The New Society of Jesus
(05-05-2010, 10:38 AM)stvincentferrer Wrote: The Point

Edited Under Fr. Leonard Feeney M.I.C.M. — Saint Benedict Center

November, 1952


Saint Ignatius of Loyola founded the Society of Jesus in the year 1534. This society preached the Catholic Faith, fought heretics, converted pagans, and produced twenty-six canonized saints during its two hundred thirty-nine year existence. In 1773, a bull of suppression, issued by Pope Clement XIV, marked the end of the Society of Jesus.

There is, in the minds of contemporary Catholics, an understandable confusion with regard to the designation, “Society of Jesus.” This confusion dates from the year 1814. In that year, Pope Pius VII attempted to revive the original Society of Jesus, the one founded by Saint Ignatius. Worthy as the project was, and with all respect for the Pope’s efforts, the order which Pius VII got back was, unhappily, the wrong one. What could be more confusing, therefore, than to believe, however sincerely, that the present-day Society of Jesus is the same Society founded by Saint Ignatius in the sixteenth century!

To eliminate any further difficulty with these two religious orders, The Point presents, below, a review of the New Society of Jesus. Any student of history, and all lovers of Saint Ignatius, will see that there can be no more than a nominal connection between this 1814 order and the one that produced Saint Francis Xavier, Saint Francis Borgia, and Saint John Francis Regis.

The New Society of Jesus has nowhere produced a canonized saint. It has contented itself with begetting the “Jesuit,” a type which, though recognizable the world over, allows of variation according to nation. In England, the Jesuit is often a convert and invariably odd — which may be demonstrated even from his most considered English statements, his published ones. This is the way Father C. C. Martindale, looking back on his conversion, sums up: “Hence, became a Catholic, hating it.” And here is how Father Gerard Hopkins, looking ahead to his resurrection, prophesies:

    “I am all at once what Christ is, since
    He was what I am, and
    This Jack, joke, poor potsherd, patch,
    matchwood, immortal diamond,
    Is immortal diamond.”

The French Jesuit is much more articulate, but in much foggier pursuits. One of his specialties is discursive theology, a kind of mental ju-jitsu which enables him to be loyal to both Evolution and Genesis, without being accused of talking through his beret. It is the French-style Jesuit which prompted Mr. Webster to list “jesuit” (with a small j) as meaning, “a casuist; a crafty person; an intriguer.”

In close-by Belgium, the Jesuit truly makes the grade when he is invited to become a “Bollandist,” a member of that patient group of researchers who can cast doubts on the hagiology of almost any saint since the time of, and including, the Apostles. If he can’t be a Bollandist, the Belgian Jesuit would just as soon leave the country. Few non-Bollandists, however, have left as gracefully as Father J. B. Janssens, who went to Rome and became the present General of the New Society. In Italy, the General has made a hit by fostering such local Jesuit talent as Father R. Lombardi, the itinerant peddler of lots-more-love-for-whatever-God-you-believe-in.

Education is the chief assignment of the American Jesuit. His teaching is done in schools with rest-home names (Shadowbrook, Fairfield, Spring Hill, Rockhurst), schools where a Catholic boy can lay in a supply of rote and rational answers to Alexander VI, chained bibles, and indulgences.

Found apart from his chalk-and-blackboard setting, the American Jesuit is of no predictable pattern. He may be Father Edmund Walsh, living in Washington, wearing a cape, and giving the government sacerdotal go-aheads on deadlier atomic bombs. He may be Father Daniel Lord, the apostle of musical-comedy Christianity, whose sustained levitical levity makes the Catholic Church about as inviting as a midwestern clambake. He may even be Father Robert Hartnert, who puts out a magazine in which he protects his fellow-Americans against Colombian Catholics and Spanish Cardinals.

In no case will an American member of the New Society of Jesus be mistaken for a priest like Saint Isaac Jogues, an original Jesuit who kept telling the original Americans that they had to love Jesus and Mary, until, one day, he literally lost his head.

This is really kind of absurd.  At the time Fr. Feeney was writing this, there was a huge crop of saintly Jesuits (many of whom who have gone on to their eternal reward and are now saints).  Even today, there are more than a few who follow in the path of their saintly founder (although I'd say the rest of the Society needs a kick in the a**).

If canonization of a member is the criterion for the holiness of a Order, than I wonder what that says about the "Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary"?  Interesting how the one who was excommunicated at one time degrades the ones who never were.  And it surely is remarkable that his judgment is better than that of all the Popes who let this "New Society" continue for so long...

Messages In This Thread
The New Society of Jesus - by stvincentferrer - 05-05-2010, 10:38 AM
Re: The New Society of Jesus - by Augstine Baker - 05-05-2010, 12:28 PM
Re: The New Society of Jesus - by btdn - 05-05-2010, 11:45 PM
Re: The New Society of Jesus - by Historian - 05-06-2010, 02:46 AM
Re: The New Society of Jesus - by Vetus Ordo - 05-06-2010, 04:27 AM
Re: The New Society of Jesus - by Augstine Baker - 05-06-2010, 11:41 AM

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