Friday, June 15, 2007

Gee, Lets See If I Can Figure THIS One Out
I'm sure that St. Ignatius is thrilled to bits by the following headline -

Jesuit order diminishing in numbers

Rome, Jun. 14, 2007 ( - The Jesuit order diminished in size by 364 men in 2006, the Fides news service reports. n the last calendar year, 486 men joined the Society of Jesus. But 472 Jesuits died, and 378 men left the religious order, accounting for the drop in numbers.

There are 19,216 Jesuits in the world today, by the latest count. The average age among Jesuits worldwide is now over 57.

So why are the Jesuits in such decline? Could it be:

A. The total embrace of everything heretical?

B. The Order that was once known as The Pope's Soldiers has now become The Smoke of Satan incarnate?

C. That Jesuits have gone from this (Mass for US Marines atop Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima as celebrated by a Jesuit Chaplain);
to this ("Father" Saju George, SJ);
D. All of the above


Blogger Vir Speluncae Orthodoxae said...

Cavey, is that last photo which I've seen often really a Jesuit?

9:43 PM  
Blogger Al said...

E. All of the above & more

11:32 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

I remember when I went to Denver for WYD 1993 and we arrived in Omaha Nebraska and stayed the night in Creighton University. I asked my Pastor (who is a conservative Oratorian) if Creighton University is Catholic and he replied "'s run by the Jesuits..."

But I suppose the same can be said of the Dominicans and the Benedictines and the... you get my point!

5:20 AM  
Blogger Al said...

Try this for some more evidence of how far afield most of the Jesuits have drifted:

You have to click on the pictures to get the full effect. Some are worse than others. They are from the Casa da Juventude ("Youth House"), in Goiania (Archdiocese of Goiania), Brazil, a foundation of the Jesuit Province of Mid-East Brazil, directed by Father Geraldo Marcos Labarrère Nascimento, SJ.

(The events were about 2 yrs ago. But I'm sure that it wasn't the last time this happenned.)

6:52 AM  
Blogger o_mlly said...

"Hold the Mayo"

Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R. offers in his article, "The Life and Death
of Religious Life" (FT June/July 2007), two causal and one
instrumental reasons underlying the collapse of Catholic religious.

He says, "[T]he two major underpinnings of Catholic religious life were seriously weakened ... The first was the credibility of Sacred Scripture [and] … what Pope Benedict XVI has referred to as the "collapse" of liturgical life … misunderstanding of the liturgy as primarily entertainment."

The instrumental reason giving impetus to these causes according to Father Groeschel, was that the "Catholic religious, who had been taught not to think for themselves, followed like sheep [the] [m]any … strident voices, which demanded the removal of the foundations of religious life ..." (Apparently, Father will write a more targeted essay on the Jesuits later.)

In his analysis of the collapse lies his path to renewal. Groeschel
notes that the Spirit's call cannot be eliminated. "Something in
human nature has been calling people to religious life for thousands of years..."

But he warns, that the "new communities must be careful not to make the same mistakes as the older ones. They must teach and encourage people to think for themselves without being disobedient. … If [the new religious] manage to survive for twenty years, the appearance of
the sinking communities may change. In some communities there is an absurd phenomenon similar to a theological sandwich: The youngest and the oldest, who are in agreement, are like slices of bread. The age group in the middle reminds us of mayonnaise."

In the same issue, seeming to underscore Father Groeschel's insights, Michael Novak in "Remembering the Secular Age" notes that "[Abraham] Lincoln had observed that moral life peaks in cycles of three or more generations, followed by a slow but steady decline." If a generation is 30 years, we'll have to "hold the mayo" for just 60 more years.


11:02 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

Fortunately, there are still some faithful sons of St. Ignatius. Some either recovered from the madness of the '70's (like Fr. Mitch Pacwa), or were never affected by it at all (Fr. Joe Fessio). And the younger ones tend to be a bit more traditional...

1:21 PM  
Blogger o_mlly said...

Yes, the few deviants gather the mediea clips while the many true to their calling continue to do the work of the order as the Jesuit Avery Cardinal Dulles properly reminds us.

"The true character of the order has been reaffirmed by many popes,
most recently by Pope John Paul II in his address to the Thirty–
Fourth General Congregation (1995). If some Jesuits, or many Jesuits, fail to live up to these standards, they may be judged to be deviant, not normative."
From Avery Cardinal Dulles in his review of "Passionate Uncertainty:
Inside the American Jesuits," by McDonough and Bianchi. First Things
(April 2002).


8:39 AM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

Let the Jesuits die out. If St. Ignatius were to walk up to most of them they wouldn't recognize him.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

This is far more than just a case of a few who have garnered most of the media attention. More often than not, the Jesuits are the ones who preach heresy and call it Catholicism.

And of course Jesuit Avery Cardinal Dulles is going to derfend the Jesuits... he is one. What do you expect?

4:20 PM  
Blogger o_mlly said...

I would expect His Emminence to follow the Catechism:

#2120 "Sacrilege consists in profaning or treating unworthily the sacraments and other liturgical actions, as well as persons, things, or places consecrated to God. ...."


3:26 PM  
Blogger o_mlly said...

Hey Dymphna,

If I can find just ten good Jesuits, would you spare the order? How about five? Three?


12:13 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I have 2 dozen "good" Jesuits posted here:

Personally, I think holy trinity of Fessio, Mankowski and Schall would be enough to make the order worth saving.

8:19 AM  

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