- Sep 19, 2020
The number of religious-order priests in the world has been constantly declining but cultural issues are not the only factor and religious orders need to change in order to foster vocations. “Alongside much holiness, there also are situations of counter-witness that make fidelity difficult,” Pope Francis said.
In a wide-ranging off-the-cuff question-and-answer session with Jesuit delegates in Rome, Pope Francis had two big topics on his mind: the decline of politics, and the rise of rigidity in seminaries.
The Jesuits aim to “move forward, overcoming the impediments which the enemy of human nature puts in our way when, in serving God, we are seeking the greater good,” Pope Francis told more than 200 Jesuits chosen to represent the more than 16,000 Jesuits at the order’s general congregation.
After two contentious Synods of Bishops on the family in 2014 and 2015, the next summit of prelates convened by Pope Francis, scheduled to meet in October 2018, will consider the theme of “Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment.”
The Jesuit ‘General Congregation’ — the governing body of the Society of Jesus worldwide — began yesterday in Rome, the 36th since the order was founded in the sixteenth century. What difference does it make to have a pope steeped in the Jesuit DNA? Crux asked one of the Jesuits closest to Francis.
In a meeting with roughly 30 members of his own Jesuit religious order in Poland in late July, Pope Francis said that young priests must be taught the fine art of discernment, because “not everything is black over white, or white over black. No! The shades of gray prevail in life.”