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Author Topic: Modern Jesuits  (Read 536 times) Average Rating: 0
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Nephi
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« on: February 13, 2013, 10:40:10 PM »

The Jesuits, founded by Ignatius of Loyola, were to be militantly obedient to the Pope. They converted much of the world to Rome, and helped greatly to halt the spread of Protestantism in the Reformation. And so on.

Why does it seem like they're now among the most liberal of Catholics? Where did the change occur, or is my experience too limited? An example that comes to mind is the Jesuit John Carroll University, which is controversial for some of its liberal leanings.
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« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2013, 10:43:43 PM »

The Jesuits, founded by Ignatius of Loyola, were to be militantly obedient to the Pope. They converted much of the world to Rome, and helped greatly to halt the spread of Protestantism in the Reformation. And so on.

Why does it seem like they're now among the most liberal of Catholics? Where did the change occur, or is my experience too limited? An example that comes to mind is the Jesuit John Carroll University, which is controversial for some of its liberal leanings.
Could you give examples of J. C. University's liberal leanings?
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« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2013, 11:07:15 PM »

The Jesuits, founded by Ignatius of Loyola, were to be militantly obedient to the Pope. They converted much of the world to Rome, and helped greatly to halt the spread of Protestantism in the Reformation. And so on.

Why does it seem like they're now among the most liberal of Catholics? Where did the change occur, or is my experience too limited? An example that comes to mind is the Jesuit John Carroll University, which is controversial for some of its liberal leanings.

They are the largest Catholic religious order and you will find very conservative Jesuit institutions like Ignatius Press and St Louis U ad liberal ones like Georgetown.  They simply reflect differences in the Catholic Church at large.
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Nephi
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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2013, 11:07:53 PM »

Could you give examples of J. C. University's liberal leanings?

This comes to mind:

Quote
Forty-seven faculty and staff members at John Carroll University, including professors, librarians and at least two members of the administration, signed a letter to the Jesuit college’s president, the Rev. Robert Niehoff.
“We ...  are committed to freedom of conscience and religious liberty,” the faculty wrote, adding that Catholic bishops have the right to “proclaim Catholic teaching vigorously and loudly.”
“However, we also believe that access to contraception is central to the health and well-being of women and children.”

Not the official opinion of the university of course.
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« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2013, 11:09:00 PM »

They are the largest Catholic religious order and you will find very conservative Jesuit institutions like Ignatius Press and St Louis U ad liberal ones like Georgetown.  They simply reflect differences in the Catholic Church at large.

Good to know, especially since I may be going to SLU this fall.
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« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2013, 08:55:40 AM »

They really started going off the rails in the middle of the 20th century. God is punishing them for their faithlessness, and their numbers have utterly collapsed. Once they shrink to a suitable size, they'll start getting more Catholic again. That is already happening in certain corners of the order, particularly the developing world (where even they are growing). There are a significant number of orthodox outliers, some of whom are very well known (like Fr. Joseph Fessio, a student of Joseph Ratzinger and founder of the excellent Ignatius Press, and the fine Fr. Mitch Pacwa, on EWTN).

After this chastisement, I've no doubt they will flourish again. Their founder, St. Ignatius, is a giant in the Catholic Church, and the order has produced many great saints. Its charism is one of those that will last for ages and ages, like the Benedictines or the Franciscans.
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« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2013, 01:11:31 AM »

They are the largest Catholic religious order and you will find very conservative Jesuit institutions like Ignatius Press and St Louis U ad liberal ones like Georgetown.  They simply reflect differences in the Catholic Church at large.

I'm pretty sure that the Franciscan family far outnumbers the Society of Jesus.  Furthermore, they don't simply reflect the diversity of the Catholic Church.  The fact is that a large portion of the Society got very heavily into Liberation Theology several decades ago and they are still reaping the rotten fruits of that exploration.  While much of what has taken place at Jesuit Universities cannot be blamed on them as in many cases they are no longer really in control, some can be blamed on them as well.  As noted above, there are several faithful and orthodox Jesuits, some of whom have already been mentioned.  You could also add men such as Fr. John Hardon, Fr. Kenneth Baker, Fr. David Meconi, etc. I am sure there are many others living their vacation faithfully without making any sort of waves at all.  However, there are also many who have gone off the path.  In 2008 at their General Congress, Pope Benedict called them to task a bit and told them what he wanted from them.  After taking his words under consideration, they responded with this document in 2010.  
http://www.sjweb.info/35/documents/decrees.pdf

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« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 01:14:22 AM by jwinch2 » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2013, 09:44:23 AM »

Just a theory, but I think it has a lot to do with the rationalism that underpinned the Jesuit philosophy. Rationalism in theology usually leads to liberalism. The mystics usually avoid such pitfalls. I realize that this is an overly simplistic and generalized analysis. Just throwing it out there for consideration.



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