodsman be humping rich silk and brocade through the uncharted Canadian wilderness, if he didn't expect to see China round the next headland?
Of course, Champlain's intervention in inter-Indian warfare in 1609, in order to secure the fur monopoly, quite coincidentally turned out to be the decisive turning point for European-Indian relations ever after. But then, that's how history really works. You'll see more of it at work in chapters dealing with the Chinese porcelain in Vermeer's Young Woman Reading a Letter at an Open Window (ca. 1657), and the silver being weighed out in Vermeer's Woman Holding a Balance (ca. 1664). The Chinese wanted the silver and the Europeans wanted the porcelain. That single link encompasses the entire globe in a vast network of trade connections involving the Spanish, the Portuguese and the Dutch empires, and their impact on Chinese history.
Because the Pope had inconveniently divided the world's oceans between the Spaniards and the Portuguese, the Dutch, coming to the game late and being Protestant to boot, were left with little option but to loot Spanish and Portuguese galleons or blow them out of the water.
When this caused international comment, the powerful Dutch East India Company – prototype of our modern capitalist corporations – commissioned Dutch jurist Hugo Grotius to write the first defence of the freedom of the seas in 1609. His argument was that the Dutch weren't committing piracy, only free trade. But the Dutch also had a secret weapon: tobacco.
Vermeer never painted any smokers, but many of his contemporaries did, and you can see men puffing on pipes all over 17th century Dutch genre painting. You may be amused to read of early attempts to stamp out the nicotine habit, none successful. This worked out beautifully for the British two centuries later, when it was Britannia's turn to rule the waves. The Brits found it easy to parley the Chinese addiction to nicotine into an addiction to opium.
Since the Brits had the monopoly on the poppy, the strategy not only drained the Chinese economy and destabilized the Chinese regime, but it also nicely redressed the balance of trade in favour of Britain. It's taken China two centuries to recover. One of the charms of Vermeer's Hat is its gallery of unlikely characters.
For instance, there's Sebastian Lobo da Silveira, Governor of Portuguese Macao, whose story certainly points a moral about over-eating. Nicknamed "the Wolf," Silveira was not only the most corrupt official in the colony, he was also the most obese. Summoned back to Lisbon to answer charges in 1647, he was shipwrecked off Mozambique, where the other survivors left him when they couldn't shift his bulk through the jungle.
Nobody knows what happened to the Wolf, but you can bet it wasn't very pleasant. Vermeer's Hat is wonderful excursion into early globalization and little-known corners of Chinese history. On the other hand, it is just a mite sobering to realize just how much (if not all) of human history is actually determined by the ever-popular project of getting Stuff.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Jesuit Priest Leads Youth Group From Jesuit Parish In Pacifict Demonstration

Fr. William Bischel, S.J. during Communion at St. Leo's
Fifteen Catholic youth from the Jesuit parish St. Leo's in Tacoma, Wash., led their parents and dozens of other community members in a protest against nuclear weapons April 14 outside the Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor about 20 miles west of Seattle. Longtime activists, including Jesuit Fr. Bill "Bix" Bichsel and other members of the Tacoma Catholic Worker community, also participated. The event was held in solidarity with a weekend of education and actions in Scotland dubbed "Scrap Trident." The Herald in Scotland reported that up to 2,000 people joined a march and a rally in Glasgow's George Square. Scottish demonstrations culminated April 15 in a three-hour blockade of the Faslane Naval Base in Argyll, home of the United Kingdom's Trident nuclear weapons. According to Scotland's Evening Times, about 250 protesters took part and 45 were arrested. Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor is home to the largest single stockpile of nuclear warheads in the U.S. arsenal. Eight of the nation's 14 Trident nuclear ballistic missile submarines reside at this base; each carries more than 1,000 times the destructive power of the Hiroshima bomb and costs $77 million per year to maintain.
Link (here) to the Fishwrap

Fr. Paolo Dall'Oglio, S.J., "..Commit Oneself To The Struggle For Justice, Including Militarily,"

As confusion continues to surround the whereabouts of two kidnapped Orthodox bishops in Syria, a Jesuit expert says it's time to "decriminalize" the word jihadist in thinking about the conflict
"It means a believing Muslim person who's obedient to the divine order to commit oneself to the struggle for justice, including militarily," Jesuit Fr. Paolo Dall'Oglio told a crowded assembly Tuesday afternoon in Rome. 
He compared the armed uprising in Syria to the Italian resistance against fascism. "There is no contradiction between jihad and democracy," Dall'Oglio insisted. Dall'Oglio was speaking at a conference on Syria organized by FOCSIV, a federation of organizations of Christian volunteers. He was joined by Franco Frattini, an Italian politician and the country's former foreign minister under the center-right government of Silvio Berlusconi. Frattini began by confessing he wasn't sure what to do about the Syrian conflict, in part because he's not clear "on the force of jihadist movements within the opposition."
Link (here) to the Fishwrap

Thursday, April 25, 2013

“The Immense Love Of The Inflamed Heart”

On 13 March 2013 Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires, was elected Pope and — as he himself told the journalists with whom he met three days later in the Paul VI Hall — automatically took the name Francis, the saint of Assisi in whom poverty, peace, and care for creation worked in unison in a supreme witness of love, “the immense love of the inflamed heart”, which Iacopone da Todi sang in his praise dedicated to him (40, vv. 155-156). The first American Pope, although both of his parents are of Italian origin, and the first Jesuit among the Successors of the Apostle Peter, the new Bishop of Rome was born in the Argentine capital on 17 December 1936. He became a novice of the Society of Jesus on 11 March 1958 and took a degree in philosophy and theology at the Colegio Máximo San José of San Miguel. On 13 December 1969 he was ordained a priest by Archbishop emeritus Ramón José Castellano of Córdoba in Argentina, and on 22 April 1973 he took perpetual vows in his order. He was then professor of Literature and Psychology, Novice Master, and Provincial of the Jesuits in Argentina. John Paul II appointed Fr Jorge Mario Bergoglio titular Bishop of Auca and Auxiliary of Buenos Aires on 20 May 1992. He thereby became the immediate collaborator of Cardinal Archbishop Antonio Quarracino, from whose hands he received the fullness of Orders with his episcopal consecration on 27 June of the same year.
Link (here) to the Vatican

