Sister, if by rose colored glasses youíre referring to my post, I believe that I said that there were three conditions that affect the Jesuits today and one of them is that they do have some problem children, as does any large family.
As to the bishopís orders, whether we agree with the conference or not or with the Jesuit involved, the bishopís statement does not apply to exempt religious orders of men. Bishops know this when they make these statements. They donít demand obedience from exempt male religious. The authority is not in the hands of the bishop, but in the hands of the Ordinary. In the case of exempt orders, the Ordinary is always the Major Superior, not the bishop. The Council of Trent established this. Religious who belong to congregations and women religious have a different relationship with bishops, especially those of Diocesan Right. Exempt religious men lose the exemption or parts of it, if they are assigned to a diocesan ministry or if their founder or superior demand that they comply with the local bishop.
Someone asked Fr. Mitch Pacwa about the problems at many of the Jesuit run colleges and universities. He gave a very good explanation. It seems that the Jesuits no longer have the controlling voice over many of the universities and colleges that they founded. Because of funding issues and other financial constraints, they could no longer afford to run these schools independently. They retain ownership of the property, but the institution is governed by a Board of Trustees and incorporated as a secular 501(c)3 corporation with its own CEO. The Jesuits are a vote among many. They canít even hire their own men to teach at their universities. The Boards do the hiring and firing. The Jesuits have to apply for employment as does any other secular professor. This is just one example of how little control the Major Superior has over these schools that they canít even assign men to teach there. There are very few religious communities and diocese that still have full control over their colleges and universities.
Finally, we do not have a mutual admiration society. However, we do have boundaries. One has to understand the conciliar and historical difference between an order and a congregation. In an order of men, we do not have the freedom to opine on everything that happens in the world. We are governed by a local superior who is the canonical successor of the founder. We are also bound to a rule of non interference in the affairs of other orders. Therefore, issues such as what people say Fr. Hardon suffered at the hands of his superiors are an internal affair of an exempt religious order. The only person who has the authority to opine and intervene, if there is an injustice, is the Superior General of the Jesuits and the Holy Father. If those of us who belong to orders begin to publicly opine about this or that in another religious institute, especially an exempt one, we can get into serious trouble for interference.
We would be in serious violation of obedience and charity to step beyond the boundaries allowed by our superiors. The rules are very clear. If there is a crime or scandal, we report it to the proper authority. From that point forward, we treat the other person with great love, kindness and courtesy. The solution to the problem lies in the hands of those in authority, not our own. For this same reason, you will not see a Jesuit concerned about the Dominicans, Franciscans or Carmelites. These are exempt religious orders. Only their major superiors and the Holy See have a voice over them.
In my own tradition, St. Francis wrote into our rule that we must always look for the good in the other and at the sin us, because we are the lowest of sinners. Only when we acknowledge this about ourselves can we deal with others with great humility and as true minors.
I hope this helps clarify any misunderstanding.
Br. JR, OSF