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  #31  
Old Jun 8, '11, 9:00 am
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JReducation JReducation is offline
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Default Re: Are The Jesuits a Viable Option for a Faithful Catholic???

Sister, if by rose colored glasses you’re 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 bishop’s orders, whether we agree with the conference or not or with the Jesuit involved, the bishop’s statement does not apply to exempt religious orders of men. Bishops know this when they make these statements. They don’t 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 can’t 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 can’t 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.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF
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  #32  
Old Jun 8, '11, 3:01 pm
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SisterSnowflake SisterSnowflake is offline
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Default Re: Are The Jesuits a Viable Option for a Faithful Catholic???

Dear Brother,

I am not specifically referring to your posts; I am concerned about the posts which seem to encourage the original poster to "leap" before he "looks"!

There are some folks who seem to be saying "The Jesuits are SUPER! GO FOR IT!" Working with young people, I know the need for balance...you cannot just say "this is excellent, run to it"...those who don't know what they are leaping into may easily become disillusioned & give up on religious life (or even the Church!) all together. Trust me, coming from a smaller congregation and being a young and full of naiveté/innocence & "thrown to the wolves" in a common novitiate made up of "cousins" from all over the U.S. and the world was an eye opener...luckily, I knew my community very well and had been with them for many years, otherwise, I may have been totally scandalized by the novitiate goings-on, teachings, lack of teachings, inappropriate practices, etc. and may have thought that ALL "Sisters of ___" were like this; many women left...this was not what everyone had told them the good Sisters were like (and they were not rooted long enough with their own congregations to know the difference).

Some people might see this post and say, "How dare you! You've said inappropriate things happened in novitiate and are speaking poorly of a group of religious", to which I'll reply in advance - "No, not degrading any community, simply stating the facts." You must know before leaping that religious are human, not ready made Saints; we draw our members from the same families and societies from which everyone comes...we have mentally ill folks, angry folks, mean and grumpy folks, AND beautiful, wonderful, holy, remarkable, indeed-SAINTLY women among us. One who does not know the reality and instead has some fantasy image may be sorely disappointed.

As I had mentioned earlier, check out the other thread; I'll try to offer a brief summary here: "you should indeed be concerned about Religious who hold opinions contrary to Church teaching. However, don't let one "loose canon" color your view of all of her Sisters in that particular community. If all in my community were judged on the words/deeds of a few, our collective name would be mud...that saddens me that all "Sisters of St. Polycarp" (or whatever community) are often seen as "bad" due to one or a few "bad apples" (the angry, mean, bitter, anti-Church type). On the other hand, it ANGERS me greatly that those "bad apples" don't take the route of integrity and go some place in line with their radical views...it angers me that they degrade all of us by association.

EVEN IN communities that seem to be completely composed of radical feminists, earth worship, and anti-male-anti-Catholic types...I assure you that NOT all of the Sisters are on board with that agenda...they suffer daily, love & serve the Lord, and are the best Sisters that they can possibly be.

Even when you find that many "mainstream" communities may seem to have been ruined by worldly opinions and agendas, many, if not most, Sisters in that community are going about the business of doing the Lord's work & remaining faithful to Him and to His Church.

SO, it seems to me that young people (or even older people!) considering religious vocations have two possible options: 1. Run as quickly as possible from the less-than-orthodox communities and pray, pray, & pray some more for all members...OR...2. Join them and work from within to restore sanity along with those who suffer on the inside...this may even be a quicker path to sanctity than option one (though very frustrating at times!).

God bless you! "
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SO, anyway, I don't know if a single thing I've said makes any sense or if seems to be just rambling, but, for what it is worth, I hope this clarifies my perspective.

God bless!
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  #33  
Old Jun 8, '11, 4:01 pm
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JReducation JReducation is offline
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Default Re: Are The Jesuits a Viable Option for a Faithful Catholic???

