Jesuits to Elect their Next Superior General

Source: FSSPX News


On January 7, 2008, the 35th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus opened in Rome. 225 Jesuits from all over the world gathered at the Curia Generalizia, in the Borgo Santo Spiritu, at the request of the General Superior, Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, who wishes to hand in his resignation. If it is accepted, a new general -- the “black pope” -- will be elected for life in conformity with the constitutions.

The situation of the sons of St. Ignatius is a source of concern. Vocations become rare in Europe, in France, the average age of Jesuits is close to 70 years. “Our spirituality is experiencing a complete renewal, but vocations do not follow,” acknowledged Fr. Jean-Noel Aletti, a professor at the Biblical Pontifical Institute.  “We will have a black pope of transition,” he reckoned.

During the sermon he delivered at the Mass for the opening of the General Congregation, Cardinal Franc Rodé, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, did not hide his concern about the present state of the Society of Jesus: “Consecration to service to Christ cannot be separated from consecration to service to the Church. Ignatius and his first companions considered it thus when they wrote the Formula of your Institute in which the essence of your charism is spelled out: “To serve the Lord and his Spouse the Church under the Roman Pontiff” (Julius III, Formula I).  It is with sorrow and anxiety that I see that the sentire cum ecclesia of which your founder frequently spoke is diminishing even in some members of religious families. The Church is waiting for a light from you to restore the sensus Ecclesiae. The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius are your specialty. The rules of sentire cum Ecclesiae form an integral and essential part of this masterpiece of Catholic spirituality. They form, as it were, a golden clasp which holds the book of The Spiritual Exercises closed.”

 “With sadness and anxiety I also see a growing distancing from the Hierarchy. The Ignatian spirituality of apostolic service “under the Roman Pontiff” does not allow for this separation. In the Constitutions which he left you, Ignatius wanted to truly shape your mind and in the book of the Exercises (n 353) he wrote we must always keep our mind prepared and quick to obey the true Spouse of Christ and our Holy Mother, the Hierarchical Church.”

“Times have changed and the Church must today confront new and urgent necessities, I will mention one, which in my judgment is urgent today and is at the same time complex and I propose it for your consideration.  It is the need to present to the faithful and to the world the authentic truth revealed in Scripture and Tradition. The doctrinal diversity of those who at all levels, by vocation and mission are called to announce the Kingdom of truth and love, disorients the faithful and leads to a relativism without limits. There is one truth, even though it can always be more deeply known.” (…) “May those who, according to your legislation, have to oversee the doctrine of your magazines and publications do so in the light of and according to the “rules for sentire cum ecclesia”, with love and respect.  (Source: