Jesuits Implode - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Jesuits Implode
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Were Ignatius of Loyola alive today, the Jesuit order he founded wouldn’t ordain him. His once-formidable society is now a corrupt club for homosexual dilettantes and anti-papal dissenters. Real Catholics need no longer apply.

The order is in the throes of a collapse as historically significant as its suppression in 1773. This disintegration, known to traditional Catholics for years (and to bishops too cowardly to stifle its corruption), is now even admitted by liberal pundits. Garry Wills’ article about the book “Passionate Uncertainty: Inside the American Jesuits” appears in the New York Review of Books under the title, “Jesuits in Disarray.” Jonathan Kirsch, a Los Angeles Times reviewer of the same book, notes that the order is in demographic free fall: “former Jesuits now outnumber active Jesuits in the United States.”

Meanwhile, traditional Jesuits who stay and seek to recover the order’s original spark find themselves in exile. The office for the Jesuit Province in California confirmed to TAP that Joseph Fessio, the prolific San Francisco Jesuit publisher of orthodox books and publications, has been ordered to leave San Francisco for a new assignment, effective in May, at an obscure Catholic hospital in Duarte, California. Fessio’s banishment coincides with his recent announcement to start a traditional Catholic school called Campion College next door to the openly dissenting Jesuit University of San Francisco, a school which in recent years has advertised such pagan oddities as a “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Student Alliance.”

Duarte, California, is becoming the Devil’s Island for Jesuits who don’t conform to the order’s liberal regime. Father Cornelius Buckley, a longtime Jesuit history professor at the University of San Francisco deemed insufficiently liberal for the school, was reassigned to Duarte, California, in the late 1990s. The order called him “divisive.”

The crack-up of the liberals in the order will likely accelerate in the wake of their panicky persecution of traditional Jesuits like Fessio. Such desperate actions are in proportion to their fear of exposure and accountability. In a typical liberal irony, the dissenters in the order who rose to power through disobedience to papal authority now use their power to repress “disobedient” traditional Jesuits, lest their revolution inside the Catholic Church grind to a halt.

The Vatican cannot ignore their outrages forever, especially as costly sex abuse lawsuits (the Jesuits settled in 2000 with a seminarian who accused over a dozen Jesuit superiors of sending him pornographic cards and asking him to perform sex acts on them)and lay backlash reveal the modern Jesuits as a chief source of degeneracy and dissent in the Church.

Perhaps it is time for a Second Suppression, not to kill the order, but to save it. Unless the Father Robert Drinans are soon suppressed and replaced with Father Fessios at the head of the order, its days are numbered.

The cancer of corruption is rapidly devouring it. If the bishops won’t take this fact seriously from the traditional Catholics they take for granted, perhaps they will listen to the liberal cultural commentators who acknowledge it as well.

“Entering the Jesuits used to take one into a stable world; but that is far from the experience of recent times,” writes Garry Wills. “A thirty-five-year-old still studying theology says: ‘My novice master left to marry, my formation director left for a relationship with another man, et cetera. One cannot help but get the sense that we of this generation of Jesuits may be the last of the Shakers.'”

Wills writes that the authors of “Passionate Uncertainty: Inside the American Jesuits,” Peter McDonough and Eugene C. Bianchi, “report a general agreement among present and former Jesuits that a gay subculture flourishes in the Society. Outsiders became aware of this subculture in 2000, when it was reported that Jesuits by the dozens were suffering from or dying of AIDS.”

Wills says the Jesuits “quietly ignore papal teaching on homosexuality” and that if the head of the order “should try to enforce the papal ban on any homosexual activity, the already thin ranks could be considerably reduced — gays might leave in droves, as heterosexuals already have.”

“A straight young Jesuit says: ‘I feel quite alone when Jesuits of my generation talk about sex and sexuality.’ Straights complain about being in the minority in the “younger Society” and about being held to stricter norms of conduct. Gays want shoulders to cry on as they struggle with coming out and are unduly sensitive to any detail of a response which they can interpret as nonacceptance.'”

Continues Wills: “A man in his thirties teaching in a high school also feels stranded: ‘Several of my former Jesuit friends would mention the large number of gay Jesuits and the impact that had on community life as being a big reason they left. As a relatively young Jesuit who is heterosexual, I believe I am in the minority, and that raises questions.'”

Authors McDonough and Bianchi speak of the modern Jesuits’ “self-absorption” and “soft-boiled spirituality” — “designer Catholicism,” as the authors put it.

Had St. Ignatius known his order would go from fighting for the Church to fighting the Church — from the Pope’s marines to moral midgets — he would never have started it. One wonders how long the Vatican will permit this insult on his memory to persist.

George Neumayr
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George Neumayr, a senior editor at The American Spectator, is author most recently of The Biden Deception: Moderate, Opportunist, or the Democrats' Crypto-Socialist?
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