Sister has made many valuable points. I’m not going to address all of them, because they can stand on their own merit without my help. There are some thoughts that jump out at me and I’d like to piggy-back on them. The first thought is the fact that those who are discerning a vocation, either to the priesthood, religious life or both, should be very careful about the encouragement that is given on these fora, not just Catholic Answers, any of them. Our lay people are wonderful people and they want to encourage vocations. However, something that Sister says is also very true. Sometimes, we are too eager to encourage. I believe this comes from the desperation that lay people have for priests and sisters, especially. I don’t see that encouragement as much when a man is thinking about becoming a brother, a friar, a monk or when a woman is thinking about becoming a nun. My guess is that it’s because these religious have very little to do with parish life. They are either enclosed or they work among people who do not have access to internet and if they do, they wouldn’t be on CAF. Those are the people who would have a vested interest in promoting vocations to the mendicants, brotherhood, and itinerant sisterhoods such as the Missionaries of Charity.

The seeker must understand that the reader has a need and is hoping to help him or her move in the direction of the seminary or convent. Do not misunderstand, having a need is not a bad thing. Certainly, promoting vocations to fill that need is good. But as Sister says, one must be careful to encourage people to discern. If I’m understanding Sister correctly, that’s what she’s saying.

It’s not that the Jesuits are bad people and the Franciscans are saints, though we are , LOL. No . . . in all honesty, it’s not that way at all. It is a fact of life that religious communities, male and female, are made up of saints in the making. Most of us are very rough around the edge. If someone comes thinking that they’re going to find heaven on earth, they are going to be disappointed. On the other hand, negative reports is not a reason for not entering a community. One joins a community to follow a charism and live according to that charism. If Christ calls a person to follow the Ignatian charism, however that is defined today, that person has an obligation to respond with great charity. Part of that charity is accepting his brothers as they are, not as one wishes them to be.

The Franciscan family does not have superiors in the traditional sense, nor in the liberal sense either. Ours is a very strange arrangement. Francis defines the role of a superior as that of a mother, not a father. To be a superior in a house of Franciscan men is actually a very feminine role. The Guardian, as he is called at the local level and the Minister, which is the major superior, is to be the caregiver. It is his moral duty to make sure that his brothers have whatever they need to grow in holiness, to be physically well and to be well prepared for service, in that order of priority. He is to be a nurturer, not a leader. When he commands or corrects, it must always be for the well-being of the individual or the fraternity. With this concept in mind, Francis wrote a letter to one of the Ministers in which he gives the Minister a beautiful command that applies in any situation.

He tells him that when a brother sins, he (the Minister) must draw the brother close to him and love him more than he does any other brother and protect him from the world so that the brother can feal secure in confiding in the Minister his struggles and his pain. Francis reminds the Minister that everyone sins for a reason. He uses a very Augustinian concept. Augustine said that even sinners fall for the sake of the good. Unfortunately, that which the sinner perceives as the good for him, may not be beneficial at all, but the sinner does not know this. He believes that it is good for him. Francis encourages the Minister to comprehend this and to allow the brother to share with him what it is that he’s looking to achieve or to get away from. Then he says, that there will be times when even this gesture of kindness will not be sufficient. The brother will not open himself to the Minister and will persevere in his sin. In that case, the Minister is to ask the brother if he wants his compassion, assistance and forgiveness. If the brother rejects it, the Minister has a moral duty, under pain of grave sin, to grant it anyway, for he (the Minister) must recognize sin for what it is, but must also recognize the other person for what he is, objectively superior to yourself.

I remember being in novitiate when we were taught this concept that everyone is objectively superior to us and that if we are ever before someone who does something wrong, we must recognize the wrong, but also recognize that we have no right to point the finger, because we are capable of much worse. Just because we have not done so, does not mean that we will never do so. In modern English, “never say never” or “never say, that only happens to other people.” It’s very easy to fall into that trap.
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  #34  
Old Jun 8, '11, 4:01 pm
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Default Re: Are The Jesuits a Viable Option for a Faithful Catholic???

We must help to promote vocations to whatever state in life God calls a person, but always remembering that the people with whom you’re going to live are very human. As I like to say, they are saints in the making and we’re all at different stages of development. Part of one’s discernment must be to ascertain whether one can live with imperfect human beings, not as one who is above, but as one who is below those who are imperfect. In other words, part of the discernment must be to ask a very important question. “Am I willing to try to see these men or women for their gifts, not their weaknesses and learn from them rather than judge them?” If that is something that one cannot do, then one is not called to religious life. You may make a good diocesan priest, because they don’t have to live in community. However, even they have to live and work in close proximity to each other. Granted, they can live in the same house and never speak to each other for 20 years. One must consider whether one is willing to live with human limitations, beginning with one’s own.

