two jesuits, two ways

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jan 23, 2008

Here's what Jesuit Father Adolfo Nicolás, newly elected the Superior General of his order, had to say in 2005 about the "liberating ways of religious wisdom":

The real spiritual Masters of all ages are more keen in teaching the way to God, than in giving answers to questions about God. Asia has produced an incredible wealth of such "Ways". The search for wisdom or for the Divinity is a very concrete search and the Masters continue to guide people in the journey of the heart. It is in this context that we Christians have to think and reconsider our Christian practices, from simple devotions to Sacramental celebrations.

Here's what the late Jesuit Father Jean Daniélou had to say on the same subject:

For syncretism, those who are saved are the inward-looking souls, whatever the religion they profess. For Christianity, they are the believers, whatever level of inwardness they may have achieved. A little child, an overworked workman, if they believe, stand at a higher level than the greatest ascetics. "We are not great religious personalities", Guardini once said; "we are servants of the Word." Christ himself had said that St. John the Baptist might well be "the greatest among the children of men", but that "the least among the sons of the kingdom is greater than he." It is possible for there to be great religious personalities in the world even outside of Christianity; it is indeed very possible for the greatest religious personalities to be found outside Christianity; but that means nothing; what counts is obedience to the Word of Christ.

That passage from Daniélou is quoted by Joseph Ratzinger, in support of his own arguments, in his study of Christian belief and world religions called Truth and Tolerance.

Not the same.

Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 7 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Jan. 28, 2008 3:41 PM ET USA

    How many baptisms did the Jesuit missionaries in Japan administer last year? How many Japanese are enrolled in RCIA in Tokyo? How many

  • Posted by: - Jan. 27, 2008 4:12 PM ET USA

    I believe in Christian and Catholic exceptionalism: Only the Catholic Church possess the fullness of truth in God's revelation. The search is over. Jesus has called us to the way, the truth, and the life. Any other way is at at least partially false or incomplete.Those that "reconsider Christian practices" do so at the peril of their immortal soul.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 24, 2008 11:53 AM ET USA

    Seems to me, "Reform the Church" is the mantra of those who think the "Church" is full of faults. "Fidelity to the Church" is for those who recognize that reform begins and ends with the individual. Our Lord didn't say "Change your minds and believe", He said "Repent and believe".

  • Posted by: - Jan. 24, 2008 11:09 AM ET USA

    It may very well be that the Holy Father is allowing the Jesuits to kill themselves by their own hand as they ignore those hard urgings of the Holy Spirit (obedience, fidelity, humility). That said, there are some Jesuits who are clearly holy. They may well form the core of a renewed Jesuit order that arises from the ashes of the suicidal Jesuit dissension.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 24, 2008 10:47 AM ET USA

    Thank you, Diogenes. Pope Benedict did approve of Fr. Nicolas's appointment. Wasn't it time to say: "Elect an obedient man who aspires to be a saint or shut the Jesuits ("Catholic"college, university, diocese) down".

  • Posted by: - Jan. 24, 2008 10:07 AM ET USA

    Not the same. Indeed. As with all such esoteric "ways," the seeker and his teacher/master are elevated according to the level of "enlightenment" they find. It is about the seeker's elite status, not about the glory of God.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 24, 2008 9:06 AM ET USA

    Thanks, Uncle Flashlight, I mean Uncle Diogenes, for being one of the few that keep what's left of Christendom from sinking into utter darkness.