Tag Archives: Jesuits

Benedictines and Jesuits converge

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Last Sunday, Pope Francis, as the bishop of Rome, took possession of his cathedral church, Saint John Lateran. This coming Sunday, 14 April, Pope Francis will take possession of the Papal Basilica of Saint Paul’s outside the Walls in Rome.

A concelebrated Mass will be offered by the Pope, the archpriest, James Cardinal Harvey and the Benedictine monks to whom the pastoral care of the Basilica and the adjoining Monastery are entrusted. The monks are led by Abbot Edmund Power, OSB. He gives an interview to Vatican Radio (be aware, some of the abbot’s facts are wrong).

There is a historical connection between the Benedictines and the Jesuits. True the Benedictines about 1000 years old than the Jesuits but the historical part goes a bit deeper. The Pilgrim, as he was known, went to the Benedictine abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat in Spain, to make a general confession, keep an all-night in vigil before Our Lady’s altar, and to observe the rites of chivalry in preparation for his new life of being a converted sinner. There Ignatius left his sword and knife at the altar of the Black Madonna, he disposed of his fine clothes to a poor man, and adopted rough clothes with sandals and a staff of a pilgrim.

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Gonzaga University rejects Knights of Columbus because they are Catholic

Father Michael J. McGivney, founder of the Kni...

The Knights of Columbus are not allowed to officially exist on Gonzaga’s University’s campus because they don’t meet a criterion: that non-Catholics be admitted to the group. The decision by the University Student Life office was communicated by Sue Weitz with the help of Kassi Kain. The KoC is a fraternity (of men) who are practical Catholics.

The Knights of Columbus was founded in 1882 in New Haven, CT, by the Venerable Servant of God Father Michael J. McGivney. It is a lay-run organization. As a fraternal benefit society the KofC provides an opportunity for Catholic men to serve the local and universal Church by defending the Catholic faith and doing works of charity. As a group, the KoC also promotes patriotism.
By the same criterion, the Jesuits would not be able to be an official group on Gonzaga University’s campus. Imagine.
Perhaps it’s time to formally re-evaluate whether the Society of Jesus will continue –in good conscience–to officially sponsor universities such as Gonzaga which is quickly loosing its Catholic character. Surely this act of the University does not cohere with documents of the General Congregations of the Jesuits.
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La Civiltà Cattolica will bridge Church and postmodern world

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La Civiltà Cattolica is one of the Church’s most important journals of informed opinion. It was founded on 6 April 1850 by a group of Jesuits from Naples and therefore Italy’s longest running journals. It now has a new look and approach through new efforts at renewal motivated by Pope Benedict when he spoke with the Journal staff in 2006 when he said, 
Here then, is where the mission of a cultural journal such as La Civiltà Cattolica fits in: active participation int he contemporary cultural debate, both to propose and at the same time to spread the Christian faith in a serious way. Its purpose is both to present it clearly and in fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church, and to defend without polemics the truth that is sometimes distorted by unfounded accusation directed at the Ecclesial Community. I would like to point out the Second Vatican Council as a beacon on the path that La Civiltà Cattolica is called to take.
The current pontificate of Francis will look to the Journal “to collect and express the expectations and needs of our time” and “to provide the elements for a reading of reality” that has “a particular attention to the truth, to goodness and to beauty.”
There are seven Jesuits full time work at La Civiltà Cattolica, plus another seven senior Jesuits who assist in the publication but it has an increasing international group of thinkers and writers. The journal has a print edition plus a digital presence.
English: Photo of fr. Antonio Spadaro taken in...
Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, 47, is the editor-in-chief of La Civiltà Cattolica and he serves as a consultor to several Church organizations. Father Spadaro also writes a well-received blog, CyberTeologia.
La Civiltà Cattolica can be followed on Facebook and Twitter.

In defense of the Pope, La Civiltà Cattolica‘s is understood to be supportive of the Church by following the indications of the Second Vatican Council. As a journal of the Society of Jesuit and the Church its work to show a relationship faith and reason, faith and culture, faith and science, faith and the public order;to understand the world in which we live in light of the Incarnation. The Journal cuts across the various sectors of the intellectual, spiritual and cultural ambits showing a particular attentiveness with the Catholic Church through the Secretary of State;  La Civiltà Cattolica is considered to be not official but authoritative.

Vatican Radio’s piece on the new edition can be read here.
An interview with Father Antonio Spadaro and Philippa Hitchen of Vatican Radio is here.
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Jesuit presence therefore influence in Rome

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A significant Jesuit presence in key places for the Church’s ministry of proclaiming and living the Gospel exists that few may not be aware of. Since the time of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the Society has done some remarkable things for the good of the Church. And every Pope since Paul III has relied on generosity of thinking and action of the Jesuits in Rome. Pope Francis has asked the Society to continue… Presence means influence. 

Interesting stats:

  • 12 Pontifical residences in Rome are staffed by Jesuits;
  • 3 Pontifical institutions for higher learning in Rome: The Gregorian University, the Oriental and Biblical Institutes;
  • 1 Radio center (Vatican Radio);
  • 1 journal (La Civiltà Cattolica);
  • 6 Jesuit cardinals: but only one of them participated in the 2013 conclave, Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires (Argentina). The other Cardinal entitled to participate, Julius Riyadi Cardinal Darmaatmadja, Archbishop-emeritus of Jakarta (Indonesia), was unable to attend due to ill health;
  • The Pontifical Gregorian University indicates that there are 57 Cardinal alumni of Jesuit pontifical institutions in Rome, the Gregorian and the Biblicum (49.6% of all participants in the Conclave). Several of them were also professors at the Gregorian University: Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, William Joseph Cardinal Levada, Velasio Cardinal DePaolis, CS, Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, Francesco Cardinal Coccopalmerio, and Walter Cardinal Kasper (not an exhaustive list.);
  • And other works coordinated by the Jesuit Curia under the leadership of the Jesuit Superior General.

Do the Russian Orthodox consider Francis to be “Pope hypocrite”?

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Some things don’t translate well. Plus, you can trust everything you read in the media, except what you read here on the Communio blog! Apparently, following the election of the Jesuit Cardinal of Buenas Aires as bishop of Rome has caused the Russian media to interpret what the word “Jesuit” means for the public. The word “iezuit” as it is used in some of the media outlets carries with it a derogatory connotation, and some would say restoring an older definition. Derision seems to have a currency. The words “Jesuit Pope” is translated into Russian as “Papa iezuit” which sounds like “Pope hypocrite.” But you can’t fall off the floor.

Dostoevsky popularized the word “iezuit” as inquisitor, monster and cunning in his novels; and during Soviet era the text books used the word as such, carrying the legacy with the inclusion of Jesuit as Vatican spy. All this is not lost on the Russian Orthodox Church, who, it is reported, one of the bishops publicly said on TV that Dostoevsky’s definition fits well with Jesuits and that the Spiritual Exercises are incompatible with the spiritual tradition of the Russian Orthodox Church.

I hope this thinking is not going to be a “new way” forward in relationships with Moscow and Rome.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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