I was going to add my personal testimony on behalf of the Jesuits for the Feast of St. Ignatius, but as it also happens to be my daughter’s birthday (there are no coincidences!), her second, things got a bit busy. Then, late last night I was directed to this “clarification,” as it is oddly labeled, from the Jesuit theologian Edward Vacek, who is at Weston, in the letters section (also odd) of the July 30 edition of America. It is startling, and for me, chilling, in its rote profession, reminiscent of another era altogether. Or perhaps not. In its entirety Father Vacek’s letter reads:
I personally give religious assent to the church’s teaching regarding the intrinsically evil acts as proposed in Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Veritatis Splendor. I personally give religious assent to the church’s teaching regarding homosexuality contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I personally give religious assent to the position of the magisterium concerning the legal recognition of unions between homosexual persons as expressed in the Considerations published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. I personally give religious acceptance to the discipline proposed by the Congregation for Catholic Education in its Instruction Concerning the Admission to Seminaries and Holy Orders of Candidates With Homosexual Tendencies.
Edward Vacek, S.J.
I do not know the full back story. But in light of Vacek’s writings in America and elsewhere on homosexuality and gay marriage, the likely arc of this drama is not hard to surmise.