One Jesuit, then many Jesuits

Par Don Pio Pace

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In the preceding article, Father Claude Barthe speaks of the importance of Fr. Spadaro, a Jesuit, in the aisles of pontifical government. But there are other Jesuits close to the one who became pope, among which two cardinals.

Cardinal Gianfranco Ghirlanda, a canonist, Rector of the Gregorian University from 2004 to 2010. He is the man who translates into judicial form all the desires of the pope who appointed him Patron of the Order of Malta instead of Cardinal Burke. As such, he was involved in the procedure to judge (to condemn) Cardinal Becciu, also involved in the writing of the constitution Prædicate Evangelium, for the reform of the Curia, which he is glad to mention it allows simple priests or lay men and women to lead the dicasteries. All the rumors that have been heard regarding the modifications of the election of the pope reveal Gianfranco Ghirlanda as the mind behind this legal little push supposed to allow a Bergoglian to succeed Pope Bergoglio.

The other Jesuit cardinal, very close to the reigning pontiff, “left arm of his armchair”, is Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, 65 years old, Archbishop of Luxembourg, General Rapporteur of the Assemblies of the Synod on synodality who thinks the position of the Church on the protection of Life is not audible, who would like to see married men be ordained, women be allowed on a regular basis important functions in liturgy and in Church government. He also advocates “changing our vision on sexuality”, notably on the sinful character of homosexual relations. He sees not issues for a Protestant to receive communion if one has a sufficient faith in the Eucharist, etc.

Much less known, but very appreciated by the pope, is Fr. Christoph Theobald, a Franco-German Jesuit, beacon of contemporary theology, who teaches at the Centre Sèvres, Paris. He has directed the review Recherches de Science religieuse, and has put a lot of effort in thinking the pastoral essence of the Vatican II Council. As an expert for the assemblies of the Synod on synodality, the title of his last book, Un nouveau concile qui ne dit pas son nom? (Salvator, 2023) and its content indicate clearly the way in which these advisers advocate to the pope: the reform of the Church must, from now on, become metanoïa, a conversion opening a process that is unique, in the sense that it is to always remain incomplete. A permanent synodality which, in political terms, would translate into a permanent state of revolution.

Don Pio Pace