Saturday, December 29, 2007

Who will be the new general of the Jesuits?


This significant election takes place on January 5. Is the only fight left in the Jesuits to oppose the will of the Pope, or will they also take notice of the changed ecclesiastical realities?

A report from the well-informed and altogether excellent – Wer wird der neue General der Jesuiten?

Cathcon translation.

When the last Jesuit General was elected, John Paul II found himself in a helicopter above Austria. The papal reaction after announcement of the election results is still relevant today.

The current general of the Jesuits, Father Peter Hans Kolvenbach (79), is on the point of resigning his office.

On the 5th January, the 35th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus will meet in Rome in order to choose his successor, and make other important decisions.

Father Kolvenbach - a Dutchman with Italian mother – has been since 13 September 1983 in his office. Previously, he had spent many years of his life as a professor in Lebanon.

His resignation is considered exceptional. Basically, the General of the Jesuits is elected for life.

But after one of the longest periods of office in the history of the Jesuit order, the current general appears to be tired by the office.

His predecessor was the controversial Father Pedro Arrupe. When in 1981, he suffered a stroke and resigned, the election as successor of a died in the wool liberal was threatened.

Thus Pope John Paul II stopped the election of a new general and continued instead to an acting leadership under the two Italian Jesuits, Father Paolo Dezza and Father Giuseppe Pittau.

The election of Father Kolvenbach adjusted this irregular situation.

The Jesuits have been in an unprecedented crisis since the Second Vatican Council.

In 1965, there were 36,000 Jesuits - many of youthful age. Today, the preponderantly elderly order has just over 20,000 members.

In view of the General Congregation, a preparatory commission addressed a series of working issues.

It can be considered a sort of governmental program for the future General.

Topics are mission, the Jesuit identity, the different leadership levels of the Society of Jesus, obedience and community life.

The 225 delegates - five of which are Jesuit brothers –will also discuss church renewal, youth, refugees, laity and the priestly training.

For the election of the new general, there is no official list of candidates.

As a possible successor, the Italian news agency 'Apcom' suggested the Provincial of the Australian Jesuits, Father Mark Raper (left)

Another candidate is Father Orlando Torres, the General Council of the Jesuits responsible for formation, or the ex-provincial of Colombia and Argentina, Father Alvaro Restrepo.

Even the head of the Vatican press office, Father Federico Lombardi, is apparently under discussion.

But the race seems to be quite open. The election of Father Kolvenbach surprised many at the time.

At the moment of the counting of votes Pope John Paul II was in a helicopter above Austria.

The Jesuit Curia could reach the Holy Father, finally, by radio. The Pope responded by surprise.

He had never heard before of the name of the newly elected general.
Jesuits all, in Germany!

Scandalous attack on press freedom

Cardinal wants to curb journalist

Nihil obstats are available for any journalist at teatime at Archbishop's House. A nihil obstat need not be applied for if their story consists of a reproduction verbatim of the press release of the Catholic Communications Network. Each press release will be accompanied by interpretation guidelines.

Editors will be advised of imprimators at 22.00 each day.

The Second Vatican Council is concerned that the media does not offend public morality or block social progress. What is Damien's offence- to tell the truth?


that Ireland should return to the Faith


That Portugal should not loose the Faith.

Bertone: Instruction to correct "wrong positions" on the motu proprio

"From an interview granted by Cardinal Bertone, Secretary of State, to the largest Italian Catholic weekly, Famiglia Cristiana"

Vatican's No. 2

says he hopes to meet Raul Castro in 2008 visit to Cuba :

"The trip by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Holy See's secretary of state, will be the highest level visit by a Vatican official to Cuba during Pope Benedict XVI's tenure. It will mark the 10th anniversary of the historic pilgrimage there by the late Pope John Paul II."

If interculturation means


paganism by any other name, you can keep it.

Hat tip

Our children deserve better


The set up for an open-air Liturgy of the Word, presided over by a female pastoral assistant in the Archdiocese of Mainz, Cardinal Lehmann's sheepfold!

Little demand?

From the ever-wonderful

"The Christmas Mass in most Catholic parishes was celebrated as usual in German and in the familiar rite. At least that is the information the press spokesmen for the archdiocese Freiburg, Thomas Maier, and the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart, Thomas Broch. In both areas, no community is known which invited the faithful to a Midnight Mass in Latin, although since September this is possible without the consent of the bishop."

They omit to refer to the tower inferno of wrath that would have awaited any parish priest who had used the extraordinary form for Midnight Mass.

Rome or Rottenburg?

A minor revolution in Rottenburg, described in a German news report, translated by Cathcon.

Around 180 Catholic theologians in Germany who support reform have called for a serious ecumenical dialogue with the Protestant Church. In a statement released on Thursday, the Rottenburg Working Group criticized the understanding in the Vatican document of last July that the ecclesiastical communities which emerged after the Reformation are "not churches in the proper sense" means.

"As priests, who serve unity and the building up of the community, we cannot be silent about this announcement and its effect ", says the working group, largely composed of priests of the Catholic Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart. Inter-confessional marriages, ecumenical church services and the cooperation of ecclesiastical communities prevent us from denying that "the ecumenical partners are Churches and classifying them using insensitive and insolent language."

Cardinal becomes Methodist elder

as he presides over Methodist event

So maybe the Cardinal saw a Methodist Communion and could not tell the difference from a modern Catholic Eucharist. I hasten to add there was no communion service on the actual day.

Two Methodists producing a parody of the Catholic Mass in America. Without a belief in the Real Presence, bread worship really.

But how is he going to deal with their women bishops? Bit of ecumenical shoving of problems under the carpet.

My grandfather was a Methodist elder!. The day after he intoned in the pulpit, "If Jesus Christ came to Chesterfield today, he would not be seen dead in this church but would be in Chesterfield Parish Church, he was sacked. Chesterfield Parish Church was a local Anglo-Catholic stronghold, where later my mother, who defected from the Congregationalists at the age of 13, would be an enthusiastic congregant.

My grandfather did not go to church for the rest of his life, but was a sworn opponent of every Archbishop of Canterbury. He was visited by an Anglican vicar, (from a church dependent on the Parish Church) who was a governor of St Stephen's House, my brother's theological college a few weeks before he died. This was a result of a conversation between my brother and this vicar. But we were fearing a bad reaction from this visit.

Far from it. As much as an Anglican can offer peace, my grandfather died at peace.

Why then can my grandfather recognise, what Cardinal Kasper cannot?

Deputy Internal Security Minister of Malaysia

bans Catholics from using the word “Allah” to mean God. Jesuit protests!