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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Ignatius and eleven popes

I'm reading an interesting journal article by John Padberg SJ ..... "Ignatius, the Popes, and Realistic Reverence", Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits , 25 (May 1993). The article is really long and detailed, but here's just a little bit from the beginning .....


The relationship of Ignatius of Loyola to the popes of his time might at first seem very simple. After all, the phrase "to serve the Lord alone and the Church, His spouse, under the Roman Pontiff, the vicar of Christ on earth" stands near the beginning of the Formula of the Institute of the Society of Jesus, and the set of rules for thinking with the Church stands near the end of the Spiritual Exercises. They are hallowed phrases in Jesuit history. Add to them the near-legendary "fourth vow" of obedience to the pope, all of these the work of Ignatius, and there is no wonder that one might so judge. But such is not the case .....

The undoubted reverence of Ignatius for the Holy See and for the person of the pope can be seen as all the more remarkable if one recalls the activities and reputations of the [eleven] popes and their curia in the lifetime of Ignatius, from 1491 to 1556 .....

[following in the article was a hair-raising account of the serious badness of popes Innocent VIII, Alexander VI, Julius II, and Leo X, of the indifferent reigns of Pius III, Adrian VI, and Clement VII, and of the mixed reigns of Paul III and Julius III]

From 1555 to 1559, that is, for the last year of Ignatius's life and for three years beyond, Gian Pietro Carafa reigned as Paul IV. He was the cofounder of the Theatines, a man with whom in earlier years Ignatius had had disagreements in Venice and whose proposal to amalgamate the Jesuits with his Theatine order Ignatius had declined. Paul was seventy-nine years old when elected, learned and incorruptible, undoubtedly and genuinely reform-minded. But he was also a self-willed, stubborn, intolerant, short-sighted, harsh autocrat with a fierce hatred of almost everything Spanish, in part because of the Spanish hegemony over his native Naples. Ignatius, of course, and many of the early Jesuits were Spanish. So fanatically severe was he that he even put into prison as suspect of heresy Cardinal Morone, one of the most ardent of reformers and one of the presidents of the Council of Trent. So blind was he in his nepotism that he raised to the cardinalatial dignity two of his utterly worthless nephews, men whom everyone knew to be worthless and who so lived up t their reputation that the next pope had them executed for crimes ranging from fraud to murder. Paul IV also reinforced the Roman Inquisition in all its severity and forced the Jews of Rome into the [Rome} ghetto, from which they definitively emerged only at the time of the French Revolution. No wonder that Ignatius became briefly perturbed when he heard of Carafa's election as pope. At one point Paul IV went so far as to send a search party to the Jesuit headquarters to look for arms, and Ignatius insisted that they look everywhere. They found nothing, of course. When he died, the Roman populace tore down his statues and set his prisoners free. There is no question, however, that Paul IV moved what might have been described as Catholic reform into what came to be known as the Counter-Reformation ........


It's really interesting to see what was going on with Ignatius and the popes, and it gives some perspective on stuff like the rules for thinking with the church. Maybe I'll post again on this once I finish the article.

- Ignatius and Pope Paul III


Anonymous Henry said...

I look forward to your further posts on the subject Crystal. Is the article you are reading on the net? BTW, reading about all those terrible Popes (and even some of the earlier ones) convinced me that the Church was protected by the Holy Spirit and that the gates of hell would never prevail against Her as Christ promised.

Pax Christi,


6:49 PM  
Anonymous Henry said...

When I say convinced me, I mean that they helped me convert to the Catholic Christian Faith.

6:50 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Henry,

Sadly, no - I got the article from the library. I looked online for it but couldn't find it published, just only cited.

Heh - the really bad popes convince me of the opposite, that the church is a fallible human institution :)

I'll post more, especially if he writes about the rules for thinking with the church.

9:31 PM  
Anonymous Victor said...

Hi Henry and crystal,

I did not read about all those terrible so called Popes but I believed that they existed and like Henry said in so many words that we Catholic are protected by The Holy Spirit and any body who can prevail against HIM well, I will kiss that (A)nnoying (S)uper (S)inner.

Today at church we had a kind of play "IT" again Sam sermon and go figure, I learned something new. It was about Jesus being backed up to a river because so many people came by to hear Him preach. There was two boats there so He got into one of them which belongs to Simon Peter. To make a long story short, after He finished preaching to the large crowd, Jesus talked the boys into throwing their nets back in the river and to make another long story short, they had to call for the second boat and both almost sank because they were over loaded with fish and to top "IT" all Jesus told them that He would make them fishers of "MEN". Go figure, I guess the woman don't need help. :)

Anyway, Sam continued telling u>s (usual sinners) in so many words that we need not be afraid cause The Holy Spirit would provide.

On my way home, I felt great and as I looked into my mirror I saw a car behind my car about one hundred meters or so and because the car in front of me was making a left hand turn, I knew that I could safely turn into the next lane without getting hit so I did and with my more than forty years experience I stepped on "IT" a little to make sure that there would be no problem. You guess "IT" the car still behind me and I swear to God that even if "IT" had wanted to hit me, it would not have been able to do so. As I was about to say, that car's horn sounded even though it was still about thirty or forty feet from me. I must confess that I stuck two fingers up while not being afraid of anything and this person thought I was giving them the finger so they only showed me one finger. I kept both fingers up while staring at this person from my mirror and then because I was making a left turn I got back into the left lane and God forgive me cause as that car went by me, I let go of my horn for a few long seconds just the way I got "IT".

I see now why I really need The Holy Spirit and His Angels and "IT" is for my own bodily protection. The last time an evil event like that happened to me, call me crazy but I followed that car in question for about a mile with my horn screaming and hoping that "IT" would pull over.

Between you and me, I never use the horn on anyone even when they make illegal turns so when stuff like this happens to me, I check with my heart and mind and if I believe that "IT" is Satan and His so called friends, I show them that I'm not afraid.

There's a true story that happened in our city years ago of a guy who chased another guy as far as he was going which was at a Mall and they fought and one of them fell into a picture window and a piece of class lodged in his neck and killed him.

Thank you for allowing me again this time to sound off and I thank every one who is praying for me and as you can see, I need a lot more prayers. The way I see "IT" is good thoughts are prayers and bad taughts, I believe is sending Satan and His Boys my way. Many people would say that in that case Victor you cause your own problems by sticking your neck out against what Satan and His Boys hold Sacred and they'll fight to their death to protect "IT".

I hear ya! Victor, Are you sure that your favorite song is not, "Onward Christian Soldiers"?

Don't go telling anyone crystal cause truth be known, I'm really a kind of a little crystal also. :)

God Bless,


5:28 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Victor,

Driving can be so scary. I'm almost glad I can't drive anymore! Be careful out there.

8:51 PM  
Blogger Deacon Denny said...

Hi Crystal --

Please DO post more on this subject. I love Church history; it explains so much. I really recommend the book Pilgrim Church by Fr. William Bousch. Even history that is a bit sordid and creepy can give us a bit wider perspective on the junk that goes on today...

12:38 PM  

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