Jesuits’ Superior General Gave Press Conference At the End of General Congregation

Source: FSSPX News


Fr. Adolfo Nicolas, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus elected on January 19, gave a press conference on March 7, the day following the end of the works of the 35th General Congregation of the Society, which had begun two months earlier in Rome.

Speaking about the Jesuits’ submission to the Church and the pope, with their 4th vow of obedience regarding their being sent into mission countries, Father Nicolas stressed that “this traditional obedience” “ never stopped them in theological research, apostolic creativity, and new way of living the Christian faith.” “Affective and effective adhesion to the pope does not in any way prevent Jesuits from reflecting , and being creative.” But “we are not a Church in the Church, and, for us, the pope is the center of our relationship to the Church.”

“The pope is asking us to continue going to the “frontiers”, in difficult places,” the Superior General continued. “Difficulties and contrarieties are for us the means of growth,” he added. “Creativity” is very important for the Church and for the Jesuits. “If we go to the “frontiers”, creative persons alone have the capacity of dialoguing with various cultures, whereas others are afraid.” “According to a study, people with little imagination tend more to be violent,” he stated. “Those who have a lot of imagination are able to find other ways.”

With no lack of humor, Fr. Nicolas also admitted that Jesuits needed “more humility”: “We, Jesuits  are not very gifted for humility.”

Answering a question about the possibility of having a theological dialogue with Islam, the new Superior underlined that “theological dialogue” was “very difficult” with Muslims. “We cannot dialogue concerning the conclusions; this leads nowhere.  We have to start with the very bases of our faith,” he explained.

Fr. Adolfo Nicolas, a former missionary in Japan, also mentioned the importance of intellectual apostolate in the East. “It is important in Asia, more than anywhere else,” he said, pointing out that Benedict XVI called it a “dialogue with culture.” It is not a question of an intellectual work to make us powerful, but of the apostolate,” he added. However, it is “difficult to know what can be done” in China, in such a “mysterious” country, yet Jesuits are “very optimistic about collaboration” with the Chinese. The Olympic games which will take place in the country next August, will be a “delicate time” and “the government is very careful that there be no disruption on this occasion.”

On the other hand, during the interview published in the March 16 issue of The Osservatore Romano, the Superior General of the Jesuits declared that, confronted with the impressive drop in vocations observed in the congregation, “it was better to be few and good, rather then be many and become a “mass” as St. Ignatius used to say.” (Sources: Apic/Imedia/The Osservatore Romano)