28 October 2007

Those Jesuits ...

Courtesy of La cigüeña de la torre, I find a picture of a crucifix in a Jesuit Church in Cochabamba, Bolivia. How low can these people sink?

I bet that Catholics from Eastern Europe are really, really, impressed by this.

A hammer and a sickle.

You can just hear the "artists" congratulating one another.

The first time the Jesuits were supressed, those responsible were scheming freemasons and freethinkers. Perhaps the next time, those responsible will be Catholics.

Am I alone in finding this unutterably sick?


Mulier Fortis said...

No, Ttony, you're not alone... the Jesuits have sold out!

Paulinus said...

SJ - Socialist Jesters? Satan's Jurists? Sellout Jokers? Stalinist Jackanapes?

JARay said...

I am quite sure that you know that it was the Marquis of Pombal who was the main instigator in the original suppression of the Jesuits.
Today, those calling for the suppression of this Order are much more concerned for the good of Holy Mother Church. The number of times that I have seen this sentiment expressed is beyond the numbers of my fingers and my toes combined.


fr paul harrison said...

No need to worry about the Jesuits in the UK, they will extinct with a generation - they have old priests and no vocations

fr paul harrison

Bro. Jim Hayes said...

If you look at the original Spanish language article, the writer accepts that the vast majority of the 19,000 Jesuits surely had no idea that this travesty had occurred (nor would have wanted it to), nor perhaps the Provincial responsible for the Jesuit(s) concerned.

So please moderate your language. I find the tone of the smugly self-righteous comments in response to the original post as disturbing, if not more so, than the insensitive, grossly misguided crucifix itself.

So you are prepared to tar all Jesuits with the same brush, hey? I am a De La Mennais Brother, but I teach at a Liverpool secondary school founded by the Jesuits in 1842 and run by them until 1974 when we took over (St. Francis Xavier's College - named, by the way, after one of the greatest missionaries in the Catholic church, and there were many more like him). My uncle Pat was educated by them in a junior seminary in Ireland and had the greatest of admiration for those he knew. My sister studied at Heythrop College (which I suppose you believe is a den of heretical iniquity by your own saintly, "orthodox" standards). I myself studied for 4 years at the Jesuit faculty in Paris: Centre Sèvres, after the recommendation of my order's Assistant General in Rome. I had the privilege to get to know and work with some of the greatest minds in the French church of the last 60 years... oh, and yes, many of them very holy and humble too.

Maybe you thought that you were being funny and that I must have had a humour bypass. If that is the case, well in school we have a word for what you are doing here: it's called bullying.

I don't notice much of a debate here in these comments. Maybe some people have read the comments and been afraid to put an alternative point of view for fear of being also called a "satanic jester". Is my uncle one? Actually, I am convinced he is in heaven now, not hell, thank you very much. My sister, my Assistant General, me???

Oh, and one last thing. There are over 200 Jesuits in this country and plenty who are under 45, so I'm afraid they'll be around to ruffle your perfect little feathers for a bit longer yet, and good luck to them!

It's a long while since anything has made me this angry, so I apologise if the tone of my post has been a little aggressive, but this has been boiling inside me since I first read the message + comments yesterday.

Ttony said...

Dear Brother James

come off it! You're surely not going to try to pretend that this is a singular instance of a Jesuit who has made a choice of seeing Jesus through a prism of Marxism.

And why shouldn't I get angry at finding such a sacriligious image in a Jesuit church? Precisely because I too had part of my education from Jesuits, I get more angry than if it had been placed in a chapel of some obscure congregation of which I knew nothing.

Have the Jesuits forgotten what they are? What they are for? They are not some like other Orders: they are, or always were, the Church's "Shock Troops". If they continue to be so, then they have to be the most orthodox of the orthodox; if not, what is their point? And if, as shock troops, they are allowed to try new and daring tactics, they also have to be the first to give them up when they are found to be worthless and base.

I was not trying to be funny: this post was written in a cold fury, an anger that so many years after John Paul II had settled the question of "Liberation Theology", a Jesuit could be so clever-clever to exhibit such a worthless piece of heretical tat in a Church.

