Saturday, May 11, 2002

Jesuits be damned! (Part Deux)

Ok, earlier on (matter of fact, the blog entry right beneath this one), I mentioned that once I got correspondence back from Mark and Emily that I would post it here. I've had second thoughts about that since we were speaking in a private setting. Therefore, I will simply post my thoughts about the entire situation here and let everyone decide for themselves about the situation. Mark and Emily can defend their positions on their own blogs if they so wish.

For the record, I grew up within a few hours driving distance from Auriesville Shrine (which can be seen in part at MartyrShrine.Org). The place where the first Catholics were martyred for the faith in the New World. I'm sure most people who read this blog have heard of St. Isaac Jouges, St. Rene Goupil, and St. John Lalande (all associated with the Order of the Society of Jesus). These men, and Blessed Kateria Tekakwitha (whose mother was converted to Christianity by St. Isaac Jouges), were an integral part of my life growing up. It therefore stands to reason that I hold the Jesuits in an extremely high regard. Therefore, I refuse, REFUSE, to let a few bad apples (in today's modernistic world) taint the holy fruits of the Society of Jesus.

Now, in regards to the memo. Do I need to point out that it was a draft? Do we know for certain that the letter was not revised at a later date to contain more than just the concerns that Jesuits don't go "cruising bars to look for sexual partners"? At any rate, I did not see this letter as a means to act pastorally as it pertains to the possible sexual promiscuity of some of the Jesuit Order. I simply saw this letter as a "Hey, Bad Things (tm) are going on nowadays. The slightest thing you could do can cause scandal... so watch it!" Seems pretty straightforward and direct to me. There is a concern (a very good one) and the Order wants to make it clear that the Jesuits should avoid adding to the scandal. What more do people want from a one page memo?

It seems that at least reading Mark's reply and Emily's comments about the Jesuits being "bad" that they think the Jesuit Order is falling down on the job. That this memo is to tell the "large number of sexually active Jesuit priests" (something I have never ever seen proof of by the way) to avoid cruising at bars and to "find their kicks some other way". I disagree completely with this. I see this memo as simply a warning that given the current media frenzy, that priests take extra care in what they do. This is completely understandable. Now, people might think this is a stretch, but can priests minister to people at bars? Didn't Jesus go to society, rather than have society come to Him? Perhaps some Jesuit priests were doing this very thing. Perhaps the Jesuit Order is saying "Guys, it's just not worth it right now." I know, it's a stretch, but it is a possibility, is it not?

I have too much respect for priests in general to think the Jesuit Order has some secret modernist agenda, whereby they consciously condone their priests being sexually active, against the position of the Church! It may be true that there are sexually active priests amongst the Jesuits, but I am sure other Orders may have similar men within their ranks as well. You'll find cretins wherever you go. Doesn't mean the Jesuits as a whole are bad fruit. They do too much good in my not so humble opinion to be labeled as "bad". As a matter of fact, I would be extremely wary to say anything negative whatsoever about any priest or order. Not just because I'm a Knight of Columbus and I promised to defend the priesthood at all cost, but because without solid evidence (of which I do not see any) it's just plain wrong.

And last but not least... perhaps Mark (sorry Mark, I am a Shea-ite but I can't agree with you on this topic) can explain to us exactly why he feels the letter tells the Jesuits that it's "better to look good than be good". From reading the memo and looking at the questions of introspection, it seems to me that the Rector was asking the priests to do an examination of conscience.

Personally, I think the criticism this memo generated is just generating heat and no light. That's my opinion, I'm sticking to it.

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