Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Radical Disobedience

Pope Francis has approved the decision taken by the Jesuit’s superior general, Fr. Adolfo Nicolás and five other members of the Jesuits’ international council to dismiss Fr. John Dear for being ‘obstinately disobedient to the lawful order of Superiors in a grave matter.’ 

Fr. Adolfo Nicolás states, Fr Dear “was duly informed … that his failure to obey the command that he return to the specified house of the Order by a specified date would be cause for his dismissal from the Society of Jesus.” 
 Fr John Dear is famous in the USA for his protesting  a wide range of issues, including U.S. policies on Latin America, nuclear weapons development, and the cooperation of Jesuit educational institutions with American military recruiting programs such as the ROTC. He is also a regular columnist in the dissenting US journal, The National Catholic Reporter. In an emailed statement to NCR Monday, the provincial of the Maryland province, Jesuit Fr. James Shea said Fr. Dear was dismissed from the order as of Dec. 20 “following an extended period of dialogue between the leadership of the Maryland Province and John regarding his ministerial assignment and time he requested to discern his vocation. The process was initiated in the fall of 2012 after John declined to return to his Province to live in a Jesuit community while continuing his ministry of peace and social justice, including lecturing and writing’.
Link (here) to Protect the Pope to read the full story


Ray said...

It appears that Father Dearest received his due recompense for his disobedience.

Qualis Rex said...

This latest separation of the wheat from the chaff is a very welcome piece of news.

TonyD said...

I remember watching an episode of “Touched by an Angel” about twenty years ago. I distinctly remember noticing how much they got right and how much they got wrong. For example, their “angels” were often given “background” on particular people, and then got “injected” into their lives in order to serve a particular purpose. Such “background” often includes particular phrases, sentences, and concepts to communicate — usually without any explanation offered as to why to communicate those specifics. In reality, I noticed that those phrases held particular significance to the people involved — for reasons that were specific to their lives.

What the show got very wrong was its “projection” of values on God. It tended to be values like “love” and “good” and “power” — and of course there are scriptures communicating those values, but somehow God became childlike — rather than reflecting the complexity of someone who holds many values and makes difficult trade-offs. For the few shows that I saw, I would have to say that the perspective shown as “evil” would really have been more likely to be “good” in God’s eyes. Change requires lessons, and lessons involve suffering, hardship, and the intentional undermining of “systems” which a community might consider good.

How little we understand. There have been so many specific communications for specific reasons that it is hard to generalize about the values that God really holds. Even “love your neighbor” is interpreted as being either “liberal” or “conservative” — rather than with humility about our understanding of God’s actual will and desires. We are much too quick to judge.