Rorate Caeli

Pope: "Our world is the stage of a battle between good and evil"

Main excerpts of the Pope's powerful address to the 35th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus, yesterday:

As you well know from having made the meditation "on the Two Standards" under the direction of Saint Ignatius, our world is the stage of a battle between good and evil, and there are powerful negative forces at work, causing those tragic situations of material and spiritual enslavement of our contemporaries, a situation against which you repeatedly declared your intention to fight, striving for the service of faith and the promotion of justice.

These forces occur today in many ways, but particularly clearly through cultural trends that often become dominant, such as subjectivism, relativism, hedonism, practical Materialism. That is why I have asked [in the letter to the Congregation] for your renewed commitment to promote and defend Catholic doctrine "particularly on the focal points today strongly attacked by secular culture"... . The issues today continually discussed and questioned, the salvation of all people in Christ, sexual morality, marriage, and the family, must be deepened and illuminated in the context of contemporary reality, but keeping in harmony with the Magisterium, in a way which avoids causing confusion and doubt among the People of God.

I know and understand that this is particularly sensitive and challenging for you and several of your brothers, especially those engaged in theological research, in inter-religious dialogue and dialogue with the contemporary culture. Precisely for this reason, I have asked and I invite you to reflect again today, to find the fullest sense of what your characteristic fourth vow of obedience to the Successor of Peter, which does not only imply readiness to be sent on mission to far off lands, but also in true Ignatian spirit – to feel themselves “with the Church and in the Church” – to "love and serve" the Vicar of Christ on earth with that "effective and affective" devotion which shall make you his precious and irreplaceable collaborators at the service of the universal Church.

In this spirit of obedience to the will of God, in Jesus Christ, which also means humble obedience to the Church, I invite you to continue and to complete the work of your congregation, and I join you in a prayer taught by Saint Ignatius at the end Exercises – a prayer I always pray, which seems too big, almost to the point that I dare put it in words, however, we should always repeat it again: "Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my intellect and all my will, everything that I have and hold, you have given them to me. O Lord, I return them to you as yours, to be governed by your will. Give me your love and your grace, and that is enough for me."(Spiritual Exercises 234).


New Catholic said...

Creighton University's GC35 website was the main source of this unofficial translation - which nevertheless had to be corrected in several points in order to provide a more faithful rendering of the Italian original.

schoolman said...

Thanks for posting this, New Catholic. This Pope just puts it on the table -- plain and simple. The Jesuits must be a bid dazed after that. Wow.

Anonymous said...

We will see! More debate is needed before anything is settled.

Anonymous said...

Another very impressive speech of our Holy Father. Powerful and candid. I fear though that the "greying" and "gaying" Jesuits will just blow it off as usual though.

techno_aesthete said...

At least they showed up in their Roman collars for this gathering.

poeta said...

Yes, even that second one on the Holy Father's left, with his feet shoved way back under his chair and a pale green shirt, seems to have a Roman collar.

Anonymous said...

Nothing will change with the Jesuits.
They will continue on their road to extinction due to their liberalism and embrace of the world rather than embrace of Jesus Christ and obedience to the teachings and traditions of the Catholic Faith.
With barely 18,600 Jesuits remaining (minus nearly 18,000 members since Vatican II), down to less than 700 Jesuits in Italy, less than 500 in France, barely 250 in Canada, and about 2,300 in the USA (down from 8,000 before Vatican II), there is little hope for an Order which accepted less than 70 novices for the whole of Europe this year, and in the USA has less than 170 seminarians (nearly 4,500 Jesuit seminarians in the USA before Vatican II).
With a median age of priests at close to 65+, and for the few (1,400 world-wide) remaining Jesuit brothers at close to 70, the Order will be extinct within 15 years.


Aspen said...

> and in the USA has less than 170 seminarians (nearly 4,500 Jesuit seminarians in the USA before Vatican II).

This figure is incredible and, if true, very sad. Are you sure the two numbers that you're comparing are the same? I could believe that there were 4,500 pre-ordination Jesuits in the US, since Jesuits are ordained after 11 years of service, but aren't in the seminary for that entire time. I could also believe that there are 170 people now in the first years of seminary, but this number seems too low to be the number of pre-eleventh-year-ordination Jesuits.

Anonymous said...