I know that I’m still struggling to live with myself, never mind my brothers. They all have one foot in heaven compared to me. I’m like the Communist movement. I take two steps forward and one step backward. I sometimes sit there and wonder if there will ever be a resting place where the rule comes easily, obedience comes without questioning, charity is spontaneous, detachment comes without ever looking back, and chastity is just a simple joy of being with one’s brothers. Then I way up and tell myself, “Welcome to reality. Keep struggling.”

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF
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  #35  
Old Jun 8, '11, 4:23 pm
beeliner beeliner is offline
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Default Re: Are The Jesuits a Viable Option for a Faithful Catholic???

Quote:
Originally Posted by SisterSnowflake View Post
...Religious who hold opinions contrary to Church teaching....don't let one "loose canon" color your view...
Can't decide whether this is clever wordplay or just bad spelling.
  #36  
Old Jun 8, '11, 8:04 pm
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Default Re: Are The Jesuits a Viable Option for a Faithful Catholic???

I apologize if some of our posts seemed to say "go leap (without thinking)". I'm sure that kind of action won't work when joining the Society. For one, a person must go to a pre-novitiate to discern and "test the waters" so to speak before entering the novitiate. There the question of Bro JR “Am I willing to try to see these men for their gifts, not their weaknesses and learn from them rather than judge them?” is asked.

I cannot help seeing the Jesuits with rose-tinted glasses because of what I experienced with them. They taught me to be thinker. They taught me to have faith and reason. They taught me how to pray. They showed me the beauty of the Eucharist. They gave me the opportunity to go to the slums (or ghettos if you will) and be with my less fortunate younger brothers and sisters, eat and play with them, and teach them about our faith (Yes. I went to these areas to be a [street] catechist). Their apostolate enabled me to go to our country's primary correctional facility and interact with inmates, and share with hopes and pains. They taught me to discern and see how grave a sin is abortion. I won't list everything here. They took off my sun glasses and rose-tinted spectacles to see the reality around me.

While I know that there are problematic members of the Society, and I have no qualms with that. All families have that. The Catholic family has that. The Society knows this. One of their mottos, "Sinners yet called" actually led me to see them through rose-tinted glasses.
  #37  
Old Jun 8, '11, 8:46 pm
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Default Re: Are The Jesuits a Viable Option for a Faithful Catholic???

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Originally Posted by choliks View Post
I apologize if some of our posts seemed to say "go leap (without thinking)". I'm sure that kind of action won't work when joining the Society. For one, a person must go to a pre-novitiate to discern and "test the waters" so to speak before entering the novitiate. There the question of Bro JR “Am I willing to try to see these men for their gifts, not their weaknesses and learn from them rather than judge them?” is asked.

I cannot help seeing the Jesuits with rose-tinted glasses because of what I experienced with them. They taught me to be thinker. They taught me to have faith and reason. They taught me how to pray. They showed me the beauty of the Eucharist. They gave me the opportunity to go to the slums (or ghettos if you will) and be with my less fortunate younger brothers and sisters, eat and play with them, and teach them about our faith (Yes. I went to these areas to be a [street] catechist). Their apostolate enabled me to go to our country's primary correctional facility and interact with inmates, and share with hopes and pains. They taught me to discern and see how grave a sin is abortion. I won't list everything here. They took off my sun glasses and rose-tinted spectacles to see the reality around me.

While I know that there are problematic members of the Society, and I have no qualms with that. All families have that. The Catholic family has that. The Society knows this. One of their mottos, "Sinners yet called" actually led me to see them through rose-tinted glasses.
I have nothing but the utmost respect for the Society of Jesus. I worked with them in the missions of South America. They were courageous, generous, fraternal and welcoming. When six of us arrived at the mission in the Amazon, without a house to live and unable to speak Quichua, the Jebbies, as we call them, put us up for five months and did not ask us for a single penny. We felt so badly that we ended up doing their laundry, cooking and cleaning to pay them back. They, in turn, gave us classes in the local language and introduced us to the local culture. They were no better off than we were, at least we got $500.00 per month from home. That was for the six of us. We had to pay our way and rent a house with that. The Jebbies were great. When we finally opened up our pregnancy center, we had no priest. One of them came to the center to celebrate mass for us every other day. That was a one hour drive for them.

