Pope Urges Jesuits to Commit to Orthodoxy

For the second time in two months, Pope Benedict XVI urged leaders of the Catholic Church’s largest religious order to affirm their commitment to orthodoxy in several controversial areas, including religious pluralism and human sexuality.

Benedict made his remarks on Thursday at a meeting with delegates to the 35th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits.

The pope asked the Jesuits for their “renewed commitment to promote and defend Catholic doctrine,” as a response to the “powerful negative forces” of contemporary life, including “subjectivism, relativism, hedonism (and) practical materialism

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Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

8 comments on “Pope Urges Jesuits to Commit to Orthodoxy

  1. the roman says:

    A young semanarian approaches a Franciscan and a Jesuit on campus one day and asks them, “How many novenas does it take to get a Ferrari?”

    The Franciscan answered, “What’s a Ferrari?”

    The Jesuit said, “What’s a novena?”

  2. Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) says:

    Sometimes I wish we had a pope. And then I reflect upon who would likely be one if we had one, and I’m glad we don’t.

  3. Ad Orientem says:

    We (Orthodox) don’t have one and are doing just fine.

  4. Nikolaus says:

    Heavens, Mousestalker! The thought of what the Presiding Pharisee might do if she actually had real power makes me shudder!

  5. New Reformation Advocate says:

    There has been a need for firmer discipline for some time. One thinks of all the outstanding Jesuit schools that now distance themselves from the rigors of the Catholic faith and life and speak of themselves as standing “in the Jesuit tradition,” rather than as being a Jesuit school per se (I’m thinking especially of Boston College). Or consider how the former editor of “America” magazine (a Jesuit publication) was forced out by the Vatican after the weekly published too many liberal articles.

    But can someone clarify a factual matter? I thought the Benedictines were the largest order in the Roman Catholic Church, not the Jesuits. What is unquestionably true is that the Jesuits have the longest and most rigorous educational training of any Catholic priests, but given the general tendency for higher education to be dominated by liberal values that is probably part of the problem. I welcome this move by the Pope.

    David Handy+
    Committed to MODERATE biblical and theological scholarship, along with the New Reformation

  6. Fr. Greg says:

    The fact that the Pope is speaking in this way speaks volumes about the decline of papal power since the papacy of Pius XII. Given various trends in the Roman Church, this is surely a two-edged sword.

  7. Words Matter says:

    The Benedictines aren’t an “order” in the same sense as the Jesuits, Franciscans (who are actually several orders), and the Dominicans. Historically, monasteries were independent, clustered around a founding community (e.g. Cluny), or subject to the local bishop. The Cistercians claim the Rule of St. Benedict, but among their innovations on the Rule, they established an authoritative General Chapter and Abbot General. That is, they created a true “Order”, which is, today, several orders, the best known being the Trappists. In 1893, the pope established the office of an Abbot Primate over the “Order of St. Benedict”, but it’s just a confederation, not a real “order”. Monasteries are generally organized into federations, but the individual houses still retain general autonomy.

    Anyway, I haven’t been able to locate a number for the Benedictines, but it wouldn’t be too surprising if they aren’t larger than the Jesuits. There are lots of Benedictine monasteries, but most are rather small – 30-60 men. The largest Trappist houses in the U.S. are 80-90 men.

    Which is probably far more information than anyone but me cares about. 🙂

  8. Doug Martin says:

    Actually, “Words Mattter”, I found your to be the most informative and interesting of the lot.