1. Are Jesuits Catholic?

Some people ask whether Jesuits are Catholic or some kind of a cultic organization doing esoteric works. This question probably comes from the observation that Jesuits, as opposed to other religious congregations, do not have one particular apostolate or mission. The Dominicans are known to be preachers of the Word of God, hence their initials O.P. (Order of Preachers). The Franciscans are popular because of their strict observance of the vow of poverty and their works among the poor. The Order of Hospitaller is famous for its charitable works of caring for hospital patients and indigents.

Since members of the Society of Jesus (SJ) are almost in every field of endeavor and social sciences, aside from their university affiliation, people might take them to be some kind of a special group of religious order. But they are not. They have a fourth vow: a special obedience to the Holy Father. They can be sent anywhere, anytime, do anything, to be anything and suffer anything for the sake of the missions.

They also have jobs and duties outside their clerical/presbyterate functions, therefore many people associate them to be working "outside" the Church and "not of" the Church. The Papal Bull Regimini Militantis Ecclesiae by Pope Paul III puts the Society of Jesus and its men under the authority of the Roman Catholic Church.

And for this and for record purposes, yes, the Jesuits are Catholic!


Blogger wyostblog said...

Yes, Jesuits are Roman Catholics. They are highly educated and value the arts. They do not seem to feel like they have to follow all the rules from the pope. They are rather liberal and their organization has been around for a long, long time. Very independent, but definitely Roman Catholic.

7:05 PM  
Blogger wyostblog said...

Yes, Jesuits are Roman Catholic. Their organization, the Society of Jesus, has been around for a very long time. They are highly educated and value the arts. They are educators, teaching at Fordham, Georgetown, Boston College,St. Joseph's College, St Josephs's Prep to name a few. They may seem very independent and liberal in their views. It seems they do not feel they have to follow every meaningless
rule.Perhaps Catholics in general should take a page out of their book.

7:11 PM  
Anonymous Yara Greyjoy said...

I was born a Catholic & was extremely fortunate to know & be influenced by Jesuit priests at my church as I was growing up, attending weekly Mass.

Even outside Catholicism they command well-deserved respect. Those that are determined to view them as heretical (they certainly wouldn't be the first!) or worse are bound & determined to see them negatively, why I do not know but in my experience there's usually a high degree of investment in seeing Jesuits (and either all Catholics or progressive Catholics) in varying degrees of negativity.

I was born Catholic, but was only able in my adulthood to realize I truly am a Catholic in my heart because of my time with the loving, fierce Jesuits of my youth who somehow without "teaching" showed me the way to know hear my heart/soul, affirmed my even then fierce & fiery, strong moral compass & later gave me the ability to discern within myself that I do in fact have belief in - it's a feeling so basic, so constant deep within me yet so hard to put into words. That belief includes one in an order greater than myself, in sanctity. A deep knowing or feeling that some things are sacrosanct just because they are inherently so.

It's more than just my intellectual agreement with the rightness of their actions but belief in the universal moral underpinnings of they why of it all which upon examination, is irrational in the sense I have no argument for the "why" only a rock solid strength of feeling that it is so. Forgive my clumsy language, the faith part was always the most foreign to me & is new to me now.

What might surprise people is I was never lectured, indoctrinated, force fed or even taught in conventional means Catholic morality (certainly not conservative Catholicism which I do not subscribe to & nor did they) by my special priests.

When I remember my time with the Jesuits I recall they were more than anything else interested in listening to me & when they spoke it was always thoughtful, taking great care not to push or influence me on my path too much - I think they trusted in an innocent heart to reason out the right & wrong for itself better than they could guide it. Soon I would find out that these brilliant, kind & humble men were not only highly accomplished scholars, academics & authors but had put their lives on the line many times & seen unspeakably awful things in central & south america courtesy of the fascist right-wing death squads (trained & funded by the USA, sometimes in the USA - they were not afraid to speak this truth either, another powerful moral lesson from them by merely peaking truth) Yet, remarkably, they were unbroken by these experiences & somehow able to treat us comparatively cosy, safe American parishioners' tribulations with genuine concern. That still astonishes me.

And yes, they are the avant-garde of the church intellectually/doctrinally speaking, definitely.

Society of Jesus, many call them the heirs to the Knights Templar for a new age - were I born a man I very well may have become one of them.

11:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They are rather liberal and their organization has been around for a long, long time. Very independent, but definitely Roman Catholic.

3:45 PM  

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