Monday, February 21, 2005

Committed Jesuits?

A reader asked ironically if such a thing could even exist. For whatever reason, the admittedly huge scandal of (Western) Jesuitry can't seem to rip my eyes from the essential holiness and nobility of the Ignatian chrism. I'm ceaselessly intrigued by their vision, their history and by their treatment by outsiders.

What makes the bad Jesuits so bad these days? When and why did the Western Jesuits go bad? What are the good signs (from, say, India or the Philippines) to counteract the rotten mess of the much-publicized widespread Jesuit dissidence? Are the sores and cancers of the order too severe for the "good Jesuits" to overcome? How does Kolvenbach rate compared to, say, Pedro Arrupe or Karl Rahner?

While I was in the hospital a couple weeks ago, I met a diocesan priest, Fr. Gagan (far right), who had been a Jesuit (in the Chicago province at seminary with the inimitable Fr Mitch Pacwa, S.J.!) but left the order because they were too liberal for him -- or because he was too conservative for them. Is Fr. Gagan the future of the Jesuit order?

I'd love (and this is a standing notice) to get in touch with real live Jesuits, pre-novices, novices, brothers, scholastics, priests, whatever for some insight. Anyone?

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