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Francis, the Ignatian (Update)

Just a month ago, I entered a post on whether the new Pope should retain "S.J." after his name. It gave rise to a spirited exchange. While arguing that I did not think the Pope (or any bishop) should retain the identifying designation of his religious community, I certainly did not call into question the profound formation the individual had received in his religious community's tradition. Indeed, I think it constitutes a continuing blessing.In his homily for today, on his patronal feast of Saint George, Pope Francis shows the influence of Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises on his theological-pastoral vision:

Jesus Himself says in the Gospel:" But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep." If we are not "sheep of Jesus," faith does not come to us. It is a rosewater faith, a faith without substance. And let us think of the consolation that Barnabas felt, which is "the sweet and comforting joy of evangelizing." And let us ask the Lord for this "parresia", this apostolic fervor that impels us to move forward, as brothers, all of us forward! Forward, bringing the name of Jesus in the bosom of Holy Mother Church, and, as St. Ignatius said, "hierarchical and Catholic." So be it."

The rest is here.Rocco Palmo has posted Francis' actual delivery of the homily this morning. It's fun to watch his expressivity.Update:Cardinal Pell has given an interview in which he says:

What I think we have got in the Pope is the very best of the traditional Jesuit: faithful to Christ, faithful to the Church, going out to people and not just to the powerful ones but to those on the margins, as Francis is urging us to do now. At its best, I dont think there is any tradition in the Church to equal that of the Jesuits.

About the Author

Rev. Robert P. Imbelli, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, is Associate Professor of Theology Emeritus at Boston College.



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Hmm. Hate to say this, but the Pope looks like he has a bit of difficulty breathing. Heart? Oh, dear.

Ann Olivier:I noticed with concern the same labored breathing. It got a bit better as he went on, but remained troubling. He is the oldest of five; only the youngest survives at sixty-three. Yes, he had lung surgery over fifty years ago, but these long ago interventions naturally cause more problems in advanced age. Despite all our death-denying euphemisms, seventy-six and four months is old age. May the Lord give him strength. It's an inhuman task.

only the youngest ALSO survives

John Page = =I've read that because of his earlier lung problem sometimes he doesn't sing during the Mass when he might be expected to. So his lung operation seems to have had a long-term effect. But he otherwise looks healthy. Let us pray.God bless Pope Benedict for admitting that he needed to resign. Maybe now the the cardinals will realize that popes need to be younger than very old. It's fine to have very old people in advisory positions. It's quite another to have them (us) making decisions. Yes, there are exceptions, but the needed energy is rarely there.

Here's the lede of an article at La Stampa today:"The crowds flocked as always to hear St. Francis speak during todays General Audience, which focused on the divine nature of the Institution in service to humanity" Wonder how long the honey-moon will last.

"to hear St. Francis speak"?I've heard of "santo subito," but this breaks all records even for the Italian press!

Last Sunday in the EP our presider prayed for "our good pope Francis".That's a start!

Claire,I don't think it's a promising start. It sounds to me like clerical editorializing. Some priest might have said "wise Pope Benedict" or someone else who did not approve of either Pope's approach might decide to omit reference to the Pope at all.I recall someone once saying, "why do you call me good ...?"

I see what you mean.But that particular priest is 82 years old and he says what he wants. If he wasn't there we wouldn't have Mass every week, so, we can count our blessings and be thankful that he's willing and able to do it sometimes. At the current level of scarcity of clergy, we take what we're given and we don't criticize. The previous Sunday in the EP the presider prayed "for Bened um, Francis our pope"!

I confess that when I preached earlier this month, it consisted mostly of an effusion of praise and admiration for good Pope Francis.

Jim,I have no problem with the preacher praising the Pope, and giving reasons for it.My concern is not to turn the eucharistic prayer into an editorial. I have suffered the clericalism of both the right and the left in that regard.

You're right. Why is it that when I hear the new missal, it makes me wince over and over again, but when I hear this or that guy embarking on their own versions of the EP, I sigh and resign myself to his wanderings, often good-humoredly? Well, there are other problems with the new missal maybe if the priest prone to doing improv's on the theme of the EP was a bully, I would also find his variations unbearable!In this case it just made me happy to hear how happy he was with pope Francis. The popularity of the new pope is a promising start, isn't it?

Claire,As you know from my posts, I too am happy with Papa Bergoglio. Bringing some measure of joy into people's lives is a definite good. Buon giorno e buon pranzo!

"At the current level of scarcity of clergy, we take what were given and we dont criticize."Lordy, lordy!

Jim, you're quoting me out of context.

Interesting report out of Scotland today. The Pope has halted the process of naming new bishops in Scotland because of the Cardinal O'Brien scandal. Might it be that the Pope is wondering whether there might be something to the accusations that gay bishops recommend gay bishops, leading to an outsized proportion of gay bishops in the Church? Not to mention that some bishops are said to be being practicing gays. Is the honeymoon ending?

Claire: my point is that anytime a Catholic has to make such a statement it is a sad, sad situation that is being commented on.When the maintenance of mandatory celibacy trumps the reasonable availability of the Eucharist in locations which are not mission territories, then "Lordy, lordy" is an appropriate comment in my eyes.Are Catholics so prepared to live with "a warm breathing body" for their priests?

Ah. I misunderstood. Yes, I agree with your "Lordy". this doesn't fit well under any of the current topics on the site,perhaps this obituary from the current issue of THE ECONOMIST will be of interest to some dotC readers.

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