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Fr. Martin Garcia Aguirre, S.J."“Progressivists” Wanted More Radical Actions And Speeches From Him"

Some say the new Pope is a “conservative”, others call him a “progressivist”: How do you explain these divergent opinions? 
“I wouldn’t say these two adjectives are in a strict sense negative. A priest may sometimes be called a “progressivist” because of bold steps taken in his pastoral ministry, while on other occasions, prudence drives him to be “conservative”, that is to take the same line others have taken, as change is unnecessary. So both are adequate descriptions of Bergoglio. 
The more conservative currents within the Church expected a stronger and more determined response to certain questions, such as his relations with the Argentinean government, some moral issues, the liturgy and tougher punishment for potential misbehaviour by priests. Hence they labelled him as a “progressivist”. At the same time, “progressivists” wanted more radical actions and speeches from him, but he preferred to exercise caution and avoid such gestures. 
So I think everything links back to the expectations one has of a bishop and the areas one sees as important. However, I can assure you that it is difficult to sum Bergoglio up in just one word. This is the reason he has sometimes been accused of being ambiguous and why it often appears that his gestures and words need to be interpreted. His style is, in actual fact, “evangelical”, given that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a reference to the old but is open to the new as well. Even preaching the Gospel triggered tensions and opposition…and a bit of mystery.”
Link (here) to the full interview with Fr. Martin Garcia Aguirre, S.J. at Vatican Insider

St. Ignatius Said, “Hierarchical And Catholic.”

And so the Church was a Mother, the Mother of more children, of many children. It became more and more of a Mother. A Mother who gives us the faith, a Mother who gives us an identity. But the Christian identity is not an identity card: Christian identity is belonging to the Church, because all of these belonged to the Church, the Mother Church. Because it is not possible to find Jesus outside the Church. 
The great Paul VI said: “Wanting to live with Jesus without the Church, following Jesus outside of the Church, loving Jesus without the Church is an absurd dichotomy.” 
And the Mother Church that gives us Jesus gives us our identity that is not only a seal, it is a belonging. Identity means belonging. This belonging to the Church is beautiful. And let us ask the Lord for this parresia, this apostolic fervor that impels us to move forward, as brothers, all of us forward! Forward, bringing the name of Jesus in the bosom of Holy Mother Church, and, as St. Ignatius said, “hierarchical and Catholic.” So be it.
Link (here) to Fr. Z

“Miserando Atque Eligendo”

John Paul II’s “Totus tuus” (Entirely yours), as well as the composition of his stemma papale (a large “M” beneath a gold cross on a blue field), spoke volumes about his Marian piety and his conviction that his life was guided and protected by the Mother of the Church. Benedict XVI’s rather complex coat of arms was a nightmare for the Vatican gardeners who maintain a floral representation of the reigning pontiff’s stemma just behind St Peter’s Basilica; but his motto, “Cooperatores veritatis” (Coworkers of the truth), signaled that his would be a pontificate of clear teaching rooted in deep and broad scholarship.

What, then, shall we make of the episcopal motto that Pope Francis, the former Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio, SJ, took during his service as archbishop of Buenos Aires – “Miserando atque eligendo” (by having mercy, by choosing him) — and will retain as pope?

Foremost, expect an evangelical humility. In the first days of his pontificate, “humble” was the adjective most frequently applied to the new bishop of Rome, and rightly so. It’s important to recognise, however, that Pope Francis’s humility has a distinctive character. It is evangelical humility, a Gospel-centered and Christ-centered humility. And it has been shaped over the course of his life by classic Jesuit (or Ignatian) spirituality: the rigorously disciplined commitment to selflessness-in-Christian-mission that was inculcated in members of the Society of Jesus before Jesuit formation became one of the victims of the Catholic Revolution That Never Was.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ, became a sign of contradiction — a persecuted sign of contradiction — within his own religious order, as too many of his Jesuit brethren were seduced by the solipsistic zeitgeist of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
Pope Francis’s approach to the spiritual life and his understanding of Christian discipleship is, by contrast, the polar opposite of this faux spirituality of self-absorption, in which self-esteem displaces selflessness, and commitments to both ecclesial obedience and mission crumble as a result. The new pope’s more authentically Ignatian approach to the interior life is nicely captured in a famous prayer, the Suscipe, of Saint Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus — a prayer that also offers an interpretive key to Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s self-abasing episcopal motto.
Link (here) to Cathnews