Sorry, but the figures are accurate.
Before Vatican II, there were about 10 provinces of Jesuits in the USA. New York, Boston, New Orleans, Detroit, L.A., Baltimore are to name just some of them. Today, due to the collapse of the Order in the USA, there was talk at the last Jesuit Chapter in Rome, and in the USA of consolidating regions/provinces/assistancies from roughly 10, to 5. The New York and Baltimore provinces already have consolidated.
Before Vatican II, there were roughly 8,000+ Jesuit priests in the USA (priests, NOT total number of Jesuits) In addition, there were about 600 brothers in the USA, and yes indeed....close to 4,500 seminarians/novices. This included all Jesuits in theology studies and in philosphy (what we call major seminarians), as well as Jesuit novices.
World-wide before Vatican II, there were 36,101 total Jesuits (priests/brothers). In Italy, there were about 3,000 Jesuits. In France, about 2,200. Great Britian had close to 1,000 Jesuits before Vatican II.
Today, there are roughly 18,680 Jesuits for 2008. (-17,500 from Vatican II). There are in the USA about 2,200 Jesuit priests (-5,000) since Vatican II, and YES, only about 170 Jesuit seminarians total in the USA...down from close to 4,500 before Vatican II. Jesuit seminaries in New York, Detroit, Boston whcih once boasted before Vatican II close to 400+ seminarians and novices, now are either closed, consolidated, or 90% empty. USA provinces which once boasted anywhere from 240 seminarians to as many as 700 (New York Province in the late 1950's), are now down to as few as 12, or a high of 47. The situation is very much at crisis /extinction status for the Jesuits in all Western Europe, and also in the USA.
In India, the Jesuits used to be flourishing. But as they became more dissident and progressive, they stalled in their expansion. Today, while there are still roughly 4,000 Indian Jesuits, their numbers of priests or seminarians have not grown for years. Their attrition rate is very high. And there are signs that they are declining.
The reforms of Vatican II in and of themselves, plus the deviations and radical progressive agenda, breakdown of religious life and disipline, and the espousing of support for openly homosexual members of the Order and homosexuality in general has caused the Order to collapse.
The average age of Jesuit priests taken as a group is about 65. For brothers, it's closer to 70....and the class of Jesuit Brothers is a group which will go extinct faster that the Jesuit priests, because there are so few left....less than 1,400 worldwide.
All major religious Orders of men and women have collapsed in similar proportion since Vatican II....most especially thouse who have become entirely secular (lay clothes nuns). The Daughters of Charity, once world famous as not only the largest female Order in the Church, but also because of their distinctive white starched bonnets they wore have declined from close to 50,000 before Vatican II, to less than 20,000 today and a median age of 70.
The Francican Order of priests have falled from 28,700 before Vatican II, to less than 15,000 today are like the Jesuits appear headed towards extinction in much of their former territories.
It is time, I think, for ordinary faithful Catholics to bring to the attention of the Pope the corruption, liberalism, secularism and dissent endemic in nearly all religious Orders.
Many hope that the Pope will begin tackling the disaster of religious life, in the same way He has begun to tackle the disaster of the Catholic Mass by restoring the Tridentine Latin Mass.
We can only hope that he does so.
It's too late for many Orders.
It's too late for the Jesuits.

Anonymous said...

"It is time, I think, for ordinary faithful Catholics to bring to the attention of the Pope the corruption, liberalism, secularism and dissent endemic in nearly all religious Orders."

Are you serious? He knows, better than anyone, the situation of the Jesuits.

As for liberalism and secularism, the Pope does not need to go to the Jesuits to find this out. Just by looking into the Holy See he will find this rampant, and he will find this inside of the his bedroom.

Who are you trying to deceive?

Anonymous said...

with respect to the Jesuits in the USA. Fr. Leonard Feeney S.J. warned the world and particularly the diocese of Boston and the Jesuits at Boston College. "Outside the Church there is no salvation" is a DOGMA that must be defended. Fr. Feeney warned after Vatican II; "because the dogma (above) is not being defended, everthing that is Catholic is being taken away from us. Of course this includes the Latin Mass, which according to Cardinals Ottaviani/Oddi, "is an impeniterable barrier to heresy. This is why the enemy must destroy the Latin Mass to destroy the Church with heresy.

By the way. I'm told that the Dept. Head of Theology at Boston College is a unitarian.

There is no document, binding on my concience, which condemns the teaching of Fr. Feeney. (letter to Cushing '49 is flawed and is not in the Acta Ap. Sedis)

Anonymous said...

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!

LeonG said...

Indeed, modernism and neo-modernism are the vehicles behind which Satan drives inroads into contemporary church thinking. This is still at the centre of the ecclesiastical drive for ecumenism - Roman Catholic chapels and churches are overripe with the corruption of a movement that St Maximilian Kolbe denounced as the enemy of the Immaculata. It is this ideology that has not only corroded the Jesuit order but a large element of the church today. Do traditional Catholics want to incorporated into this effective denial of the uniqueness of the Catholic Church as the sole medium for salvation? Do traditional Catholics want to be hearing the Holy Sacrifice of The Mass in its legitimate Catholic form in churches where the modernists and their liturgy propagate illicit interreligious and interdenominational services?
Nothing is changing in the modern church establishment - nothing at all. Those who believe they are have not analysed the signs appropriately. It is time to be vigilant and to discern the truth and not relativised versions of it.

Anonymous said...

Roman collars maybe, but not a cassock in sight. Except, of course, for His Holiness.