Faith and intellectual depth: these are the two key words provided by Fr. Arturo Sosa, elected General Superior of the Society of Jesus, These keywords epitomize the character of the Jesuits, and will weigh on the new General’s formulation of the guidelines of his mandate. The General Congregation that elected Fr. Sosa, in fact, is still meeting. However, these two key words reveal the strong stance that the new General is taking.A meaningful stance, as the General of the Jesuits is called the “Black Pope”, because his term of office lasts for the remainder of his life, and because he has unlimited powers, like the Pope. But it is the first time that the “Black Pope” has been elected while the “White Pope” is also a spiritual son of St. Ignatius.Pope Francis is profoundly a Jesuit when he talks about corruption, discernment of the spirits and the “Holy Hierarchical Mother Church”. On the other hand, Jesuits are not necessarily “Bergoglian”. It is rather the contrary. The fact that the new General – the first coming from South America – identified in intellectual depth a cornerstone of the Jesuit mission can be interpreted as a choice not to follow Pope Francis in his positions.Since the beginning of his pontificate, Pope Francis noted that theologians should be put aside. His thought is expressed when he says that “ecumenism is accomplished in the walking” or when he speaks – he did in his first Angelus as Pope – of the old woman who was more able to understand mercy than was a professor of the Gregorian university.
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