He’ll Be A Welcome Guest In The Holy Land

When Shimon Peres flies to Italy next week to formally ask Pope Francis I to visit Israel, the president will actually be inviting the newly elected pontiff to make his second trip to the Holy Land. Forty years ago, The Times of Israel has ascertained, Jorge Mario Bergoglio made an unfortunately timed first visit. It was early October 1973, and Bergoglio, then in his mid-30s, had been in Rome completing a course for his new job as the Provincial Superior of the Society of Jesus in Argentina. He flew to Israel intending to tour widely, but arrived at the very start of the Yom Kippur War. Sources in the Argentinian Jewish community, with whom Bergoglio has a long and warm relationship, said the rumor is that he stayed in Israel “for only a few hours” before being “evacuated” because of the war. Not quite. In fact, the Vatican told The Times of Israel, Bergoglio was here for about a week, but the war certainly “caused difficult problems for the visit.”On his first day and a half, Bergoglio was able to visit holy sites in Jerusalem, including the church-filled neighborhood of Ein Kerem, and Bethlehem, said Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Holy See Press Office. After that, however, because of the fighting, Bergoglio was unable to tour further. Instead, he spent the next six days confined to the American Colony Hotel, on the seamline between West and East Jerusalem. He used the time “studying the Letters of Saint Paul to the Corinthians,” Lombardi said, using books that he borrowed from the library of the Jerusalem branch of the Pontifical Biblical Institute. Since beginning his papacy last month, Francis I has told Jewish leaders that Catholics and Jews are “bound by a very special spiritual bond,” and pledged to work to further advance “the progress there has been in relations between Jews and Catholics since the (1960s) Second Vatican Council in a spirit of renewed collaboration.” No sooner had Bergoglio taken office, than Peres invited the new pope to visit Israel, asking him to contribute to peace as a spiritual, rather than a political, leader.“He’ll be a welcome guest in the Holy Land, as a man of inspiration who can add to the attempt to bring peace in a stormy area,” Peres said.“All people here, without exception, without difference of religion or nationality, will welcome the newly elected pope.”
Link (here) to The Times of Isreal

Dare To Believe In Beauty

Cardinal  Henri de Lubac, S.J.
Writing in The American Spectator, writes the world-famous philosopher Roger Scruton noted the presence "Much of our public art is a loveless art, and one that is also entirely without the humility that comes from love." The reason I associate this thought of Scruton's with Pope Francis is because, before he became Pope, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J., gave an interview in 2007 as Archbishop of Buenos Aires in which he spoke about the beauty of the gospel:
of desecration in our world and the absence of beauty:
"To me, apostolic courage is disseminating. Disseminating the Word. Giving it to that man and to that woman for whom it was bestowed. Giving them the beauty of the Gospel, the amazement of the encounter with Jesus ... and leaving it to the Holy Spirit to do the rest. It is the Lord, says the Gospel, who makes the seed spring and bear fruit."
In that same interview, the Jesuit who is now Pope cited the writings of Cardinal Henri de Lubac, also a Jesuit, in order to answer the question, "what is the worst thing that can happen in the Church?" Cardinal Bergoglio replied that the worst thing is what De Lubac calls "spiritual worldliness," which presents "the greatest danger for the Church, for us, who are in the Church." "Spiritual worldliness is putting oneself at the centre," said the future Pope Francis. 
"It is what Jesus saw going on among the Pharisees: 'You who glorify yourselves. Who give glory to yourselves, the ones to the others.'"
That was in 2007. But in 2013, in handwritten notes from the morning of Saturday, March 9, when Cardinal Bergoglio addressed the penultimate congregation of cardinals that preceded the conclave, he had an outline of his thoughts on the danger of a "self-referential Church." Such a pharisaical attitude, said the notes
, "gives rise to that evil which is so grave, that of spiritual worldliness (according to De Lubac, the worst evil into which the Church can fall): that of living to give glory to one another."
Perhaps you can see why I connect Scruton's thought about beauty with this concern of the Jesuit who has become Pope. To do so, you have to realize two things. First, what the Jesuit motto is. Second, that glory and beauty are the same thing. First, this concern of Pope Francis (and of the cardinals who heard him express it and were thereby inclined to elect him) - namely, the concern to avoid a pharisaical "self-referential Church" - is already addressed in the Jesuit motto and way of life: ad maiorem Dei gloriam ("for the greater glory of God"). To glorify yourself? No, that would be desecration. To glorify God? Yes, that would be the way of beauty. Second, the theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar points out that, although most theologians rarely talk about it, the Scriptures constantly speak of the divine "Glory" - which is another word for Beauty. In the first volume of his The Glory of the Lord: A Theological Aesthetics - Seeing the Form, von Balthasar says, "We no longer dare to believe in beauty and we make of it a mere appearance in order the more easily to dispose of it. Our situation today shows that beauty demands for itself at least as much courage and decision as do truth and goodness, and she will not allow herself to be separated and banned from her two sisters without taking them along with herself in an act of mysterious vengeance. We can be sure that whoever sneers at her name as if she were the ornament of a bourgeois past - whether he admits it or not - can no longer pray and soon will no longer be able to love." 
Link (here) 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

An Apostle Of “Antiliberation Theology.”

Jamie Manson
the announcement that one “Karolum Cardinalem Wojtyla” had been chosen pope elicited the question, In 2013, despite social media, the Catholic Church’s choice of a new pope still took the world by surprise. The speculations as to who he would be, after Benedict XVI resigned, sorted the papabiles into categories. The first name floated in international media was Ghana’s Peter Turkson, described as “close” to Benedict XVI (Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger). How that description was arrived at was not explained beyond the fact that Turkson was a curial cardinal and a polyglot who could speak six languages. Curial cardinal and papal nuncio Malcolm Ranjith of Sri Lanka, fluent in 10 languages but one of the lesser known papabiles, was “Ratzingerian.” The categorization did not stop after Jorge Bergoglio’s election to the papacy. His “tiff” with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was par for the course. But to call him her “political archenemy” was not. Is there another way for a Catholic priest to comport himself vis-à-vis the issues of gay marriage and free artificial contraception? One week into the new papacy, Kirchner was neither friend nor foe, but she was privileged with the first papal audience and a private lunch.
“Who he?”
Also as quick was the labeling of Bergoglio, when he was still the Jesuit provincial superior in Argentina and, later, Buenos Aires archbishop, as an apostle of “antiliberation theology.” 
Indeed he rejected liberation theology. But the basis of the label was the kidnapping and detention of Jesuit priests Orlando Yorio and Franz Jalics by the Jorge Videla regime in 1976. Working for a poor neighborhood, both were advised by Bergoglio to move out. The two disobeyed and were eventually expelled from the Society of Jesus. The quick conclusion: Bergoglio was “involved” in their kidnapping. The true story is out now that he is pope. A primary source recalls how Bergoglio worked for the two priests’ freedom. Knowing that the Videla family priest was to say Mass one day for the dictator and his family, Bergoglio advised the priest to decline. He will say the Mass in his stead—the only way Bergoglio could see Videla, then use the occasion to ask for the release of the priests. Which he did.
Lost in the interminable guesswork following the conclave was the statement of Jalics, now a Jesuit returnee: “As I made perfectly clear in my prior statement, we were arrested because of a female catechist who had at first collaborated with us and then later joined the guerrillas. I hope God will bless Pope Francis abundantly in his duties,” recalling how they celebrated Mass together after his Jesuit reinstatement. But th rather tart description of Bergoglio’s relationship with the Jesuits persists. 
The lesbian activist and writer Jamie Manson writes glowingly that she has been “touched by Francis’ clear love of the poor,” but that she is “troubled by his alleged failure to stand up (against) Argentine dictators and his harmful words about LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] families. I am worried by reports that he was unpopular among his brother Jesuits because of his unfavorable views of liberation theology.” 
Worried by events that took place almost 40 years ago? That is unfair as well to the present Society of Jesus. Descriptions, labels based on scant knowledge inhibit our proper understanding of the new pope and of his directions that the Catholic faithful want to see. Three very recent events, which should tell us of Pope Francis’ thrusts, have been underreported. 
Link (here) to The Inquirer

