Rorate Caeli

May the Society of Jesus
"reaffirm...its own total adhesion to Catholic doctrine"

An English translation of the Letter of Pope Benedict XVI to the former Superior-General of the Society of Jesus and to all members of the 35th General Congregation is available at the website of Creighton University's ongoing coverage of the event. Its main point is the following:

...really so as to offer the entire Society of Jesus a clear orientation which might be a support for generous and faithful apostolic dedication, it could prove extremely useful that the General Congregation reaffirm, in the spirit of Saint Ignatius, its own total adhesion to Catholic doctrine, in particular on those neuralgic points which today are strongly attacked by secular culture, as for example the relationship between Christ and religions; some aspects of the theology of liberation; and various points of sexual morality, especially as regards the indissolubility of marriage and the pastoral care of homosexual persons.


  1. Anonymous11:26 PM

    Is this a definition of the priorities of Benedict?

    -the relationship between Christ and religions;
    -some aspects of the theology of liberation;
    -various points of sexual morality, especially as regards the indissolubility of marriage and the pastoral care of homosexual persons

  2. Anonymous12:02 AM

    what a brave and awesome Pope we have. Laus tibi Christe!

  3. Anonymous12:20 AM

    A change is in the air! It wafts sweetly from Rome...

  4. This is a big challange for the Jesuits. We will have to wait until the GC ends to see if they were up to the challenge or not. I doubt it, very much.

  5. Anonymous1:19 AM

    Excuse me, was he saying Christ is a Catholic, liberation theology is communism, divorce is invalid, and sodomy cries out to God for vengeance? Or ...

  6. WOW! I do believe that was the sound of a gauntlet being thrown down. I am not Roman Catholic but I have to say you guys picked a winner at the last papal election.


  7. Anonymous3:20 AM

    Viva il Papa!

    Michael J. Matt has a very interesting peice about traditionalists vis a vis our Pope. I think his assesment is spot on. The link is below.

  8. Anonymous5:10 AM

    Not every big stick comes with a megaphone, but I don't think his point could have been clearer.

  9. Anonymous2:09 AM

    I have encountered a Jesuit moral theologian here in the Philippines named Fr. Ritchie Genilo and he is really a liberal one... I've jotted down his comments on moral issues from an "encounter" we had last July 2006... here they are...

    * ON VOCATIONS AND HOMOSEXUALITY (as per latest Vatican instructions)

    When this issue came up, many people got scared, but after a while, it all died down.
    There was no witch hunt that transpired in seminaries.

    The church distinguishes two types of homosexuals
    1. those who are just going through a phase
    2. those who have deep seated homosexual tendencies

    It is up to the local bishop to interpret the document, and implement guidelines that would benefit his local church

    These guidelines can also be made by the heads of the various religious congregations
    Certain congregations, like the Salesians, maintain that they would not admit applicants to the priesthood with homosexual inclinations, as it may affect their ministry with young boys, predisposing both the priest-to-be and the boys to moral danger
    Some congregations, like the Jesuits, maintain that they would still admit applicants to the priesthood with homosexual inclinations, as long as they have the emotional maturity required for their ministry


    It is ok for persons of the same sex to be in love with each other and live together

    It is possible for two persons of the same sex to live together and remain chaste - they could treat each other as companions, as friends living together

    How do you take the case of two formerly promiscuous homosexuals, who fell in love with each other and decided to live together? They maintain a monogamous sexual relationship, and separating them would mean they would go back to their own promiscuous ways? Can we not accept the fact of a "lesser evil"?

    It is ok for persons of the same sex to adopt a child and live like a family.
    These kinds of set-up for families is not supported here in the Philippines - but in the US and Canada they have full support for this kind of family

    There's a story of an orphanage in another country who allowed gay couples to adopt children, especially children with handicap who "normal" couples would not dare take into their homes. When the "moralists" knew about it, they rallied against it which forced the orphanage to stop adoption to gay couples. Now what happens to those children with handicap who are left in the orphanage with no one to take care of them? Homosexual couples are more than willing to take them, but are discouraged to do so.


    The church does not really know where homosexuality came from.
    What you have been reading is just one theory; there are a lot of other theories on homosexuality
    I cannot deny the fact that homosexuality may be due to genetics

    People write articles and books to present their own ideas and opinions about things. What you have been reading are just ideas and concepts of some people. It is not the whole picture

    You cannot compare your own experience with the experience of others; they may have their own stories to tell that may or may not fit your own story of how you became a homosexual
    It is wrong to assume that since it is your experience it also applies to the experiences of others


    People who claim they have "changed" are those who were not fully homosexuals in the first place
    They who claim to have changed are not actually homosexuals; they are merely confused about their sexuality.


    It is not true that there are holes in a condom
    It is not 100% but it is better than no protection

    Which came earlier – the high incidence of AIDS or the promotion of condoms? In the countries you've mentioned, like Thailand, there was already a high incidence of AIDS when the condom was introduced. And right now, we could see a downtrend in the incidence of AIDS since it was introduced.


    There is NO one truth! We should not be doctrinal in our views about morality but must treat each case differently.

    There are sets of principles that are given to us, but it is up to us to interpret those principles and adapt them according to the particular situations given

    The object at hand may be morally questioned but the circumstances surrounding that object can diminish the gravity of the moral offense.

    We must be open to the option of a "lesser evil" in a moral case

    Please pray for the Church in the Philippines. This priest is currently teaching moral theology at Ateneo University.

    You may contact me at
    God bless you!


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