Jesuits make the best popes

Jesuits make the best popes.

Trust me on this: Jesuits make the best popes. 
Most folks do not know that Jesuits who profess final vows make a special vow of obedience to the pope. After years of prayer, study, commitment to finding God in all things and to thinking with the Church, Jesuits are poised to be popes. 
Jesuits tend to be most loyal to the Pope, especially those who become bishops/cardinals. Aside from the courageous Italian Jesuit Cardinal Carlo Martini, known for being vocal about the role of women and modernization, that is.
 
On the other hand, it is also true that there are many Jesuits who express their love and loyalty by being critical of the Church; but these are few because the Pope can have the Superior or the Superior General silence such Jesuit. It is a little more difficult to silence a cardinal though, I think. 
Jesuits who take their final vows are considered the pillars of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and one can only become the “Black Pope” (The Jesuit Superior General lives in Rome and wears a black cassock) if one has professed final vows. Resignation is almost unthinkable. Yet the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Pedro Arrupe, did just that; he resigned for reasons of health in 1983. John Paul II (the Pope wears a white cassock) accepted his resignation. Arrupe, the Black Pope, could not have resigned if the Holy Father, the White Pope, did not accept his resignation. Certainly Joseph Ratzinger played a role in this action as well. 
Thirty years later -- note the number 30 -- the cardinal turned Pope, who had played a role in allowing the first Superior General of the Jesuits resign for health reasons, resigns the papacy for the same reason. The Pope who resigned is now replaced by a Jesuit of Italian heritage living in Argentina. So we have, in recent times, an emeritus pope, a non-European pope, a Jesuit pope, and a pope who already broke with tradition by having the crowds bless him first. Makes you wonder what the world is coming to or what turns lie ahead.
What can we expect from this pope? My sense is that the pope will continue the conservative trend of the Church. I believe that Rome/the Pope is taking a huge gamble similar to what the Republicans in this country are doing. The Church believes that it needs to be an unchanging institution to show the world that not all change is good. So we can fully expect the pope to solidify the teachings on celibacy, male priesthood, and non-ordination of women, and to enforce the conservative social teachings of the Church.
Jesuits undergo rigorous spiritual and intellectual training. The new pope would have had years of studies in philosophy, theology, and in his area of choice, chemistry. From what I have read about him and know about him (I knew of him when I served as a Jesuit in Brazil), he is a strong advocate for social justice. I would not label him as a liberation theologian but he is certainly a champion for social causes. The world will experience a brilliant mind, a caring presence, an enlightened teacher, a prophetic preacher -- and a mostly conservative pope.
However, these days, you never really know. By choosing the name Francis, the Pope might be channeling the St. Francis who once had a vision of Christ encouraging him to rebuild/restore the Church…
New Pope, new times, and the Spirit who blows where She wills: fasten your seat belt, Christians, you never know until you know. A Jesuit becomes pope and suddenly…
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