Monday, April 22, 2013


Most students of Liberation Theology are familiar with the Jesuits, primarily because Gustavo Gutierrez, father of modern Catholic liberationism, comes from that order. The works of other Jesuit advocates widely read in the United States include Juan Luis Segundo’s five-volume A Theology for Artisans of a New Humanity and Arthur F. McGovern’s Marxism: an American Perspective. McGovern, a Jesuit professor at the University of Detroit, contends that much diversity exists among liberation advocates in regard to their commitment to Marxism. He does not, however, deny that they derive their insights from overtly Marxist critiques of society. Catholic Liberation Theology has posed such a significant threat to U.S. policy at home and abroad that the Reagan White House launched a campaign in 1984 to educate U.S. Catholic bishops against Marxist ideology. That campaign helped conservative critics of the U.S. Catholic Conference disseminate their message to the hierarchy
Link (here)

Martin J Schade Former Jesuit, "Being A Jesuit Meant Being A Roman Catholic, And The Limitations Of A Doctrinal, Dogmatic Church Reached Its Threshold In My Personal Life."

Fr. Roger Haight, S.J.
I'm grateful for the vision I have in that it brought me to an entire new understanding of reality. I have recentlyPierre Teilhard de Chardin and Karl Rahner as my most supporting philosophers/theologians. Besides this vision, the second imperative of Jesuit life, "Do Everything for the Greater Glory of God," instilled in me the desire to be a "man for others", which is, itself, another Jesuit motto.With my vision and motive of life rooted, the Jesuits then gave me the world of spiritual direction. The very first thing a Jesuit novice receives in Jesuit life is a spiritual director, the person to whom one shares "where God is in your life". Spiritual direction and daily prayer are to become basics in a Jesuit's life. Each year a Jesuit is to do eight day retreats, where one engages with God the elements of Ignatius of Loyola's well-known spiritual exercises.
finished a PhD thesis entitled, Incarnation: A Harmony of One Love, One Heart in the Totality of Reality. I use two Jesuits,

In Jesuit spirituality one learns the movements of life where there is consolation and desolation. With these movements, one is frequently called to the necessity of discernment; reflecting and praying with the continual question of, "Where is God in this?" Jesuits are well known for their spirituality of discernment. (For more information on the Jesuits one can read "The Jesuits! Who are they?" which I published in the Jamaica Gleaner, Tuesday, October 7, 2003).
Besides all these significant reasons behind my gratitude for the 21 years of life as a Jesuit, I thank God for the philosophy of education the Jesuits gave me. As stated, Jesuits find God in all things. Thus their understanding of education sees the entire person, body, soul and mind, in the one student. The Ratio Studiorum of the Jesuits has proved itself historically and globally with the existence of many Jesuit high schools and universities around the world. St George's College and Campion College here in Jamaica are two examples. Jesuit education is based on critical, philosophical thinking, always asking the "why?" question. Another reason for my gratitude is the strong sense of mission that the Jesuits gave me. Jesuits are known as "men on a mission". Interestingly, I continue to live my Jesuit mission by having brought philosophy and ethics to the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech). 
I originally came to Jamaica in 1982 to teach philosophy at St Michael's Seminary. I still bring that same Jesuit mission to Jamaica, but now it is in Jamaica's only national university. 
Philosophical, critical thinking must be instilled in our curricula. It is my mission to live this out. Another mission in which the Jesuits instilled in me is to break down the division of religions. We humans fight and kill in the name of God and religion. A first major movement of Pope Francis is his urging all religions to unite for peace and justice. This mission is lived out at UTech with our nine years of the Interfaith Awareness Day sponsored by the Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies and the Jamaican Council for Interfaith Fellowship.
Still, another reason for my gratitude is the living a cultural life of communal living. With a world that is mostly capitalistic, all out for their own profit, as a religious order, in comparison to diocesan priesthood, Jesuits live in community. It is a true 'communistic' existence, where the community lives "from each according to their ability, to each according to their need".
So with this strong prayer of gratitude for my life as a Jesuit, why did I leave?
The irony of my vocation is that with the very vision the Jesuits gave me and the motivation behind it, I could no longer limit my God, nor my 'self'. The Jesuits made me the fullest being I could have been, until my point of departure. I was approved by Father General Peter Hans Kolvenback in 1998 to profess solemn vows, but it was time to move on. 
Being a Jesuit meant being a Roman Catholic, and the limitations of a doctrinal, dogmatic church reached its threshold in my personal life.
My discovery of reality brought me to the fact that all aspects of the universe is dialectical, and therefore is masculine and feminine, having animus and anima. Living with merely a masculine understanding of priesthood and having "authority" only from a male perspective limited my God, my Self and, for me, my church. As a Roman Catholic priest, John Paul II forbade priests to even discuss women priesthood. In my vision and in my theology, 
God cannot be selective in the call to priesthood. We are all called to this vocation. I find it a travesty of justice that in my church women cannot be priests. As much as Catholic philosophy and theology speak of the equality of all humans, women are still second-class citizens. 
I could no longer actively minister in an institution which expected blind obedience to such a travesty. The world has seen what happens when those in authority passively sit back and do nothing. Historically, Jesuits have regularly had their hands slapped by Rome for their theological and social positions. What happens when one speaks out with a new vision? 
The Jesuit, Roger Haight, SJ, who was my primary mentor in writing my new philosophy and theology has been silenced by Rome; he is not to teach at a Roman Catholic institution and has also been forbidden to teach at any protestant school of theology. It has been deemed that his Christology does not conform with formal Roman Catholic theology in light of the divinity of Jesus the Christ. Oh, how we limit God! 
So my gratitude for my life as a Jesuit passes over to my love for the church. If a Jesuit vision could awaken me from my dogmatic slumber, my hope and prayer is that this same Jesuit vision of Pope Francis can awaken the Roman Catholic Church from its dogmatic slumber.
Link (here) to the Jamaica Observe to read the full article by ex-Jesuit priest  Martin J Schade

