Wednesday, November 13, 2013

"Former Jesuits Now Outnumber Active Jesuits In The United States."

Were Ignatius of Loyola alive today, the Jesuit order he founded wouldn't ordain him. His once-formidable order is in the throes of a collapse as historically significant as its suppression in 1773. This disintegration, known to traditional Catholics for years (and to bishops too cowardly to stifle its corruption), is now even admitted by liberal pundits. Garry Wills' article about the book "Passionate Uncertainty: Inside the American Jesuits" appears in the New York Review of Books under the title, "Jesuits in Disarray." Jonathan Kirsch, a Los Angeles Times reviewer of the same book, notes that the order is in demographic free fall: "former Jesuits now outnumber active Jesuits in the United States."
society is now a corrupt club for
Meanwhile, traditional Jesuits who stay and seek to recover the order's original spark find themselves in exile. The office for the Jesuit Province in California confirmed to TAP that Joseph Fessio, the prolific San Francisco Jesuit publisher of orthodox books and publications, has been ordered to leave San Francisco for a new assignment, effective in May, at an obscure Catholic hospital in Duarte, California. Fessio's banishment coincides with his recent announcement to start a traditional Catholic school called Campion College next door to the openly dissenting Jesuit University of San Francisco, a school which in recent years has advertised such pagan oddities as a "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Student Alliance."
Duarte, California, is becoming the Devil's Island for Jesuits who don't conform to the order's liberal regime. Father Cornelius Buckley, a longtime Jesuit history professor at the University of San Francisco deemed insufficiently liberal for the school, was reassigned to Duarte, California, in the late 1990s. The order called him "divisive."  The crack-up of the liberals in the order will likely accelerate in the wake of their panicky persecution of traditional Jesuits like Fessio. Such desperate actions are in proportion to their fear of exposure and accountability. In a typical liberal irony, the dissenters in the order who rose to power through disobedience to papal authority now use their power to repress "disobedient" traditional Jesuits, lest their revolution inside the Catholic Church grind to a halt.
The Vatican cannot ignore their outrages forever, especially as costly sex abuse lawsuits (the Jesuits settled in 2000 with a seminarian who accused over a dozen Jesuit superiors of sending him pornographic cards and asking him to perform sex acts on them)and lay backlash reveal the modern Jesuits as a chief source of degeneracy and dissent in the Church.
Perhaps it is time for a Second Suppression, not to kill the order, but to save it. Unless the Father Robert Drinans are soon suppressed and replaced with Father Fessios at the head of the order, its days are numbered. The cancer of corruption is rapidly devouring it. If the bishops won't take this fact seriously from the traditional Catholics they take for granted, perhaps they will listen to the liberal cultural commentators who acknowledge it as well. "Entering the Jesuits used to take one into a stable world; but that is far from the experience of recent times," writes Garry Wills. "A thirty-five-year-old still studying theology says: 'My novice master left to marry, my formation director left for a relationship with another man, et cetera. One cannot help but get the sense that we of this generation of Jesuits may be the last of the Shakers.'"
Link (here) to the full article at The American Spectator


Ray said...

The current Pope is part of St. Ignatius progeny. Correct? Will he do anything to correct this abomination of a once great priestly order. I hope so, but my hopes aren't real high. We should all be praying to the founder of this order and Our Lord's Mother to bring them back into the fold.

Qualis Rex said...

I say, let the order die...and good riddance. Like the Sisters of Notre Dame, the order is unidentifiable with any of the core teachings and mission of their founders (at time downright contrary to them). Should the order be resurrected based on those original teachings and rules, then so be it. But I find it abhorrent that Catholicism and the names of Saints are simply used as marketing ploys to an end (i.e. donations/subsidizing the lecherous and scandalous activities of lifelong accademics who have no loyalty to the faith). And as an FYI, there are Gay/Lesbian/Transgendered student clubs in nearly EVERY Jesuit University...USF is hardly unique.

Frank Gibbons said...

I'm not defending the Jesuits, but the article you reference and provide a link to seems to be over ten years old. The question to ask is whether this trend of Jesuits leaving the order has continued since then. They seem to be still attracting novices and even have a scholastic who graduated from Franciscan U. at Steubenville. Surely, the election of Pope Francis isn't going to hurt recruitment. We need some more up-to-date information on the numbers of Jesuits.

