General Question

Mama_Cakes's avatar

Why is it a big deal that the new Pope is a Jesuit?

Asked by Mama_Cakes (9822points) March 13th, 2013

I keep hearing it. Even from my second cousin who is a priest.

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19 Answers

Seek's avatar

Well, in comparison to the last Pope, Jesuit priests were known for aiding Jews during the Holocaust, and were enemies of the Nazi regime.

janbb's avatar

The Jesuits are considered the most intellectual or scholarly order.

rooeytoo's avatar

There was never a Jesuit pope before, ever.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Among many other things, like those mentioned above, the Jesuits are the teachers of the Church. You will find Jesuits in most of the Catholic Universities and high scools, the most important of which is the Gregorian University at Rome. Most are liberal. Many around the world are involved in Liberation Theology. Many promote Ecumenism and Global Ethics, terms used as gateways toward a universal understanding of all the world’s religions, not just Christianity. The academic seat of this teaching in the US is at Washington DC’s Georgetown University’s Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim–Christian Understanding and Woodstock Theological Center, both under Jesuits. They promote that there are many paths to God and all are valid.

Jesuits are also arguably autonomous from direct Papal Authority. They take their orders from the Superior General and sometimes in the past these two major prelates have been in dire disaggreement.

The top Catholic theologian of the past century is the liberal Jesuit Hans Küng. Thanks primarily to his writings and his lobbying efforts at the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, the Church has accepted what we know as modern science, including Darwin’s Theory. This was a huge leap into modern times for the Church and enabled Catholic schools worldwide to drop creationism outside of religion and catechism classes, and teach real science in the classroom (this was being done anyway in modern, developed societies in Europe and North America, but the SCV decision made it official doctrine).

It is interesting to note that he came up in the church with, befriended, and studied at Gregorian University with the man who eventually became ultra-conservative Pope Benedict. But times and people change. Later, Küng began refuting the infalability of the Pope in his writings and now the top Catholic theologian of the past century is no longer allowed by the Church to teach theology. It is interesting that he wasn’t excommunicated, which tells me that he has a large and powerful following inside the Church.

Patton's avatar

Guess I’ll be that guy and point out that this is one of the rules that Jesuits follow:

“That we may be altogether of the same mind and in conformity with the Church herself, if she shall have defined anything to be black which to our eyes appears to be white, we ought in like manner to pronounce it to be black” (Rule 13 of Ignatius Loyola’s Rules for Thinking with the Church).

Because nothing says intellectual integrity like disregarding all of the evidence because a guy in a big hat says so.


ETpro's avatar

Here’s a blog piece from an American Jesuit explaining his utter surprise, delight and hopes for the fact that, for the first time in its history, the Catholic Church has elected a Jesuit as their new Pope.

linguaphile's avatar

They’re taught and trained to be educators, thinkers, evaluators, servants to the people. When the Jesuits came to the “New World,” they worked with the Native Americans more than any of the other groups of people, even with their intent of wanting to convert/save the Native Americans. They collaborated, not conquered.

I respect Jesuits way more than the other orders—

mazingerz88's avatar

Great board. Learned a lot. I guess having a Jesuit Pope is just sweet. Justsweet. ( wink )

Seek's avatar

Yeah. Nice that he’s one of the scholarly ones. Too bad he’s still a homophobe obsessed with celibacy.

It would be really nice if we could have just continued having no one on Earth that claimed to be infallible.

dabbler's avatar

While it’s disappointing that he toes the standard Roman Catholic line about same-gender relationships and contraception, etc., I do like that he has been leading a simple life (took the bus, and lived in a plain apartment) and is likely to continue to advocate for the poor and disadvantaged.