Do they have problem children? Yes. Given that they are over 500 years old and have 18,000 men, I would be surprised if they didn't. The difference between them and the other large religious families is that they can't absorb them as well as the rest of us can. I think that part of that is that they are not as monastic as are the friars. In a fiary or a priory the Prior or the Guardian can confine you to the house. He has that kind of authority. The Jesuits are not friars or monks. They are Clerks Regular. Clerks don't have the same conventual structure and their superiors don't have the same authority. Clerks Regular are the counterpart to congregations of sisters, where there is more self-regulation. Friars are really the active counterparts of monks. We are apostolic, but our government is monastic. Therefore, we have systems that the Clerks and the congregations do not have. Everything in life has its pros and cons.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF
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Fraternally,

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  #38  
Old Jun 10, '11, 7:56 pm
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Default Re: Are The Jesuits a Viable Option for a Faithful Catholic???

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The problem is not as black and white as the press and the forums are making it. The real problem is that the Jesuit Provincial is convinced that the organization is not culpable of what it is accused of and the bishop says they are. People are making it look as if the Jesuit Pronvincial is pro-abortion, which is not the case.

Because the bishop and the Provincial are both Ordinaries of equal rank...
Thank you Brother JR for a well thought out post, including others I haven't quoted here. I was unaware of the fact of the Society losing control of their universities to such an extent. I will certainly pray that the concerned Ordinaries come to God's solution.
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  #39  
Old Jun 10, '11, 8:07 pm
jwinch2 jwinch2 is offline
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Default Re: Are The Jesuits a Viable Option for a Faithful Catholic???

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I was unaware of the fact of the Society losing control of their universities to such an extent.
I knew some of it, but not to that level either. Really sad when you think about it...
  #40  
Old Jun 10, '11, 9:12 pm
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Default Re: Are The Jesuits a Viable Option for a Faithful Catholic???

I believe that what happened to them is the same that is happening to many other religious communities that run colleges and universities. These schools began as small colleges, most of them for immigrants. They were your garden variety Liberal Arts Colleges.

With the growth of science and technology the needs of the students changed. These kids needed to get ready to enter a world that is very technological and competative. This means that curriculums had to change. There is always going to be room in this world for the history, English, math, and philosophy majors. But they're not going to be in great demand, especially in the USA where we depend so much on a technology based economy.

To deliver these programs, schools needed money and qualified professors. Most of us, religious, were not qualified to teach these subjects. I know, because I was a college professor and dean. My background is in Theology and Psychology. I have a BS in math and can probably teach a few low level math courses. Theology, philosophy and psych I can teach with my eyes closed; but the number of kids who need those courses is insignficant. When I was teaching, my classes were required courses. They were not the courses that students elected, because they did not fit into their career plans.

Different religious communities did different things in order to meet the academic demands of the students and their parents. Then you had more lay professors coming on board. These folks demanded high salaries and benefits. Besides that, they also demanded a certain degree of academic freedom. All of this added up to turning the schools over to boards of professional educators and community leaders.

At first, these boards were in sync with the religious communities that founded these schools. After a while, there were turn overs and those new folks were not in sync with the mission of the religious communities.

I know that some religious communities have kept control over their schools. To do so they have made some sacrifices. I don't think they have been so bad either. I know that most Franciscan schools are still under the control of the friars of the different Franciscan branches. The TOR Franciscans run Franciscan University and St. Francis University. The OFM Franciscans run St. Bonaventure University. Those friars are very much in charge. However, those universities are never going to compete against Notre Dame, Duke, Yale, Pinceton, U. of VA, Penn State and others. As long as the friars are in charge, they run on limited budgets. That's the limitation. The strength is that they are very Catholic and they offer a classical education. Franciscans are not the only religious who still run their colleges. I'm just giving them as an example, because I know them better.

There are pluses and minuses to everything in life. What can we say? I have always believed that God has a plan. I try not to worry too much. Each night I go to bed and I simply repeat the prayer of the good thief, "Remember me." Then I look over at the Blessed Mother in my cell and say another simple prayer, "Haver mercy on my soul and pray for me." God will figure out the rest and has he does, he will show us what to do, if we pay attention.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF
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What's the IQ required to enter heaven?

