||Home > Church > 07/03/2008 16.27.59
Jesuits Call for Greater Creativity in Bringing the Gospel to a Globalised World
(07 Mar 08 - RV) After 60 days of debate and the election of a new superior general, the 35th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus has ended.
“Greater creativity in bringing Christ’s message to the world”, that was the call launched by Fr Aflonso Nicolas, the newly elected Superior General of the Society of Jesus Friday.
In a press briefing outlining the course of the General Congregation, Fr Nicolas said that over two months of deliberation, the 225 delegates drawn from across the world had whittled the priorities for the future of order down to 5 key points: Mission, Jesuit Identity, Governance, Collaboration and Obedience.
Obedience to the Jesuit role as an apostolic body present across the world, with the Pope as Christ’s Vicar, at its centre. Reaffirmation of the Jesuit identity as a body within the church sent out to the frontiers of today’s globalised society. Greater collaboration with religious of other orders, lay faithful and non baptised men and women of goodwill, in the promotion of justice and human dignity, but above all, mission. And in that context Fr Nicolas pointed to two priorities for the Church: Africa and Asia.
“Why? Because even before the congregation in 2003, Fr. Peter Kolvenbach in a letter to all the major superiors asserted these priorities”.
A native of Burkina Faso Fr. Jean Ilboudo is assistant to the Superior General for Africa:
“When we speak about people who are in need and you se a continent, an entire continent that is in need, then this is the place of priority”.
Prior to his election as Superior General Fr. Nicolas has spent many years in Asia, most recently in Japan. Speaking to journalists he revealed that in his meeting with Pope Benedict the Holy Father had shown particular interest in the “dialogue of cultures” which marks Asian spirituality.
Fr Jose De Vera is chief spokesperson for the Jesuits
“China is a mystery and the Jesuits have along tradition, stretching back to Matteo Ricci, and following in Ricci’s footsteps through to the 21st century. There are still Jesuits in China, so we want to keep up our tradition of serving the Chinese people. So China and Africa are obvious choices for us, but the approach to the two is very, very different”.
The final conclusions of the 35th General Congregation are currently being drafted and following approval will be published.