Friday, March 22, 2013

Pope reminds Jesuits of their duty of unconditional obedience to the Pope.

Dear Father Nicolás,

I received with great joy the kind letter you sent me, in your name and that of the Society of Jesus, on the occasion of my election to the See of Peter, in which you assure me of your prayers for me and my apostolic ministry as well as your full disposition to continue serving - unconditionally - the Church and the Vicar of Christ according to the teachings of St. Ignatius Loyola.

My heartfelt thanks for this sign of affection and closeness, which I am happy to reciprocate, asking the Lord to illuminate and accompany all Jesuits, so that faithful to the charism received and following in the footsteps of the saints of our beloved Order, they may be evangelical leaven in the world in their pastoral action, but above all in the witness of a life totally dedicated to the service of the Church, the Spouse of Christ, seeking unceasingly the glory of God and the good of souls.

With these sentiments, I ask all Jesuits to pray for me and to entrust me to the loving protection of the Virgin Mary, our Mother in heaven, while as a sign of God's abundant graces, I give you the Apostolic Blessing with special affection, which I also extend to all those who cooperate with the Society of Jesus in her activities, those who benefit from her good deeds and participate in her spirituality.
Vatican, 16 March 2013


Cathcon- an indirect but decisive reference to the fourth Jesuit oath, after poverty, chastity and obedience and which was inserted into the Bull Exposcit Debitum.

"to carry out whatever the present and future Roman pontiffs may order which pertains to the progress of souls and the propagation of the faith and to go without subterfuge or excuse, as far as in us lies, to whatsoever provinces they may choose to send us, whether they are pleased to send us among the Turks or any other infidels even to those who live in the region called the Indies, or among any heretics whatever, or schismatics or any of the Faithful."

The Pope's career indicates that he took this rather more seriously than many of his Jesuits contemporaries but he now definitely expects it of them.

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