Blondesjon's avatar

I am told it is due to the fact that it dangerously close to copyright infringing on Nike’s Just Do It slogan.

jtxl's avatar

while most of these answers are talking about what a jesuit is, they forget to answer the question. The reason it is such a big deal is that historically, the jesuits have had a difficult relationship with the vatican. The Jesuits have openly scolded the church for hypocrisy and a blind eye to the needs of the poor. The election of Pope Francis is awesome. It shows the church wants to get back to the basics of good over evil. I absolutely love that this new Pope regularly washed the feet of prostitutes and thieves. This in a time when many churches do not wash feet at all. There is a deeper meaning in his taking the name of Francis of Assisi, When Francis was called by God, the words he was given were “Francis, fix my church” I always saw Pope Benedict as the hard-ass needed to hold the fort until the next great man stepped forward. In Pope Francis, with God’s help, this has happened.

janbb's avatar

@jtxl How do you feel about the accusations that he helped protect Peron against human rights violations that I have read? I am not trying to attack him, I am trying to get an honest assessment of the man. I don’t know much about him but I have heard this.

Patton's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr There’s no objective value to being scholarly. Scholarship can be used for good and for evil, and a bastard like Bergoglio will undoubtedly use it for evil.

@jtxl If that’s what they wanted to show, they shouldn’t have picked a complete and utter bastard like Bergoglio. He’s a homophobe who collaborated with brutal dictators and actively confounded investigations into human rights violations in Argentina. Fuck him in every one of his orifices.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

One thing no one hit on here is that the jesuits are not only legal minds of the church, they are the enforcement branch.
Who do you think ran the Inquisition.
It was the brutal and thorough way they searched out and executed any and all of the New (Old) World Oder thugs {Masons} that forced these hunted men into tightening their ranks and forming what most people believe doesn’t exist; the illuminati.

The Jesuits are also the money makers of the church. My calculus teacher was a jesuit who was born and raised in Sicily who said that he had two choices. Become a mafioso or join the jesuits. He said their was essentially no difference.

So there’s a little background on the jesuits that you may have not known.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@Dan_Lyons They probably didn’t “hit on it” because, like your statement that ”America was never a Democracy. It’s a Republic.” is not only baseless, it is patently nonsensical. Once again you are parroting the most ignorant element on the internet.

The Dominicans, and in a few instances some Franciscans, prosecuted the Inquisition. There is documentation that the Orthodox Church accused the Jesuits of some Inquisitional abuses, but it turns out that these were Franciscans. There was one instance of a request for Inquisitors by the Jesuit Francis Xavier to be sent to their mission in Goa, india, but there is no documentation of abuses.

Tomás de Torquemada, possibly the most infamous of the prosecutors, was Dominican as were his cohorts and the prosecutors and enforcers who came after him. The Dominicans had the monopoly on the project, were proud of it, and jealously protected this territory. They were like the equivalent of the Soviet political Commissar imbedded among the troops, and just as cruel and arbitrary.

On the other hand, there is much source documentation of Jesuits losing their lives and being tortured while protecting natives from the brutality of colonial soldiers in the New World and the Inquisition itself.

The Spanish Inquisition—which was world-wide and the one most referred to when people talk of “The Inquisition”—was inaugurated in 1478 by Their Most Holy Catholic Majesties Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. The Jesuits, or Society of Jesus, wasn’t formed until nearly one hundred years later in 1534. By that time, the Dominicans had a firm hold on the Inquisition and the resultant budget to maintain it until the late 1800’s at the cost and suffering of many lives.

You have a computer. You have the internet. Above this paragraph are the links. But don’t take my references when you can do your own research, because today you have nearly all the best libraries of the world open to you—which was until just recently a treasure afforded only the most privileged scholars of the world’s foremost institutions of learning. So, why do you insist on repeating this tripe?

Dan_Lyons's avatar

LOL @Espiritus_Corvus Nice to see you too. Perhaps you should go to the source and learn personally from the jesuits as I did rather than depend on opinions found in cyberspace.

But you did write a lot of words so you will get a cool award if your buds will just GA you. Nicely done.

How much time did you actually waste surfing the net and writing all those letters?

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