Jesuitical 7: Jesuits and Polarization

Father Drew Christiansen, SJ-Current Editor in Chief of America

Part 7 of my continuing series commenting upon the follies of modern day Jesuits.  None of the following of course applies to Jesuits who are orthodox in their faith and are often among the harshest critics of the antics perpetrated by their brethren.  An editorial in America, the Jesuit magazine, expresses concern about the dangers of polarization in the Catholic Church in America.   Father Z, the Master of the Fisk, in one of his finest efforts, gives the editorial a fisking to remember here.

What is the cause of this polarization according to the editors of America?  Well reader, if you were concerned about the most pro-abortion President in our nation’s history receiving homage at Notre Dame on May 17, 2009, and if you expressed your dismay, I guess you are part of the problem.    And those bishops who spoke out against Obama Day, they should just shut up.  From the editorial: 

“Our bishops must take the lead in this conversation in the Catholic community. As the Second Vatican Council noted: “Bishops should make it their special care to approach men and initiate and promote dialogue with them. These discussions on religious matters should be marked by charity of expression as well as by humility and courtesy, so that truth may be combined with charity, and understanding with love.” As many have noted, our bishops also need to be careful that they do not overstep their bounds when they prescribe specific policy recommendations, lest they sacrifice their spiritual authority by appearing to be partisan political figures.” 

The problem of course with this in regard to abortion is that the Catechism is precise on the point that abortion must be banned under law:

“2273 The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation:

“The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death.”80

“The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined. . . . As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child’s rights.”81”

Maybe, according to the Jesuits, Pope Benedict was a “partisan political figure” when he made this statement to the American Bishops last year

“Clearly, the Church’s influence on public debate takes place on many different levels. In the United States, as elsewhere, there is much current and proposed legislation that gives cause for concern from the point of view of morality, and the Catholic community, under your guidance, needs to offer a clear and united witness on such matters. Even more important, though, is the gradual opening of the minds and hearts of the wider community to moral truth. Here much remains to be done. Crucial in this regard is the role of the lay faithful to act as a “leaven” in society. Yet it cannot be assumed that all Catholic citizens think in harmony with the Church’s teaching on today’s key ethical questions. Once again, it falls to you to ensure that the moral formation provided at every level of ecclesial life reflects the authentic teaching of the Gospel of life.”

Or perhaps the Pope was  being a partisan in the eyes of the editors of America when he strongly reminded The Lying Worthless Political Hack of the teaching of the Church on abortion during her visit to the Vatican earlier this year?

Of course all this is rubbish by the editors of America.  They, and most of their colleagues in the Jesuit Order in this country, are strident partisans of the political left, constantly embarrassing themselves by such over the top rantings as declaring Obama the embodiment of the Spirit of Vatican II, attacking the Bishops who spoke out against Obama being honored by Notre Dame and providing a forum for pro-aborts.  This talk of polarization, by those who are chiefly responsible for it, has all the hubris that has become the hallmark of the Jesuit Order since Vatican II.  An Order that once, rightfully, took pride in the famous fourth vow:  “I further promise a special obedience to the Sovereign Pontiff in regard to the missions according to the same apostolic letters and Constitutions.”, is now ever in the vanguard of dissent.  The most charitable view of the America editorial is as a feeble attempt at humor.

16 Responses to Jesuitical 7: Jesuits and Polarization

  1. Please approve my comment. Thanks.

  2. Donald R. McClarey says:

    I deleted your Comment Catholic Anarchist. It was one long rant against this blog. If you have something of actual substance to say in regard to this post I’ll consider approving it.

  3. Gabriel Austin says:

    Aah, you’re no fun, Donald R. McClarey. It is quite entertaining to read Mr. Iafrate’s rants.

  4. Gabriel Austin says:

    I forgot to add that the series on jesuitical carrying-ons is quite interesting.

  5. If you don’t like rants, Donald, how exactly would you categorize this post?

  6. Mark DeFrancisis says:

    Mr. McClarey,

    Doesn’t this get stale for you?

  7. John Henry says:

    I don’t think Donald objected to rants above, just off-topic rants directed against him personally. It’s hardly an unusual position for a blogger to take.

  8. John Henry says:

    I should add my comment should not be taken to suggest the post was a rant.

  9. Donald R. McClarey says:

    “If you don’t like rants, Donald, how exactly would you categorize this post?”

    Informative, Tony.

  10. Donald R. McClarey says:

    “Mr. McClarey,

    Doesn’t this get stale for you?”

    No it doesn’t. Judging from the number of hits these Jesuitical articles get, apparently it doesn’t get stale for most of the readers of the blog.

  11. Donald – It is unfair of you to spend half of this post speculating about America‘s views of the Pope. Your accusations are simply unfounded.

  12. Mark DeFrancisis says:


  13. Donald R. McClarey says:

    It’s called extrapolation Catholic Anarchist. I apply to the Pope the criticism that the editors of America lodge against the bishops in this country who have the temerity to disagree with them. Additionally, Cardinal Ratzinger was never the favorite Cardinal of the America editors.

    They have to tiptoe around now to a certain extent due to Cardinal Ratzinger now being Pope Benedict, but I assume their attitude has not changed.

  14. Donald R. McClarey says:


    Well Mr. DeFrancisis the cure for your ennui would be for you not to read my posts. Certainly I cannot afford a corp of albino assassins to compel people under pain of death to read my musings!

  15. ron chandonia says:

    It strikes me that America–magazine and blog–have gone off the deep end over Obama. I thought Michael Sean Winters was extreme until I read Father John O’Malley’s tribute to Obama as the Embodiment of the Spirit of Vatican II. Father O’Malley’s book on the council is actually very, very good, so it’s clear that the man does not have the mind of a giddy schoolgirl with a crush on the Jonas Brothers. But he clearly does have a crush on Obama, and so do the other Jesuits who keep warning our bishops to leave their Messiah alone.

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