Rorate Caeli

Blast from the Past on Bergoglio: Pascal Was Right

“Yes I know Bergoglio [, says a Jesuit superior from another Latin American country]. He’s a person who’s caused a lot of problems in the Society and is highly controversial in his own country. In addition to being accused of having allowed the arrest of two Jesuits during the time of the Argentinean dictatorship, as provincial he generated divided loyalties: some groups almost worshipped him, while others would have nothing to do with him, and he would hardly speak to them. It was an absurd situation. He is well-trained and very capable, but is surrounded by this personality cult which is extremely divisive. He has an aura of spirituality which he uses to obtain power. It will be a catastrophe for the Church to have someone like him in the Apostolic See. He left the Society of Jesus in Argentina destroyed with Jesuits divided and institutions destroyed and financially broken. We have spent two decades trying to fix the chaos that the man left us.”
Paul Vallely
Pope Francis: Untying the Knots


In those cases in which the State is interested as well as Religion, your apprehension of man's justice has induced you to divide your decisions into two shares. To the first of these you give the name of speculation; under which category crimes, considered in themselves, without regard to society, but merely to the law of God, you  [the  Jesuits] have permitted, without the least scruple, and in the way of trampling on the divine law which condemns them.
The second you rank under the denomination of practice, and here, considering the injury which may be done to society, and the presence of magistrates who look after the public peace, you take care, in order to keep yourselves on the safe side of the law, not to approve always in practice the murders and other crimes which you have sanctioned in speculation. ... Such is the style in which your opinions begin to develop themselves, under the shelter of this distinction [between speculation and practice], in virtue of which, without doing any sensible injury to society, you only ruin religion. In acting thus, you consider yourselves quite safe. You suppose that, on the one hand, the influence you have in the Church will effectually shield from punishment your assaults on truth; and that, on the other, the precautions you have taken against too easily reducing your permissions to practice will save you on the part of the civil powers, who, not being judges in cases of conscience, are properly concerned only with the outward practice. Thus an opinion which would be condemned under the name of practice, comes out quite safe under the name of speculation.
Provincial Letter n. XIII
September 30, 1656

[Source for the first quote of a papal biography from a mostly Liberal perspective: The American Catholic blog, via P. Blosser.]