The Jesuits just completed their General Congregation 36. One of the things that representatives from each province gathered in Rome did, besides thinking about where the order needs to go given there is a Jesuit Pope, was to elect a new Father General. They elected a man from Venezuela, Fr Arturo Sosa. From everything I have read about him, he is a very forward thinking man and a lot like Pope Francis. At the end of General Congregations, the Pope usually addresses the attendees. Usually, they go to the Pope. This time the Pope came to them. The Jesuit “Curia” is less than two blocks from St Peter’s and the Vatican. This was a first for them. After his visit and a powerful discourse, it was reported he had spent a total of 3 hours with his fellow Jesuits. I had wondered what that meant. Were they just having a good party together or what? Today, we found out. He had an hour and a half open dialogue with them, the transcript of which was released today. By open, I mean that anyone could ask a question and the Pope did not know what the questions were going to be about. He apparently preferred it that way. When I read this dialogue, I was struck by how prophetic some of what he said about politics was given that he did this on October 24th, two weeks before our election. He also had some interesting things to say about how he is seeing seminary training and he also shared what his daily “examen”, the examination of conscious Jesuits do every evening, entails. Click HERE to read this “dialogue”.
I am finding it interesting how many different interviews the Pope has been doing lately. I think he does them because he can get his message out easier and not have to run everything past the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. Yes, what a pope writes must pass through their censors. Why do you think PF always includes so many off-the-cuff comments? He can say what he really wants in them and he knows they don’t have what it takes to really challenge him on them as long as he is not saying outright heretical things. He is, afterall, a wily Jesuit.