By Diogenes (articles ) | Mar 28, 2007

In the NCR (subscriber-only content), a Jesuit professor of humanities reviews the state of his religious order.

Since St. Ignatius Loyola and six fellow students declared themselves "friends in the Lord," and took vows in a Paris chapel in 1534, the Society of Jesus has faced two great crises in its lifetime. The first was its worldwide suppression, 1773-1814 ...

The second crisis was the cultural revolution of the 1960s in which the new freedoms offered by Vatican II and a radically changing secular society both decimated our ranks and allowed those who stayed -- thanks to Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Karl Rahner and John Courtney Murray -- to embrace the modern world on a higher intellectual plain.

Let me guess: Wyoming?

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  • Posted by: - Mar. 30, 2007 10:15 PM ET USA

    Oh give me a Rome, where the Buffalo Roam and the deer and the antelope dialogue.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 30, 2007 11:55 AM ET USA

    Jesuits more fell apart in the post VII period. Fr. Arrupe did not help with his social activist approach. The strength of the order lay in the field of education not liberation theology. Tending to the formation of minds and spiritual development was an area in which few could challenge the Jesuits. Aside from a knack for recruiting good basketball players, Jesuit universities are far from the classical model of eduction that gave them fame. Except for a few,an order in search of a religion!

  • Posted by: - Mar. 30, 2007 11:02 AM ET USA

    Pete; et.al., See http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04423f.htm (Published 1908). Dogmas expressed by the Councils are infallible that includes any Social Justice doctrines. Disciplines (Novus Ordum) are not. Neither are translations of the documents or their interpretation. Personally, I have problems with the English translations and a LOT of problems with the implementation. The Originals were (purposely) written vaguely but that does not diminish their value if used properly.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 29, 2007 3:12 PM ET USA

    The modern Jesuits heroes are very much Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Karl Rahner and John Courtney Murray. I cannot see any remedy to fix this sick and corrupt but once great religious order. The more stuff I see like this only confirm that there is nothing that can be done for the Jesuits but have the order dissolved. During the 70s many good Jesuits were pleading just for that with the possibility of having it reinstated under the mission of St. Ignatius at a future sane time.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 28, 2007 6:37 PM ET USA

    Plane, plain; dogma schmogma. It's the primacy of conscience that matters, even if one is without a conscience.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 28, 2007 5:53 PM ET USA

    Pete- Many in the highest levels of the hierarchy, including Cardinal Ratzinger, have reiterated many times that VCII did not define any dogma or proclaim doctrine with the charism of infallibility and is only infallible to the extent it reiterates prior infallible teachings. Cardinal Felici said “as for the declarations which have a novel character, we have to make reservations.” See http://www.romancatholicism.org/vatican-ii.htm However, the novelties are now entrenched like dogma.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 28, 2007 2:30 PM ET USA

    'that plane of existence that lies beyond the earth's magnetic field. In other words, known only to those who have embraced and have been embraced in return by the "Spirit" of VC II' Oh - is that what the "Noosphere" is? I never can figure that one out.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 28, 2007 1:51 PM ET USA

    Are documents of Councils infallible? I thought the only time "infallibility" was guarnateed was when the Pope or the Magisterium was teaching on matters of faith and morals. If a document from a Council addressed Social Justice issues, is it a guideline or an infallible teaching? Was the change to the vernacular at Mass an infallible teaching? Didn't that document also say that the use of Latin was preferred? Just a few questions about the "infallibility" of Conciliar Documents.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 28, 2007 1:37 PM ET USA

    Nah, Wyoming's no longer on that level of a 'plain'. Bishop David Ricken is teaching truthfully, he's started Wyoming Catholic College which will be a Great Books course, he's got a couple different monastic orders moving in, etc. In other words, he's moving Wyoming to the highest 'plain' possible -- the heavenly one.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 28, 2007 1:33 PM ET USA

    What are "new freedoms"?

  • Posted by: - Mar. 28, 2007 12:58 PM ET USA

    "Too bad men like Rahner drafted most VCII documents." As Catholics we believe that the Holy Spirit inspires the Councils and of all Church Councils Documents are of equal value and infallable. The people who (mis)apply them are not.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 28, 2007 12:33 PM ET USA

    Former Jesuit Father Malachi Martin said in one of his brilliant interviews (available through Triumph Communications) that in the 1950s the Louvain was filled with proud intellectual men like Karl Rahner who had absolutely no Catholic devotional life. He said such devotionless intellectuals did immeasurable harm to the Church and to individual souls. Too bad men like Rahner drafted most VCII documents.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 28, 2007 10:38 AM ET USA

    Actually, I think they mean LSD (and I don't mean Utah). They need our prayers since many will end up on a "lower plain."

  • Posted by: - Mar. 28, 2007 10:03 AM ET USA

    We assume that his spell-checker sabotagued his review unless he really does mean Wyoming. My guess is that with the inclusion of the ever-cosmic Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (aka Pete), that this professor is referring to that plane of existence that lies beyond the earth's magnetic field. In other words, known only to those who have embraced and have been embraced in return by the "Spirit" of VC II. The essence of VC II being meaningless to true initiates.