The Election Of The New Black Pope, General of The Jesuits*
By Franca Giansoldati
Vatican City Countdown and work in progress for a new “Black Pope”. Father Adolfo Nicolas, the head of the Jesuits, October 2 will present his resignation to the assembly of his brethren, as he had announced, because he wants to retire.The green light to leave office in 80 years arrived by Pope Francesco
The decision to give the mandate to the life of the Jesuit General already has a precedent in the centuries-long history of the order founded in 1540 by St. Ignatius: that of Hans Kolvenbach (who retired in Lebanon) who at the stroke of 80 years in 2008, after manning the helm for 25 years of the Society of Jesus, he resigned from office with the consent of the then Pope Benedict XVI and of the 35th general Congregation.
“I think that the whole Society of Jesus is conscious of the fact that we need agility and bravery in facing the future and that it is not good to be in the midst of the uncertainties that accompany the last two years or more of service of each Superior General “said father Nicolas.
“The congregation is free to accept my request to resign or not to accept it. If that does not accept it, it will elect a vicar to provide for the next few years when my skills certainly will decrease substantially. ”
Nicolas was elected on the second ballot by the General Congregation to 72 years.
The general of the Jesuits is called “Black Pope” for the colour of his robe wearing, because it is elected for life as the Pope and heads of the largest and most influential religious order in the world.Benedict XVI, in 2008, speaking to the Jesuits following the election of Nicolas, asked the company to greater fidelity ‘to promote true and healthy Catholic doctrine “, of which” the Church has even more need today, in an age where there is an urgency to pass on to contemporary, distracted by discordant voices, the unique and immutable message of salvation which is the Gospel. ”
Ratzinger had described as “very useful” a public reaffirmation of the ‘own total adhesion to Catholic doctrine “by the Society of Jesus,” in particular on those neuralgic points which today are strongly attacked by secular culture, like the relationship between Christ and religions, certain aspects of liberation theology and various points of sexual morality, especially as regards the indissolubility of marriage and the pastoral care of homosexual persons. ”