Anonymous said...

The flawed, unspoken presumption in this article is that ALL those former Jesuits (and those men who have not joined the order) left or have not joined the Society because of its supposedly liberal tilt. The article offer no actual evidence for this claim. If all conservative Jesuits leave the order, would it not follow that prominent conservatives such as Fessio would do so? Yet he has not. Further, do most men who leave the Jesuits go on to join more conservative orders or groups? No. In fact, despite the fact that those who completed their novitiates vowed perpetual chastity, poverty, and obedience, the vast majority have asked to be released from those vows in order to enter committed relationships with other persons. It hardly seems logically certain that the Society's supposed turn from "orthodoxy" turned these men away. And if the desire for such orthodoxy burns so brightly among other young men in the Church, why do we not see overflowing seminaries and formation programs in supposedly more "orthodox groups?

Qualis Rex said...

Anonymous, while not defending the "unspoken presumption" (as I'm not convinced it was the premise of the article...the author would have to verify that claim) I can say that the traditional orders are "overflowing" in that in several orders (FSSP, CMI etc) there is a waiting list to enter, depending on your geography. Statistically, the traditional orders (male and female) are growing while most orders that have abandoned the teachings of their founders (i.e. Sisters of Notre Dame, Daughters of Charity) are dwinling and have resorted to merging their congregations (purely for economic reasons)

Anonymous said...

Qualis Rex asserts that orders such as FSSP are "overflowing" in vocations, as evidenced by the fact that "...there is a waiting list to enter, depending on your geography..." while other orders experience “dwindling” vocations... It seems to me he is trying to directly compare the vocational intake of a small order (such as FSSP) with the vocational intake of a large order (such as the Jesuits).

With all due respect, this is as fallacious as saying that the mom-and-pops shop at the corner is beating Walmart because you can see the line going around the block from your bedroom window, while your wife phoned you to tell you the 25 check-out counters at Walmart looked empty... Ergo, Walmart must be just about to go bankrupt while the mom-and-pops shop is definitely on-the-up-and-up...

Per the website, FSSP had 222 priests worldwide in 2012, while the Jesuits had 12,534 by the end of that same year. We're comparing apples and oranges here!

If this situation were attributable to the perception young men have of each order's theology or doctrine, don't you think FSSP should have added more than 5 net new priests last year, after only 11 new ordinations WORLDWIDE in 2012? Hand on heart, can we label this “an overflow” as it seems Qualis Rex would?... Please note he enthusiastically uses the word “statistically”... But let's go to FSSP's publicly disclosed statistics...

Statistically, the most fruitful recent year for FSSP was 2003, when it ordained 19 new men to the priesthood in the entire world... The Franciscans, Dominicans or Jesuits could probably each ordain as many men in ONE fruitful province in a year (but certainly not in EVERY province). Each of these orders has roughly 100 provinces worldwide... This is why a direct comparison between a small order and a large order (irrespective of their theological leanings) is simply not fair... If this comparison cannot be made, why are we even trying to put them on one same scale and to speak of “overflow here” and “dwindle there”?

Is it instead possible that small and large orders run into different problems in vocation management, just as Walmart and the mom-and-pops shop could be expected to have different cash-register technologies? Couldn't that explain the “waiting list” Qualis Rex speaks of?

The only “overflow” here would be that of an order unable to manage its (modest) vocation intake? In other words, overflow due to bottleneck.

And I say bottleneck because, for example, FSSP requires its seminarians to pay $7,000 per year out of their own pocket for their seminary education, as evidenced in This is not the case in any other order or diocese I can think of (most of which actually offer a small stipend)... In other words, to rekindle our analogy above, the mom-and-pops shop needs you to buy your own uniform if they hire you... I would venture to speculate this creates the need to delay entrances until each student secures the proper funding, etc, etc, etc... Again, another potential explanation for the “waiting list”.

I do not intend to trivialize the subject with such a cold analysis, but the fallacy was just so big that I felt it needed to be addressed in secular terms, not in theology or doctrine.