Went Straight To The Garbage Can

a scandal is erupting across the internet and the mainstream involving  prestigious Georgetown University and The Feminist Conservative, Pattek laid out precisely what she was doing in very clear terms: tied to one of their former employees, Arianna Pattek, a Georgetown grad student who says she was hired to read and process applications for admissions to the school. She claims she had a very interesting system for screening applicants. The applications from white males were trashed, regardless of qualifications. And now it appears that Georgetown University may be trying to cover it up.  The background of this story is pretty disturbing. Pattek, who clearly has issues with sexual and racial bigotry, decided she would not only trash the applications of white males on sight, she also decided to blog about her activities under what she assumed was anonymous conditions. Writing for a web blog called
…I can’t tell you how many applications I saw that were just dripping with white male privelege[sic].  Any of those that I saw basically went straight to the garbage can regardless of how good their qualifactions [sic] were.  If I saw an application from a white male that basically was just good test scores, and activities like chess club or math club or what not then it shows me this person is not interested in a diverse environment.  Obviously he made no effort in integrating with minorities or to sympathize with them and is counting on male privilege to get in.  So that kind of application should get ignored.  In their place I admitted a female student.  This goes double especially for math/science majors.
Apparently the prejudicial screening criteria she employed were not limited to just white males who played chess and were interested in mathematics. 
Link (here) to read the extensive piece at A Voice For Men

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Quietly But Constantly

The sister of a Jesuit priest who was kidnapped by Argentina's military dictatorship in 1976 has charged that Father Orlando Yorio was "practically abandoned" by Church leaders,
complained Gracielo Yorio in court testimony. Yorio, an activist priest who had applied for release from the Jesuit order, was kidnapped along with his fellow Jesuit, Father Franz Jalics, and held for 5 months. The future Pontiff told an Argentine investigation that he had worked quietly but constantly to secure the release of the two imprisoned Jesuits. 
Father Jorge Bergoglio--who was then the Jesuit provincial in Argentina, and is now Pope Francis--failed to protect the priest. The late
Link (here) to Catholic Culture

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Fr. Thomas P. Gaunt, S.J., "The Changing Jesuit Geography.”

Fr. Thomas P. Gaunt, S.J.
In the 1970s, when the church was debating how it should relate to the modern world, the order’s General“the service of faith” and “the promotion of justice” would be the focus of every Jesuit ministry. 
Congregation, or legislative body, decreed that
This coincided with a period of high-profile — detractors would say notorious — activist Jesuits, including the Rev. Daniel Berrigan, a founder of the anti-nuclear Plowshares Movement.
In Latin America, the Jesuit emphasis on helping the poorest peoples often drew the society into political upheaval, including the cause of liberation theology, a Latin American-inspired view that Jesus’ teachings imbue followers with a duty to fight for social and economic justice. U.S. Jesuit James Carney was killed in 1983 serving as chaplain to a rebel column from Honduras.
Pope John Paul II, hoping to re-direct the religious order, took the extraordinary step in 1981 of replacing the Jesuit’s chosen leader with his own representative. 
The society encompasses a range of outlooks, including tradition-minded men. Still, conservative Catholics often view Jesuits as a band of disloyal liberals. The day after Francis was elected, George Weigel, a John Paul biographer, wrote in the conservative National Review magazine that the pope “just might take in hand the reform of the Jesuits” that Weigel argued was never finished. (Smolich rejects any suggestion that the order isn’t faithful to the church or its teachings.)
It’s too early to say how these past conflicts could influence Francis and his relationships with the society. He had disavowed liberation theology as a misguided strain of Catholic tenets, while still maintaining a focus on the economic failings of Western-style capitalism and the need to close the divide between rich and poor.
Jesuits also worry that the religious order could suffer in the spotlight. Maybe the new pope will keep his distance from the society, for fear of giving an appearance of favoritism. Or, he could use his new authority to become — from their perspective — too involved in the society, like John Paul. And they wonder if Jesuits would somehow be blamed for any of Francis’ decisions that prove unpopular.
Jesuits were already at a crossroads when Francis was elected. Although the order remains the largest in the church for men, membership has dropped by more than half since peaking in 1965, Gaunt said.
The decline came mostly in the West. But In South Asia and India, Christianity — and Catholicism specifically — have been growing, and so, too, have the numbers of Jesuits in those areas. 
Fr. Thomas P. Gaunt, S.J. calls itthe changing Jesuit geography.” India now has the largest national group of Jesuits with just over 3,900 members, followed by the U.S., with just under 2,500. Nearly one-third of the world’s 17,287 Jesuits came from developing countries, a figure that is expected to rise in coming years.
For U.S. Jesuits, this has meant a long season of wondering where they go from here. The order is restructuring in the U.S., merging their 10 smaller provinces into four larger ones. Lay people now staff most Jesuit schools and ministries, so the order has started Jesuit spirituality retreats and instruction for lay faculty and staff to help maintain the religious identity of what they’ve built. Among the newer Jesuit initiatives are high schools or middle schools in poor communities, and programs that bring online college-level classes to refugees in Africa and elsewhere
Link (here) to Thetandd.com

Friday, April 19, 2013

Align Ourselves With The Cause Of Jesus

In the teaching of Pope Francis, the devil has a more dastardly agenda than just convincing people to break one of the Ten Commandments; “the enemy” wants them to feel weak, worthless and always ready to complain or gossip. In his first month in office, Pope Francis continually preached about God’s love and mercy, but he also frequently mentioned the devil and that sly dog’s glee when people take their eyes off of Jesus and focus only on what’s going wrong around them.
In the book “On Heaven and Earth,” originally published in Spanish in 2010, the then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, said, “I believe that the devil exists” and “his greatest achievement in these times has been to make us believe he doesn’t exist.”
“His fruits are always destruction: division, hate and slander,” he said in the book. As pope, his comments about the evil one reflect pastoral knowledge of the temptations and injustices oppressing people, but they also echo the Ignatian spirituality that formed him as a Jesuit, said one of his confreres, 
U.S. Jesuit Father Gerald Blaszczak, secretary for the service of faith at the Society of Jesus’ headquarters in Rome. “Francis comes from a tradition — the Jesuit tradition — where the presence of the evil spirit or ‘the enemy of our human nature’ is mentioned frequently,” Father Blaszczak said.
In almost all his homilies, the Jesuit said, Pope Francis talks about “the battle” people face between following the crucified and risen Christ and “falling prey to negativity, cynicism, disappointment, sadness, lethargy” — and the temptation of the “dark joy” of gossiping or complaining about others. In the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, who founded the Jesuits, and in his Rules for the Discernment of Spirits, sowing pessimism and despair “is the M.O. of ‘the enemy,’” Father Blaszczak said.
St. Ignatius believed making progress in following Christ gives birth to a sense peace and harmony, even in the face of challenges, he said. The enemy doesn’t like that and tries to disrupt it, particularly by tempting Christians to focus all their attention on themselves and their problems — real or perceived — and to doubt whether they really are or even can be capable of following the Lord.
“In these many homilies that Pope Francis has given in which he’s warning people to avoid discouragement, to seize hope, to move on with courage and not to fall prey to negativity or cynicism, he’s drawing on this fundamental insight of St. Ignatius,” he said. 
The Jesuit’s explanation of “the enemy” in Ignatian spirituality can be seen in several of the statements the pope has made about the devil, including:
– At his weekly general audience April 17, the pope spoke about Jesus being always near, ready to defend and forgive. “He defends us from the insidiousness of the devil, he defends us from ourselves, from our sins,” the pope said. “He always forgives us, he is our advocate. … We must never forget this.”
– At a meeting with cardinals March 15, the pope spoke about how the Holy Spirit unifies and harmonizes the church. “Let us never yield to pessimism, to that bitterness that the devil offers us every day,” the pope said. Rather, be certain that the Spirit gives the church “the courage to persevere.”
– In his homily on Palm Sunday, Pope Francis said: “A Christian can never be sad. Never give way to discouragement.” Christian joy comes from knowing Jesus is near, even in times of trial when problems seem insurmountable. “In this moment, the enemy — the devil — comes, often disguised as an angel and slyly speaks his word to us.”
Father Blaszczak said the idea that the devil might disguise himself as an angel also fits with the teaching of St. Ignatius, who said “the enemy” often tries to corrupt generally positive inclinations and attractions — including the desires for love or accomplishment and an attraction to beauty — to create despair or “disordinate attachments” that destroy interior peace end up moving a person’s focus away from loving and serving God alone.
In Ignatius’ teaching, and in the teaching of Pope Francis, “there is an edginess,” a seriousness about “the campaign, the opposition of the evil one,” and about the strength and grace people need to resist and to make the right decisions, he said. People must discern where God is calling them, and following that call requires courage and “a willingness to accept suffering and rejection.”
Ignatius “never gets away from the cross, which means there is nothing fluffy about this. It will involve putting yourself in situations of difficulty and strain. There’s a continual call to align ourselves with the cause of Jesus, the cause of the kingdom,” the Jesuit said.
The founder of the Jesuits was convinced, he said, that “it would be the evil one who would try to dissuade us, who would say: ‘That’s silly. That can’t be done. You’re not good enough. You couldn’t be called to that. You don’t have what it takes. You don’t have the goods to make a difference in building the kingdom.’” On the other hand, Father Blaszczak said, Pope Francis — like Ignatius — would say that what God tells people is: “Yes, you are weak. I know who you are and I call each one of you to lend your talents and energy, commitment, love and gifts to the cause of the kingdom.”

Link (here) to  The Catholic Spirit

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Fr. David Neuhaus, S.J., "I’m A Jesuit Among Diocesans And A Jew Among Arabs"

Father David Neuhaus, the Jesuit responsible for the pastoral care of Hebrew-speaking Catholics in the Holy
Land, said after a meeting with Pope Francis that the Pontiff has the potential to “untie knots” in diplomatic negotiations between the Holy See and the State of Israel.
We were presented one by one to the Pope, and when I came to him I underlined the fact that I’m a Jesuit by saying, ‘Here I am, representing the Hebrew-speaking communities, I’m a Jesuit among diocesans and a Jew among Arabs,’” recounted Father Neuhaus, who is a convert from Judaism. “And he smiled and turned to the [Latin] Patriarch [of Jerusalem] and said, ‘Oh, another one who has the virus!’ And there was a clear sign of joy in the eyes of the Pope to see there is another Jesuit, out there somewhere on the margins, trying to serve the universal Church.”
“This is a Pope who also had a deep, deep relationship with Jews in Buenos Aires, so also from that point of view of interreligious dialogue he seems to be very much understanding what’s going on and what the issues are,” Father Neuhaus continued. “Relations between the Holy See and Israel are complex, the negotiations have been dragging on for a very long time … Here again I think Pope Francis’ directness, his honesty, his clear elaboration of what is going on in any particular situation might indeed help untie some of the knots in these negotiations.” 
Link (here) to Catholic Culture

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Using Them As Recruiting Tool

A professor at Gonzaga University has countered claims by the school that it supports the campus' Knights “Honestly I don't see that they're supported in any way,” Dr. Eric Cunningham, assistant director of Catholic Studies and faculty adviser to the university's Knights council, told CNA April 15. On March 7, the university's student life division denied the council's application for recognition as a “student organization,” according to an April 5 report by the Cardinal Newman Society. The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic charitable fraternal organization with 1.8 million members globally. “If they've been denied club status, the only way they exist here is that the members of the Knights of Columbus council are enrolled here,” Cunningham stated. On April 10, Gonzaga's community relations director, Mary Joan Hahn, told CNA that “the Knights of Columbus College Council is on-campus and is supported by the University currently.” This year the council has met at a seminary attached to the university, but has not been affiliated with the university, according to university paper “The Gonzaga Bulletin.”  Cunningham has noticed that the council is “listed in our advertising materials,” specifically in a brochure “that goes out to parents” showing the group listed as a student organization.
of Columbus Council after the group's application to be a student organization was denied.
“So in other words, we're kind of using them as recruiting tool, telling parents that we have a Knights of Columbus council that their sons can certainly join if they come here.”
The Cardinal Newman Society posted excerpts from a letter from the vice president for student life at Gonzaga, Sue Weitz, saying that the Knights of Columbus could not be recognized as a “student organization” because the group is closed to women and to non-Catholics.
“These criteria are inconsistent with the policy and practice of student organization recognition at Gonzaga University, as well as the University’s commitment to non-discrimination based on certain characteristics, one of which is religion.”
Weitz wrote that the decision is not “some kind of litmus test of Gonzaga's Catholicity,” according to The Gonzaga Bulletin.“It is a decision about social justice, equity, and the desire of the University to create and maintain an environment in which none are excluded,” she wrote. Cunningham understands that roughly $1000 of the council's funds had been frozen by the Gonzaga student body association, and he said that “what I hear from the membership, is that hasn't been returned yet.”
“Not only are they not being supported, they haven't had their money returned to them. There's no official support.”
Cunningham has been associated with the council since 2006, and noted that he has made available to them the Catholic studies house, after “they were asked by the director of university ministry to stop meeting there.”
“They don't have a chapter house, they were actually asked to stop meeting in the house they had been using. So I'd really love to know what Gonzaga is defining as support for the campus council.”
Catholic identity, Cunningham added, is neither well understood nor promoted at Gonzaga University. The school was founded in 1887 and describes itself as a “Catholic, Jesuit, and humanistic university.” Although during his pontificate Benedict XVI emphasized the importance of Catholic identity in Catholic higher education, “there was no ground for anything Benedict said to gain any traction,” according to Cunningham. The decision to deny the Knight's application to be a student group on the basis of non-discrimination policy “epitomizes the condition” at Gonzaga University, and that those who made the decision are “very much representative of the current governing climate of Gonzaga.” Cunningham lamented that this is typical of numerous Catholic universities, saying that “there's nothing new about this” and that it “goes on I'm sure at every Catholic college campus in America, that hasn't made its decision to reform itself as a more 'Magisterial' school.”
“They just embrace a view of Catholicism that deviates wildly from any objective understanding of Catholicism that we might want to call 'Magisterial' or 'orthodox,' for lack of a better word.”
According to Cunningham, “Catholic universities are leading the way in turning Catholicism into a purely secular discourse and are restricting a serious intellectual engagement with what it means to be Catholic.” Gonzaga University president Thayne McCulloh will be reviewing the school's Student Life Office decision, and is expected to come to his decision shortly after the academic year ends. As faculty advisor to the Knights' council, Cunningham hopes to preserve the council as an “independent agent” rather than placing it under student ministry or the student life office at Gonzaga. “We understand that Gonzaga considers the Knights of Columbus a discriminatory agency, and...they're going to be better off as an independent, free-standing club.”
Link (here) to CNA

Ton Of Arrupe

A one-ton granite statue of Jesuit Father Pedro Arrupe, the 28th superior general of the Society of Jesus, University of San Francisco in March as part of the university’s Pedro Arrupe Week celebration. The life-sized statue is based on a well-known photograph of Fr. Arrupe kneeling in prayer. 
It was carved in China under the direction of Jesuit Father Tom Lucas, university professor of Art and Architecture. Fr. Arrupe served as superior general of the Jesuits from 1965 to 1983 and is renowned for his dedication to faith and social justice. 
He educated students to be men and women for others and instilled in his students a sense of faith that does justice. Today, the University of San Francisco counts these among its core values, and a residence hall, immersion program, living-learning community and social justice program are named for Fr. Arrupe at USF.

Link (here)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

"Reaffirmed The Findings Of The Assessment And The Program Of Reform."

