Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Irrelevant Jesuits

by Steve Ray on January 3, 2008

Interesting news item on Catholic World News (http://www.cwn.com/here. Below is an excerpt from the news story:

. . . To where? The mission of the Jesuit order, as understood by most of its members, has changed radically in recent decades. As recently as the mid-20th century, the Jesuits were known as stalwart defenders of the Pope, who trained loyal young Catholics to defend Church doctrines. Today they are inveterate critics of the Vatican, who train young Catholics to question their faith. Is there any discussion among Jesuit leaders of a return to the defense of Catholic orthodoxy? Evidently not.

Perhaps not coincidentally, as the Jesuits have maneuvered to establish what amounts to a "loyal opposition" within the Catholic Church, the order has suffered heavily from defections and lost its ability to attract young recruits. In 1965 when Father Arrupe became superior general, there were about 36,000 Jesuits in the world. Today that figure has been cut nearly in half, with about 19,000 Jesuits remaining in a rapidly aging society. . . .

Even though the order itself has fallen off the horse, it is great to know there are still some Jesuits loyal to the Pope and the truth, men like Fr. Joseph Fessio and Fr. Mitch Pacwa and the recently deceased Fr. John Hardon.

UPDATE 1/8/08: Www.CWN.com has reported the Vatican's stern words to the Jesuits. You can read their report here.

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