Monday, May 13, 2013

Jesuit Order That Has Been Largely Purged

Former Catholic Priest Matthew Fox
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio emerges from a Jesuit order that has been largely purged of its independent-minded or left-leaning intellectuals, and his reputation at home in Latin America is decidedly mixed. While Francis seems to be an appealing personality in some ways — albeit one with a shadowy relationship with the former military dictatorship in Argentina, along with a record on gay rights that borders on hate speech — it’s difficult to imagine that he can or will do anything to arrest the church’s long slide into cultural irrelevance and neo-medieval isolation. His papacy, I suspect, comes near the end of a thousand-year history of the Vatican’s global rise to power, ambiguous flourishing and rapid decline. It also comes after 40 years of internal counterrevolution under the previous two popes, during which a group of hardcore right-wing cardinals have consolidated power in the Curia and stamped out nearly all traces of the 1960s liberal reform agenda of Pope John XXIII and Vatican II. A handful of intellectuals, both inside and outside the church, quietly believe that means Pope Francis isn’t a legitimate pope at all.

Link (here) to former dissident Dominican Catholic priest Matthew Fox


Katy Anders said...

I've read some really amazing stuff by Matthew Fox. I'd recommend his "Reinvention of Work" to anyone.

That being said, he sounds a little bitter here and I don't think his characterization of the last two papacies is accurate.

Both Pope John Paul II's and Benedict's papacies, contrary to what Fox says, really did demonstrate the impact of Vatican II. Both were quite a ways from what Catholics had known under Pious IX, XI, and XII, in particular.

But he also seems to fall for the common misunderstanding that Vatican II did something that it didn't do. Vatican II didn't change any doctrine (the Church's position on religious freedom, adopted in the midst of the Cold War, was the closest it came to change). People were just not used to seeing councils speak in POSITIVE terms instead of anathemas - and the Vatican II documents are VERY positive, beautifully stating what the Church is FOR throughout.

You'd think a former priest would know that. But some grudges don't fade quickly.

Anonymous said...

Again, very odd statement about the Jesuits being purged in any way. In some generations, very creative theologians come along (John Courtney Murray, Karl Rahner), in others they do not. This does not mean that many Jesuit theologians are not doing good work as teachers or scholars. But truly great ideas, and great thinkers, in any discipline, theology, or science, come along when they come along. The Spirit blows when and where the Spirit blows the gifts of wisdom as well as insight.

Qualis Rex said...

Fox is the epitome of a bitter queen/dinosaur left over from the 60's. His statements "...Jesuit order that has been largely purged of its independent-minded or left-leaning intellectuals" and "his reputation at home in Latin America is decidedly mixed" speak volumes to his arrogance, short-sightedness and overall irrelevance. First, all one needs to do is read ANY edition of "America Magazine" to see that left-leaning Jesuits are not only rampant, but as vocal as ever. Second, what Pope (or any public figure) has a reputation that is NOT "decidedly mixed"? As long as there are dissidents like Fox who snivel and throw tantrums when they do not get their way, there will always be "mixed" opinions on reputations (though such opinions coming from his ilk will be quickly and easily dismissed).