Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:15 EST
By John-Henry Westen
ROME, January 18, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In a letter to the Jesuits, gathered at their 35th General Congregation dated January 10, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI has called on the ancient order which has been rocked by scandal to reaffirm their "total adhesion to Catholic doctrine" mentioning specifically the Church’s teachings on "sexual morality".
The letter comes in the wake of the homily given by the Pope’s representative at the opening of the Assembly on January 7, which bemoaned the infidelity of some in the order to the teachings of the Church. (see coverage: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2008/jan/08010708.html )
"I heartily hope that the present Congregation affirms with clarity the authentic charism of the Founder so as to encourage all Jesuits to promote true and healthy Catholic doctrine," wrote the Pope in a letter addressed to Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits).
The once illustrious Jesuits, the great defenders of faith, have over the last 40 years been steeped in dissident controversy. Jesuit priests have featured prominently in the homosexual priest scandal and Jesuit universities have been hotbeds of dissent on Church teachings especially those on life and family.
The Pope stressed this reaffirmation several times, pointing to specific areas where the Jesuits are known to have caused scandal.
In the letter, the Pope stated: "so as to offer the entire Society of Jesus a clear orientation which might be a support for generous and faithful apostolic dedication, it could prove extremely useful that the General Congregation reaffirm, in the spirit of Saint Ignatius, its own total adhesion to Catholic doctrine, in particular on those neuralgic points which today are strongly attacked by secular culture, as for example the relationship between Christ and religions; some aspects of the theology of liberation; and various points of sexual morality, especially as regards the indissolubility of marriage and the pastoral care of homosexual persons."
See the full letter from the Pope to the Jesuits here: