Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

In case someone missed the LARGE print.

This post will be updated soonish with pithy comment and much wisdom on my part but as yet, God has not yet infused said wisdom into my brain (perhaps He is waiting for me to give said brain lashings of espresso?) and I haven't the time for much comment, let alone anything pithy.

Anyway.

Just now (well, now-ish, even though the letter is a week old) Creighton's excellent GC35 site has posted a *.pdf file with the Holy Father's letter -- at least the English* translation thereto -- to Fr. Gen. Kolvenbach. The gist of the letter is to a) say nice things about Fr. Kolvenbach (which I believe are not insincere or fulsome and which strikes me as customary for "this sort of thing."), b) say nice things about the SoJ (ditto) and c) let the more, ahem, "creatively independent" Jesuits know they are not operating behind the fog to which many of them have grown unusually accustomed and or fond. With a particularly paternal tone, B16 has said, in essence, "recess is over." This is not, in my experience, something that generally happens at "this sort of thing."

Money Quote #1:
The Apostle [St. Paul] writes to the faithful of Thessalonica of having announced to them the gospel of God, "encouraging you and imploring you" — Paul specifies — "to comport yourselves in a manner worthy of God who calls you to His kingdom and to His glory" (1 Th. 2:12)"

That was in the I'm-being-diplomatic-but-I-know-you-know-what-I mean way.

In case someone wasn't paying particularly close attention, or may have been inclined to yawn assuming this is standard Vaticanese twaddle "to be expected at this sort of event" B16 clears his Papal throat and floats this gem:
As then, so even today evangelization demands a total and faithful adhesion to the word of God: adhesion first of all to Christ and to attentive listening to his Spirit which guides the Church; humble obedience to the Pastors whom God has placed to guide his people
That's so good I can't even find a bit to bold or italicize.

Here is Money Quote #3, and it's so good it makes me tingle, albeit in a manly and rugged way.
I too gladly wish to take this opportunity of a General Congregation to bring such a contribution to light and, at the same time, to offer for your common reflection some considerations which might be of encouragement for you and a stimulus to implement ever better the ideal of the Society, in full fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church, such as described in the following formula which is well familiar to you: "To serve as a soldier of God beneath the banner of the Cross and to serve the Lord alone and the Church, his spouse, under the Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ on earth" (Apostolic Letter "Exposcit debitum," 21 July 1550).
But, for sheer between-the-eyes power though, MQ#4 cannot be beat:
John Paul II reminded participants of the 34th General Congregation — that the life of the members of the Society of Jesus, as also their doctrinal research, be always animated by a true spirit of faith and communion in “humble fidelity to the teachings of the Magisterium” (Insegnamenti, vol. I, pp. 25-32). I heartily hope that the present Congregation affirms with clarity the authentic charism of the Founder so as to encourage all Jesuits to promote true and healthy Catholic doctrine. As Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, I had the opportunity to appreciate the valid collaboration of Jesuit Consultors and experts, who, in full fidelity to their charism, contributed in a considerable way to the faithful promotion and reception of the Magisterium.
If you want to have fun, count the number of times the word "Magisterium" appears in this letter. By my cursory inventory it seems that B16 has used it to a greater density than even the benighted Phil Pullman. I'm prayerfully curious to see if GC35 and the SoJ at large will "govern themselves accordingly."

And so, to prayer.

-J.

* I have a hunch the Spanish, etc. translations might be even more, er, declarative. Stay tuned.