The Vatican said Monday that Pope Francis supports the Holy See's crackdown on the largest umbrella group of U.S. nuns, dimming hopes that a Jesuit pope whose emphasis on the poor mirrored the nuns' own social outreach would take a different approach than his predecessor.
The Vatican last year imposed an overhaul of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious after determining the sisters took positions that undermined Catholic teaching on the priesthood and homosexuality while promoting "radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith." Investigators praised the nuns' humanitarian work, but accused them of ignoring critical issues, including fighting abortion.
On Monday, the heads of the conference met with the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Gerhard Mueller, who is in charge of the crackdown. It was their first meeting since Mueller was appointed in July. 
In a statement, Mueller's office said he told the sisters that he had discussed the matter recently with Francis and that the pope had "reaffirmed the findings of the assessment and the program of reform." The conference, for its part, said the talks were "open and frank," and noted that Mueller had informed them of Francis' decision. "We pray that these conversations may bear fruit for the good of the Church," the conference said on its website. 
The Vatican crackdown unleashed a wave of popular support for the sisters, including parish vigils, protests outside the Vatican's embassy in Washington, D.C., and a U.S. Congressional resolution commending the sisters for their service to the country. Following Francis' election, several sisters had expressed hope that a Jesuit pope devoted to the poor and stressing a message of mercy rather than condemnation would take a gentler approach than his predecessor, Benedict XVI.
Link (here) to The Seattle Times

Fr. Juan Carlos Scannone, S.J.,"I Taught Him Greek And Literature In The Seminary

Fr. Juan Carlos Scannone, S.J
“I taught him Greek and literature in the Seminary, not Latin as some newspapers have written in recent days. Bergoglio had a diploma at the time. He came to the Seminary to study humanities. But he was my spiritual father, my rector, my provincial pastoral leader, so we had a lot of contact.” Fr. Juan Carlos Scannone is a Jesuit and director of the institute of philosophical research in the Faculty of Philosophy and Theology of San Miguel. The same faculty where Pope Francis was rector between 1980 and 1986.In an interview with Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, Fr. Scannone paints a portrait of Pope Francis, “a deeply spiritual man.” 
“We met on a frequent basis for at least ten years. I consulted him on spiritual questions. I was a philosophy professor and he was a professor of pastoral theology,” he recalled. 
“He sent me an e-mail” after he was elected Pope and a few days ago he called a fellow Jesuit to wish him happy birthday. He may be Pope now but he is the same approachable and friendly person he always was.” “He has always been a very serious and highly intelligent man, even when it comes to manual tasks,” Fr. Scannone went on to say. “He’s a good driver, for example. He never used a driver when he was rector and then archbishop.” 

“Bergoglio is good at multi-tasking. Here in Argentina we have a word for special people like him: an orchestra man,” Scannone said.  
"This is a person who can play the piano, the trombone and the violin at the same time. I remember one time he was typing up an article, then he went to put a wash on and after that he received someone for spiritual advice. He was able to carry out a spiritual, mechanical and manual task all at the same time and to the highest level. Not everyone possesses these skills. He is very good at cooking, for example. He used to cook one of his favourite dishes is stuffed suckling pig, right here in San Miguel.”  
Fr. Scannone then remembered one occasion when Pope Francis’ great altruism really came through. “One day, a priest who had gone to Mar del Plata fell ill and was stuck there. Bergoglio, who was auxiliary bishop at the time, travelled four hundred kilometres to be by his side, 
so he was not alone. Do you see? And he was an auxiliary bishop at the time, not a simple parish priest. Here is another example: one day I went to see Cardinal Quarracino, Bergoglio’s predecessor. I went with another priest who is a friend of mine, to ask the cardinal to sign a petition for a project. He signed it and confided this to me: do you know who the best loved auxiliary bishop among the young clerics of Buenos Aires is? Bergoglio! Of course. Because it was the clergy who loved him the most.”  
“Bergoglio did a great deal to protect all those who were threatened by the regime and not only. And not just when he was rector of San Miguel,” 
the Jesuit stressed. When asked what he thought the Pope’s first moves would be, Fr. Scarrone replied: “I don’t think he will be afraid to introduce some reforms in the Church. But he will not do so suddenly; after all he does have Italian blood in him, he is the son of a Piedmontese family, so he will be very diplomatic, he will be able to introduce reforms, avoiding traumas and conflicts."
Link (here) to The Vatican Insider

Fr. James Martin, S.J., "Pope Francis, Who “Reaffirmed” The Findings Of The Assessment, And The “Program Of Reform."

Today the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a statement about the ongoing“reform” (to use their word) of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the main umbrella organization of women religious in the United States, which represents roughly 80% of American Catholic sisters and nuns.  In their statement, the Congregation noted that the new prefect of the Congregation, Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, as well as Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, the Holy See’s Delegate for the Doctrinal Assessment of the LCWR, met with the Presidency of the LCWR.  Archbishop Müller also noted that he had spoken with Pope Francis, who “reaffirmed” the findings of the Assessment, and the “program of reform.”  The LCWR issued a statement, which listed the participants in the meeting in full, and said that the meeting was “open and frank.”
oversight and
Link (here) to the full piece by Fr. James Martin, S.J. at America Magazine
Link (here) to Fr. John Zuhlsdorf's critique of the same article.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Dahlgren Chapel Of The Sacred Heart Vandalised

A pre-Vatican II picture of Dahlgren Chapel
The president of Georgetown University says vandalism of the campus' main chapel forced Sunday morning
Masses to be moved to another location. Georgetown President John J. DeGioia (De-JOY'-Uh) 
says Dahlgren Chapel of the Sacred Heart will be open in time for evening Masses. The university says Dahlgren has been the Jesuit university campus' main chapel since 1893. The cross that is suspended over the main altar is believed to have been constructed during the earliest days of the founding of Maryland as a Catholic colony. 
The university president says a preliminary investigation shows the primary damage was to furniture and other fixtures and there was not any desecration of religious symbols in the chapel. DeGioia is asking students and staff to report any suspicious activity or signs of vandalism.
Link (here)