Thursday, February 21, 2008

Benedict XVI "beginning of the end" of Jesuits?

This blog title of a Jesuit delegate, Fr. Francis de Melo, SJ, (see below) today is very eerie "The beginning of the end" -- which could mean the end of the Jesuits (like the Piarists which was the first thing that came to my mind) even if what he actually meant was the end of the GC35 in Rome. Sadly, Fr. de Melo doesnot see that the GC35 if it is "for the whole world" -- is really just beginning. But he chose an eerie title, God forbid, prophetic to the Society of Jesus. If what he really preaches is to obey the Pope “like a dead man cadaver”, then for sure, no sound young men with a sound body would want to join the Society of Jesus and become a dead-man-obeying-Jesuit.

De Melo's citation of the apostolic obedience to the pope "like a dead cadaver" is very troubling and a bad example for the laity like myself. This kind of obedience is even worse than religious "blind obedience". Most of all this kind of "dead" obedience is what the the Opus Dei precisely want from the Jesuits because Opus Dei have a World Domination agenda and the Jesuits are to be their "dead" servants. Like dead-men-walking.

It is precisely this kind of dead-obedience that made John Paul II and Ratzinger Benedict XVI succeed in covering-up the priest pedophilia for over a quarter of century -- in the papal Crimen Sollicitationis papal decree -- that priests who divulged to the public would face excommunication.

Obeying the Pope "like a dead cadaver"...says the Jesuit delegate at the General Congregation 35! Would any young man with a sound mind and body want to join the Jesuits and obey Pope Benedict XVI who for more than 30 years had a tail of clergy pedophiles?

YouTube of Crimen Sollicitationis - Ratzinger Pope Benedict XVI decree ordered all Bishops to keep priest-pedophiles TOP SECRET or face excommunication... Bishops and priests obeyed him "like a dead cadaver"...What a way to go, Fr. Francis de Melo? Shame on you!

It is pathetic that the old Jesuits would kowtow to the juvenile Opus Dei...but God is not sleeping...from heaven he had justly sent the Galileo Iceberg and hit on the B16-OD Benedict XVI-Opus Dei Titanic Ship at La Sapienza University.

The Jesuits are like the Piarists who were successful in education and the sciences for 350 years... The Jesuits might as well learn from history or they are doom to repeat it. The Opus Dei are strategically preparing for the opportune time to make hostile takeovers of Jesuit universities worldwide...Many Opus Dei members are already faculty and board members of Jesuit universities.

The Piarists founder was canonzied by the pope and declared as the Patron Saint of Catholic Schools. This shows the error of "papal infallibility" and the inevitable errors of many recent canonizations by the John Paul II at his Opus Dei saint-factory at the Vatican.

John Paul II canonised an Italian-missionary-rapist in China and fascist-Franco ally Opus Dei founder Josemaria Escriba

Here is a review of Fallen Order: Intrigue, Heresy, And Scandal In The Rome Of Galileo And Caravaggio
by Karen Liebreich from The Telegraph (UK), 4.25.2004.

The following book summary is from Google books:

The Piarist Order of priests has for hundreds of years been known for its history of important contributions to education, science, and culture. Yet in 1646, the Piarist order was abruptly abolished by Pope Innocent X. Fallen Order is the stunning story of how the sexual abuse of children, practiced by some of the leading priests in the order, led to the Piarists' collapse. Karen Liebreich spent several years researching in the order's archives and in the Vatican Secret Archive, and discovered how the founder of the Piarist Order, Father José de Calasanz (later honored as the patron saint of Catholic schools) knew of the scandal and tried to keep it a secret. Cardinals and bishops actively participated in the cover-up in an effort to protect the reputation of an important cleric with influential family connections. A brilliant portrait of seventeenth-century Rome, and the politics, personal rivalries, and Byzantine workings of the Vatican and the Catholic Church, Fallen Order is an explosive account of a history of cover-ups, deception, and shuttling known abuser priests from school to school that is frighteningly similar to the Catholic Church's response to child abuse in the priesthood today.

* * *

The 350-year cover-up

This is the astonishing story of the suppression of a Catholic teaching order - the Piarists - in the 17th century. It has never been told properly before, because many of the documents containing the juiciest information were heavily classified by the Vatican until six years ago.

In the process of extracting the juice, Karen Liebreich has resisted the temptation to sensationalise, though it would have been easy to do so. For what she discovered after burrowing into the archives of the Holy Inquisition is that St John Calasanz, founder of the Piarists, covered up a child abuse scandal. Indeed, he knowingly promoted a paedophile to high office in the order.

That scandal is only one strand in the story, however. Liebreich's sources are as rich in incriminating detail as the Watergate tapes: we glimpse not only sexual incontinence but also the politicking and queeny vanity that destroyed an order that was once admired for the purity of its mission. True, the Piarists were eventually revived and are still in existence. But how many people have heard of them? If they had not been suppressed in 1646, they might now be as famous as their rivals, the Jesuits.

Church history often throws up the paradox that strict orders attract decadent personalities. But no one could accuse St John Calasanz of self-indulgence: austere to the point of caricature, this Spanish priest expected his clergy to follow a regime of concentration-camp severity while providing a free education to the poor boys of various Italian cities.

