Rorate Caeli

Father Bergoglio, in disgrace for years for disagreements with the Society's leadership?...
Update: Panorama reports, Il Sismografo denies

Ultra-"progressive" Italian Jesuit Fr. Felice Scalia wrote an article of what the new papacy means for Jesuits for Adista (the "progressive" news agency whose symbol is a saint hugging a devil). Well, for Jesuits like him. One of the main points, after disowning the legacy of Pope John Paul II, is the following:

[N]ow it will be possible to review the history of Fr. Pedro Arrupe, the great victim of the misunderstandings between the Holy See of Pope Wojtyla and the Society of Jesus ... . In heaven, Fr. Pedro will joyfully exult with us.

Maybe. Now, this is curious because Fr. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, provincial of Argentina, seemed to have been himself, at least in a second stage of his provincial leadership, and then for 15 years after that, more a victim than a supporter of Society leadership (maybe including Arrupe, or just in the Kolvenbach years?...). Ignazio Ingrao reports for Italian weekly Panorama:

With a letter, the Superior General of the Society blocked Bergoglio from being received

Marginalized by his own Jesuit brothers, forced for six years to be a confessor in a church in Cordoba, more than 700 km from Buenos Aires, and even forbidden from visiting other Jesuit communities. The story of the relationship between Jorge Mario Bergoglio and the Society founded by Saint Ignatius of Loyola is very painful. There is even a letter of the Superior General of the Society, Dutchman Peter Hans Kolvenbach, that establishes an express prohibition to other houses and communities to receive Bergoglio, at any moment he might have wished to leave the church assigned to him in Cordoba. A true a proper ostracism, that takes place within the most difficult and troubles years of the Society, guided first by Spanish Father Pedro Arrupe, then intervened by John Paul II through Father Paolo Dezza, then returned to the hands of Father Kolvenbach.

His sister Marta and his brother-in-law Enrico Narvaja were direct witnesses of those difficult years for Father Bergoglio: the enfant prodige, chosen Provincial superior of Argentina at 37, destined to a brilliant career, seemed to have been definitely set apart up to when he was 50.

Guarding the Kolvenbach letter and the memory of these painful family events today is Pope Francis's nephew, Father José Luis Narvaja, also a Jesuit, director of the Thomas Falkner institute for the study of sources, professor of theology and patristics in Salvador [Universidad del Salvador, Buenos Aires], in Frankfurt and at the Gregorian University in Rome.

The "sin" of Bergoglio was that to have first sided with Arrupe, than turning decisively against him, so far as to leave the leadership of the Province in 1979. [Rorate note: note, however, that this came at the end of the usual 6-year term for Jesuit provincials.] But the strongly identitarian [Jesuit] position and the deep disagreement with Liberation Theology by Bergoglio ended up being in full agreement with John Paul II and the Prefect for the Doctrine of the Faith, Joseph Ratzinger. For this reason, Karol Wojtyla lifts Bergoglio from oblivion and, at 56, names him auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires, at the suggestion of Cardinal Antonio Quarracino. A new life begins for the Argentine Jesuit that will lead him up to the throne of Peter. The long audience, soon after his election, with the current Superior General of the Jesuits, Adolfo Nicolas, fails nevertheless to completely conceal the embarrassment with which some old adversaries of Bergoglio in the Society have received his election. ...

[Update - Il Sismografo posted the following: "In an article published in Panorama on April 3, by Ignazio Ingrao, titled 'When the Jesuits marginalized him', and anticipated in the blog of the same author, a supposed letter sent by the previous Father General of the Jesuits, Peter Hans Kolvenbach, is mentioned, with the prohibition for the houses of Argentine Jesuits 'to receive Father Bergoglio when he wished to leave the church assigned to him in Cordoba.' The affirmation is not only completely implausible, but it is absolutely false, because such a letter has never existed. Both the Jesuit Curia, where the [record of the] sending of such a letter is not found, and Father José Luis Narvaja, mentioned by 'Panorama' as the custodian of such letter, and that denied ever having made declarations to 'Panorama', deny this. The official in charge of the Press Office of the Jesuit Curia, Father Giuseppe Bellucci, also notes that the permanence in Cordoba of then-Father Bergoglio was not of six years, as mentioned in the article, but two."


In other news: the first Bergoglio appointment to a curial position was made today, as he named the Minister General of the Friars Minor, Spaniard José Rodríguez Carballo, OFM, Secretary of the Congregation for Religious (Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life).