Skip to comments.A Jesuit coup? Speculation rises of a Vatican takeover by the Pope’s own religious order
Posted on 12/02/2019 6:39:21 PM PST by ebb tide
ROME, December 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) Speculation has arisen lately about the status of the Society of Jesus, now that the highest office in the Church is held by a member of the Jesuits.
Historically, the Society has been the object of considerable suspicion from more traditional religious orders and from sections of the Catholic laity. Pope Paul IV, who served from 1555 to 1559, described the Societys internal structure as a tyranny, and in a difficult and bad-tempered exchange with the second superior general of the Jesuits, he alleged that if they did not begin the choral recitation of the office, one day Satan would arise from their ranks.
Famously, one of the greatest theological disputes in the history of the Church, the de Auxiliis controversy, was left unresolved because of Pope Paul Vs fear that condemning the Jesuit theology of grace as heretical (as the older theological schools insisted that it was) would do irreparable harm to the societys prestige, damaging the Counter-Reformation.
The celebrated French author and mathematician, Blaise Pascal, reproached the society for having compromised the Augustinian doctrine of Gods grace and led their penitents into moral laxity.
Through the first two hundred years of its history, the society was adorned with many saints whose missionary labors were prodigious and who gave their lives for the Gospel and for the unity of the Church. Undoubtedly, the Jesuits struck fear into the hearts of Protestants and secular enemies of the Church.
In 1773, under huge pressure from so-called Enlightened despots then ruling Catholic Europe, Pope Clement XIV (a Franciscan) forever annulled and extinguished the Society of Jesus. In the period following their dissolution, certain theological positions dear to the Jesuits but less congenial to the more traditional schools sank beneath the waves, and in the words of Francis Sullivan, SJ, hardly any Catholic theologians dared to question the traditional teaching.
And yet, in 1814, in the wake of Napoleons defeat and abdication, Pius VII revived the Society, its dissolution being associated with the secularism that climaxed in the French Revolution.
While the scale of the hostility among Catholics that existed before the dissolution did not revive, there remained a strong resistance to the appointment of Jesuits to senior positions in the Roman Curia, and to the election of a Jesuit as pope. The Jesuits in fact promise to spurn high ecclesial office unless compelled to accept it under obedience.
But in these days, concerns have been raised that, the ultimate glass ceiling having been broken, with a Jesuit upon the throne of St. Peter, all the lesser bastions are also giving way, or rather being given away.
In the wake of the Second Vatican Council, the Jesuits have become stalwarts of the new liberal conception of Catholicism and the hostility of former centuries among more conservative and traditional clergy, laity and religious has revived. Like the medieval tale of Prester John, the legend of the good Jesuit endures in the hearts of the faithful. Over the next hill and around the next bend he must exist, prostrated somewhere in a cave doing penance for the latest article of James Martin, with copious tears.
Journalist Joshua McElwee, Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter (NCR), has observed an increasing flow of Jesuits into prominent positions in the Roman Curia under Pope Francis. The Societys formidable reputation has in the past created a general reluctance to concede to them the commanding heights of the papal administration. But now, McElwee alleges, that age is past.
McElwee argues that a number of significant appointments under Francis, including the recent pick of Spanish Jesuit Father Antonio Guerrero Alves as prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, a post held until recently by Cardinal George Pell, have raised Jesuits to positions never before held in the Roman Curia.
Until now, Fr. Guerrero has served as Councilor to the Societys Superior General, Fr. Arturo Sosa, and has overseen Jesuit houses in Rome, including the Gregorian, the Biblicum and the Pontifical Oriental Institute.
In an interview with Vatican News following Guerreros appointment, Fr. Sosa said he asked the Pope that the appointment not be associated with the episcopate, so that Fr. Guerrero, 60, could return, after finishing his mission, to his normal life as a Jesuit.
According to McElwees reckoning, the only Jesuit ever previously to have held the rank of prefect in Rome was the late German Cardinal Augustin Bea, who headed the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity under Popes John XXIII and Paul VI from 1960-68. One NCR source called Pope Franciss choices an anomaly and certainly not traditional, while another argued that it is only natural for a pope to appoint like-minded men who fit the model.
But sources in Rome consulted by LifeSite urge caution, saying some of Joshua McElwees claims may be overstated.
Jesuits did hold senior positions in the Roman Curia under the last pontificate. Cardinal Luis Ladaria, SJ joined the Curia in 2004 as Secretary General of the International Theological Commission and was appointed Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith by Pope Benedict XVI in 2008. Jesuit archbishop Cyril Vasil was also named secretary of the Congregation for the Eastern Church under Benedict. And Fr. Federico Lombardis post as Vatican spokesman spanned the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Admittedly, none of these constituted prefectures of Roman dicasteries but were all number two positions.