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  #41  
Old Jul 7, '11, 9:15 am
bigquests bigquests is offline
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Default Re: Are The Jesuits a Viable Option for a Faithful Catholic???

JR's posts are always worth reading.

You, the OP, describe yourself as 'fanatically loyal'. If you are indeed 'fanatically loyal' then I don't think the Jesuits are for you. Jesuits are taught to think and to think hard and long, and not to be 'fanatically loyal' to anything, including the pope. If they are loyal to the pope, it is for a good reason.

Look elsewhere. FSSP?
  #42  
Old Jul 25, '11, 11:45 am
TrentCath TrentCath is offline
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Default Re: Are The Jesuits a Viable Option for a Faithful Catholic???

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Dear brethren,

After being led to the understanding that Diocesan priesthood is probably not my vocation, I have tentatively started looking at religious priestly orders.

One of the Orders I am looking at is the Society of Jesus. I was raised Baptist and came home to Rome as a teenager. During that time I became fascinated by Jesuit history. All my studies of their order bespoke of a group of priests dedicated to the Pope of Rome and to the advancement of Catholic Orthodoxy.

Yet, my own spiritual director (though supportive of my considerations) has remarked that if I were to become a Jesuit, then I would be an anomaly. This is because I am fanatically loyal to the Magisterium. I consider my faith to be whatever Rome says it is. I am neither a traditionalist nor a progressive (and I intend to oppose both). I consider myself simply an orthodox Catholic.

Rumor has it that the Society of Jesus has long abandoned (in practice anyway) the strict Orthodoxy and obedience of the past and have now become a voice of dissent and heterodoxy. Tragic as that is in-and-of-itself, it’s really tragic for me because much of the original charism of the Order really seems to fit me well.

Anyway, I wanted to get some opinions about the Jesuits and Jesuit vocations. The main thing I am wondering is whether it is possible to be a Jesuit in good standing while at the same time being completely faithful to Catholic Orthodoxy and the Magisterium. It’s sad that I feel I need to ask that question, but…yeah.

So, any thoughts?
There are certainly numerous examples of individual jesuits, even in an official capacity, putting forth opinions contrary to the teachings of the church. Aside from the rather infamous 'episode' of Liberation Theology there is also a rather worrying interpretation of ecumenicism amongst some. The writer of the website of the Jesuit province of Great Britain apparently no longer believes that the point of talking to other faiths is to convert them. (You can view the page on that here ) How many Jesuits believe this or how widespread this heterodoxy is I cannot say, but it is certainly troubling.

Before anyone accuses me of 'having something against them', I should point out that I was brought into the Catholic faith and catechised by Jesuits and baptised, confirmed and received first communion at a church served by the Jesuits. I have nothing but the upmost respect for their genuine traditions but I cannot help thinking that many of them, even those in authority, have strayed far from the intentions of their founder and possibly even the teaching of the church.
  #43  
Old Jul 25, '11, 3:38 pm
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Default Re: Are The Jesuits a Viable Option for a Faithful Catholic???

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LIsieux was in factions, too. Smaller ones, but there was the group supporting the prioress and the group against her, which included Therese's sisters. The prioress was very irresponsible. Therese couldn't vote because she had two older sisters already there. She managed to avoid the politics.
http://spectator.org/archives/2002/0...-implode/print
The Jesuits could use our prayers right now.
  #44  
Old Jul 25, '11, 5:44 pm
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Default Re: Are The Jesuits a Viable Option for a Faithful Catholic???

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http://spectator.org/archives/2002/0...-implode/print
The Jesuits could use our prayers right now.
You do realize that article is over 9 years old?
  #45  
Old Jul 25, '11, 5:47 pm
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Default Re: Are The Jesuits a Viable Option for a Faithful Catholic???

You can be an orthodox Jesuit. I heard that the new generation of Jesuits is becoming more orthodox than the previous one. If you want to become a Jesuit, become one. Personally, they are my favorite order.
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*I converted to Catholicism on the Easter Vigil on 3/30/13. Some posts may contain information that I believe is incorrect or was poorly understood. Usually someone else is a better source for a Catholic voice.
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