The Piarists were the first order to teach boys for nothing; and they were also the first to tailor their lessons to the needs of their pupils rather than some medieval ideal of learning. In the Piarist schools, boys did calculations involving weights and measures that helped them find jobs in banks and warehouses.

Demand soared, and with it the order's social ambitions; soon the nobility were sending their children to Piarist schools. Within the order, the pendulum swung back and forth between absurd strictness - one novice was made to scrub his mouth with a pumice stone after being kissed by his mother - and laxity.

The villain of this book, Fr Stefano Cherubini, son and brother of well-connected lawyers, broke every rule with impunity: he had his clerical jacket specially cut "swooping low at the back and rising indecently short at the front"; he refused to wear draughty sandals; and he sang in a forbidden falsetto voice.

He was also a vigorous pederast. When this was pointed out to the authorities, Calasanz was forced to take action. He wrote to the priest conducting the investigation: "Your Reverence's sole aim is to cover up this great shame in order that it does not come to the notice of our superiors [in the Vatican], otherwise our organisation, which has enjoyed a good reputation until now, would lose greatly." The report detailing the abuses was supposed to be kept secret from Cherubini, but he managed to intercept it and threatened to sue. Calasanz caved in; Cherubini was made visitor-general for the whole order.

That was in 1629. During the years that followed, the Piarist order became miserably bogged down in Vatican politics. Some of its members adopted the bitchy, high camp style we associate today with extreme Anglo-Catholics. The elderly founder was pushed aside and, with papal approval, the order was placed in the manicured hands of Stefano Cherubini.

Only now did St John Calasanz, aged nearly 90, state publicly what he had known for 15 years: that the new superior was a child-molester. That was not enough to block the appointment, but such was the internal opposition to Cherubini that the order fell apart and the Vatican decided that the best course was to suppress it.

Karen Liebreich has pulled off a difficult trick with this engrossing book. Although the parallels with recent paedophile scandals are inescapable, and she rightly draws our attention to them, she is reluctant to judge historical actors by 21st-century standards of morality. But she does not need to, because the Church at the time had a perfectly clear understanding of the wickedness of child abuse.

Calasanz, the Inquisition and at least one Pope knew that Cherubini had sexually assaulted his pupils and they knew it was wrong; yet the evidence was concealed and he was elevated to positions that offered him fresh opportunities for seduction. Liebreich's conclusion is the more powerful for its restraint: she says that it is time the modern Catholic Church "took a closer look" at the history of the Piarist order. So it should, but somehow one doubts that it will. What is the betting that, in a hundred years' time, St John Calasanz will still be the patron saint of Christian schools?

Damian Thompson is writing a book about the sociology of apocalyptic belief.


The Beginning of the End
Francis de Melo, SJ

We are moving fast now to finalising the results of this Congregation. This means bringing into desired form the thousands of thoughts that have been presented. It is likely that we will finish with 4 presently planned decrees (perhaps 5, we just heard today) on key issues like Jesuit Identity and Mission in today’s changed world, Collaboration with Others, etc. Plus there are 16 topics which, though not accepted as subjects for decrees, had been the focus of many postulates from the provinces. Among these are Ecology, Globalisation, Indigenous peoples, Formation, Jesuit Brothers, Community Life, Communications and the Internet age, etc. These seem likely to end as mandates to Fr. General for action.

It is interesting to see the actual use of modern communications technology in smoothly bringing together the results of the 225 minds with their various viewpoints on these 20 different themes that are being thrashed out. First, all the papers prepared on each of the 20 themes are posted and can be read in the intranet of the Curia. Then group reports on each theme are added. But then each one can post his comments / views / reactions to any of the 4 decrees (specifying which paragraph of the draft he is referring to ), and others can read these. You can also read all the posts on a decree as a single thread of chronologically listed thoughts.

For instance there was a discussion about a point in the letter of Pope Benedict XVI to Fr. Kolvenbach at the start of GC35 where the Pope reminds us about St. Ignatius wanting our obedience to be perinde ac cadaver, “like a dead body”. Here is part of an interesting post about this:
“ In the process of obeying a superior... there is the key moment where I choose to obey in accordance with my vow. At that moment I am passive, in a stance of abandoning myself and putting myself at the disposal of the superior, implementing the “take, receive” of the ad amorem. This moment in some ways is akin to the moment when I receive a consolation without cause or an impulse of grace over which I have no control. However prior to that moment there is the full activity of my preparation for the moment of obedience: my discernment, my consultation of others, my dialogue with my superior, perhaps even my representation. And following that moment there is the lengthy process of implementation where I fully engage all my strength in doing what I am asked to do as a Jesuit apostle. The “perinde ac cadaver” moment is the still point at the centre of my activity as a Jesuit, the point which focuses it and energizes it...”

Besides, all spoken interventions in the main hall are supplemented by written interventions sent by email to the respective group leaders. And, who knows, maybe the final GC documents will be presented to the world not just as written sheets but also as Powerpoint presentations ready for dissemination in provinces. This was one delegate’s suggestion.


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