Furthermore, Canadian Jesuit Cardinal Michael Czerny does not, as the article suggests, lead the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, but serves as its under-secretary.
McElwees claims that the appointment of Fr. Guerrero as prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy may partly be inspired by a drive to lower the ecclesiastic rank of Roman officials, or separate priestly ordination from high administrative office, remains unproven. Michael Czerny was appointed to his office as a priest but then went on to be ordained a bishop and created a cardinal.
Father Guerrero, 60, may be entirely sincere in his stated desire to serve only a short term in the papal administration before returning to the normal life of a Jesuit, sources add, although they do concede that it will be difficult for him to give orders to cardinals and bishops given the hierarchical nature of the Roman Curia.
The Jesuits too may be concerned about overreaching themselves, and the possibility of a violent reaction when a new Pharaoh arises who does not know Joseph (cf. Ex 1:7). During the pontificate of Benedict XVI, the Salesians became concerned that Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, a member of their order, was creating resentment by appointing too many of his confreres to senior positions. The joke in the Vatican was that the initials which identify a Salesian, SDB, really stood for Sono di Bertone, i.e. I belong to Bertone.
Or could it be that with the approach of an internal demographic cliff, and noting the increasing popularity of the Clement XIV memorabilia sold by Fr. Z, the Jesuits have decided that their long march through the institutions must reach its objective before its too late? With only three years to go until the 250th anniversary of Dominus ac-Redemptor, the Society cannot but be concerned at the possibility of a positive reassessment of the legacy of Clement XIV.
I think this is exactly what is happening. Remember, most of the heretical thinkers of VII were Jesuits (Rahner, etc.) and then of course there was the raving pantheist, indifferentist, non-Christian, nature-worshipper Teilhard de Chardin, SJ.
My family had a branch of Catholics that were Stained Glass.
That means that they were in. Way in. Sponsered windows at the Catherdral and was generally involved. That branch had the Bishop and the Arch over for drinks on special occaions.
when it came to Jesuits, I never heard them mentioned without the world Damned.
This is certainly all true. Ironically, though, the Jesuits kind of hated Bergoglio for decades. They thought (accurately) that he was an unstable, divisive troublemaker. Their Superior General begged John Paul II to NOT make the guy a bishop.
I have never trusted Jesuits. When the Spanish were conquering Mexico and the American southwest, they were accompanied by Jesuits who enslaved the Indians and coerced their conversions. Their methods were so harsh that word got back to Rome, and they were yanked from the mission, ultimately replaced by Franciscans.
I think us lust for lower was even a bit too much for his fellow Jesuits. But now all is forgiven.
Sorry, that would be lust for power!
It surprises me in some ways that they got to be so powerful, since really most people seemed to 8nclude the word damned when rederrfing to the Jesuits. And they were even suppressed once.
The other thing thats weird is that Jesuits, by their constitution, are not supposed to accept the Papacy if it is offered to them. But I guess once it really was offered, well, that was different.
Jesuits aren’t Catholic. They are communists.
The Catholic Church has already been taken over by homosexuality. The mere fact that abortion (Death to innocents) and Pedo-Homosexuality (rape of youth both boys and girls and constant buggering) is the NEXUS of the TWO Great ABOMINATIONS in the Eyes of God.
The mere fact that this Pope resides in the midst of his sanctioned SIN against God makes the Church Dead.
Malachi Martin, who was a Jesuit himself, expressed grave concern over a Jesuit becoming Pope.
Tomas de Torquemada was a Dominican, BTW, not a Jesuit. He died 42 years before the Jesuits were founded.
They seem to be a small minority, and I think they are probably persecuted by the heterodox within their order.
By that logic, the United States was finished after Obama. We should have just ceremonially burned the Constitution and shut the lights off.
It's not the Pope's church. He didn't start it, he doesn't get to end it, it doesn't belong to him. He's merely the temporary custodian. Maybe he's a good custodian, maybe he's a bad one, but he's never anything more. The sins he commits and the bad example he sets will come back to him at his judgement, but they don't somehow magically poison the church.
If you let someone put you in power you shouldn’t be surprised when they turn around and take you out of power.
Unfortunately, the issue is “Modernists” infiltrating, not just “Jesuits”. To think it is the latter, gives the impression that they’re the only problem. The Jesuits aren’t the only Modernists.
There are two good Jesuits,Fathers Mitch Paces and the founder of Ignatius Publishers.
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