“Beginning October 2 and running until needed, the almost 500-year-old Society of Jesus (the Jesuit Order) is holding its General Congregation. Called the “leading men’s religious order of the Catholic Church,” the Jesuits will also discuss the direction the Jesuits will take in the near term. At the service of the pope, according to their interpretation, they “seek the glory of God.”
As members of a religious order, they are bound by three vows — poverty, chastity and obedience — which mean that they are obedient to the pope. As for individual poverty, that may be true, but they seek to control enormous wealth through their connections with the superrich and world politicians.
“Throughout their history, Jesuits have wielded power as advisers to monarchs and princes alike.” They’ve produced notable scientists, professors, and missionaries, and many of them have been at the forefront of social movements.” The Jesuits stir up social movements to gain greater influence and control in society.
Pope Francis is the world’s first Jesuit pope, and it isn’t likely that, at the moment, a Jesuit will succeed him as there are only two among the cardinals, both over 80, which means they are ineligible to be pope.
Today, they focus much of their work in… “fighting for social justice and providing education, which is the reason why they run hundreds of schools and universities in what amounts to the world’s largest school system.” Imagine the influence because of their educational power. In the United States alone there are 28 Jesuit colleges and Universities like Georgetown University and Boston College. There are almost 69 middle schools and high schools too.
Dubbed “God’s Marines,” because of their zeal in Jesuit missions, many of which engaged in brutal forced conversions. They have held much power, both past and present. For some Jesuits “it’s a point of pride to color outside the lines” of the church. In other words, they influence society in harmony with Rome’s aims out side the walls and halls of the church.
“A general congregation is always summoned on the death or resignation of the head of the Society – to choose his successor… The general congregation currently taking place in the Jesuit Curia, located a few feet away from the Vatican, is the 36th meeting of the Jesuits’ supreme governing body.”
Of the 215 delegates participating in the General Congregation, 212 will choose his successor. There are some from every inhabited continent and from over 60 countries.
The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola gives the Jesuits their common understanding of their mission. It provides them with the same outlook even though they may have diverse individual work to do. It unites them around a common foundation that guides their actions and behavior.
Though almost as old as Christianity itself, the word “discernment” is often related to the Jesuits, which they learn discernment in the Spiritual Exercises of Loyola. They “discern” their common direction and how to facilitate it.
Jesuit “discernment” brings them all into harmony with Rome by interpreting their experience. “Discernment is particularly helpful for the postmodern self, ‘for whom God is a very difficult idea.’ Put more pointedly, discernment helps post-moderns come close to the church without necessarily getting close to God. Francis has been a strong advocate of discernment.
Pope Francis explained this spirituality in an interview: “My choices, including those related to the day-to-day aspects of life such as the use of a modest car, are related to a spiritual discernment that responds to a need that arises from looking at things, at people, and from reading the signs of the times.”
“If you want to understand what Francis is doing, you need to understand, first and foremost, that he’s a Jesuit,” said American Jesuit Michael Rogers. “He very much identifies himself as a Jesuit, in his way of praying, in his way of thinking.”
Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schönborn put it this way “My impression is that with his daily homilies and catechesis, he is conducting a kind of Ignatian retreat with the whole church.” In other words, he’s making the whole church a kind of Jesuit order. One would be excused for thinking that this would extend to the ecumenical churches that the pope is wooing. By giving them emerging church spirituality, they would be aligning themselves with the Papacy at the religious DNA level.
Despite the offices they occupy -or don’t- the Jesuits will continue to be an influential part of the Church and society. According to Rogers, “ the Society of Jesus matters because its schools and universities are at the forefront of serving the poor.” Jesuit spirituality pervades society everywhere they have influenced the social or political order, which they can readily do by emphasizing social programs to help the poor. This gives them access to the rich and it helps to re-organize society under papal principles.
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-15
The first triumphs of the Reformation past, Rome summoned new forces, hoping to accomplish its destruction. At this time, the order of the Jesuits was created, the most cruel, unscrupulous, and powerful of all the champions of popery. Cut off from every earthly tie and human interest, dead to the claims of natural affection, reason and conscience wholly silenced, they knew no rule, no tie, but that of their order, and no duty but to extend its power… Vowed to perpetual poverty and humility, it was their studied aim to secure wealth and power, to be devoted to the overthrow of Protestantism, and the re-establishment of the papal supremacy…
“When appearing as members of their order, they wore a garb of sanctity, visiting prisons and hospitals, ministering to the sick and the poor, professing to have renounced the world, and bearing the sacred name of Jesus, who went about doing good… Under various disguises the Jesuits worked their way into offices of State, climbing up to be the counselors of kings, and shaping the policy of nations… They established colleges for the sons of princes and nobles, and schools for the common people; and the children of Protestant parents were drawn into an observance of popish rites. All the outward pomp and display of the Romish worship was brought to bear to confuse the mind, and dazzle and captivate the imagination; and thus the liberty for which the fathers had toiled and bled was betrayed by the sons. The Jesuits rapidly spread themselves over Europe, and wherever they went, there followed a revival of popery. The Great Controversy, pp. 234, 235.