Please don't apologise for writing what you think; but don't imagine that anybody who comments is frightened of saying that anything I post is rubbish. It migh just be possible that what I struck was a chord. There are lots of us who rather liked the Jesuits the way they were, and will be happy to live without the Jesuits the way they are. But it is they who have let us down, not the other way round.

And, by the way, you will see that I link to la cigüeña de la torre in my blogroll: I read it most days. I know exactly what he wrote.

Bro. Jim Hayes said...

Point taken, Ttony. I have to say my remarks were as much aimed at the commentators as yourself. As regards your comments about the crucifix itself, I did call it "insensitive and misguided" in my original post, so we do agree at least on it's general worth (or lack of it), though you express yourself in stronger terms on the matter.

My main gripe was with the generalisations about the Jesuits as a Society and the tone of the language used (in my own fury I also misquoted for which I apologise - "satan's jurists" and not "satanic jesters" :-).

There are, I think, well over 20,000 Jesuits in the world... "shock troops", yes, and as such, risk takers, as you suggest. It's unfortunate and sad that yourself and your commentators have seen recent examples of Jesuit activities/initiatives that disappoint you. How about examples of positive practice? Are you all going to advocate disbanding this Society or the basis of the activities of what (call me naïve) I still believe to be a minority of misguided members who in modern, multimedia society are going to inevitably get their faux-pas picked up and shown for all to see around the world by this new brand of self-appointed church inquisitors?

I could quote to you the Jesuit initiatives that I participated in, witnessed, or heard about in Paris (and elsewhere)... publications, participants in tv/radio debates, social work, missionary work, retreats, spiritual direction, not to mention the overall standard of their teaching at Centre Sèvres. Yes, of course, I also new of 2 of my lecturers get their wrists badly slapped by Rome. Does that mean the faculty should have been closed down? I received immense graces during my time in Paris.

One that may seem minor has actually had a direct impact on the lives of pupils here in Liverpool. The faculty offers courses in film appreciation given by a lay Sorbonne Philosophy lecturer, former journalist with the Cahiers du Cinema and former friend of François Truffaut. Through him I was able to see films in a new light through the very well-chosen examples we studied with him: themes such as morality, violence in all its forms, humanity's relationship with God, love, science/faith...

I came back to Liverpool in 1999 and began teaching Film Studies A-Level with a lay colleague. We have since had at least 10 students go on to H. Ed. courses related to film. Two have just won a national student film prize for a short film, "Sacrifice" (http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=vbX6PQGsXwo - nothing to do with religious themes, but a wonderfully skillful piece of film-making - we didn't teach them the martial arts!!).

I would never have dreamed of ever teaching Film without my experience in Paris and without the Jesuit directors of the faculty realising the power of film as a communicative medium and deciding to propose such courses.

Just one example.

Ttony said...

Dear Brother James

let's agree that the Society still has plenty of holy priests who teach, preach and live an orthodox Catholic life, and, in some cases (I think of the astrophysicists as well as those whom you cite) are as good as anyone in the world.

The problem is that the Jesuits as a body are no longer the model of orthodoxy to Rome, the Pope and the Faith.

Let's hope that in January they can elect a Superior General who will turn them round.

No vocations in England and Wales for how many years? This tells us something.

Thanks for the link to the film: but you didn't read my profile. "It's as good as any film I've recently seen" would sound good, but I've only been to the cinema five times in the last 24 years! (To be fair, it looked as good as Spooks, which my children insist on us watching.)

Paulinus said...

Maybe some people have read the comments and been afraid to put an alternative point of view for fear of being also called a "satanic jester".

I'm sorry, brother, but if you go about putting a figure of Our Blessed Lord on a symbol of an ideology responsible for the largest cull of human beings in history, then yes, that is satanic. It's not smug and self-righteous to point that out. It IS smug to host an exhibition where this is on show.

There are some good Jesuits (there must be!). It's just I haven't met any for about 10 years, so I'm beginning to think they must e extinct.

Paulinus said...

Oh and while I'm at it faux pas? A little understated, I think. Would it have been a faux pas to put Our Lord on a swastika?