Saturday, January 26, 2008

Summit of the Popes

Father-General, Holy Father... Holy Father, Father General....

Jesuit Curia statement:
Adolfo Nicolás capped an eventful week as the newly elected superior general of the Jesuits with a private audience with His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. The Saturday audience began with a photo session and then the two sat down for a warm and friendly conversation. The Holy Father was pleased to hear that that the general congregation had formed a committee to study his letter to Father Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, the previous superior general, and then the conversation turned to Japan, where Fr. Nicolás had served for 33 years. The Holy Father encouraged the Jesuit leader to continue with dialogue with culture and evangelization and to ensure a thorough formation of young Jesuits. It was the opportunity for the new General of the Jesuits to reaffirm his personal respect for the Vicar of Christ as well as the esteem of the whole Society of Jesus; it was an occasion also to convey the desire of the Society to serve the Church all over the world.
Then Father Nicolás told Pope Benedict that the Jesuits have a custom that the newly elected superior general should renew his vows before the pope. Father Kolvenbach had done that in writing, so Father Nicolás had written out his vows, which he had in an envelope.

The pope opened the envelope right away and read the vows; then he said, 'This is a very good custom.'
Yesterday's quote of the day came from the man called "Nico" during his address to the Rome press corps.

Citing the many comparisons made since his election between himself and the post-Conciliar General Pedro Arrupe -- a legend in Jesuit circles -- Nicolás remarked that "no one has yet said I'm 10 percent Elvis Presley, although one could say this and it wouldn't surprise me."

Well, guess what some Jesuits have since taken to calling their new boss....

In other Black Conclave redux, the provincial of Calcutta has compared the new FG to a Jesuit John XXIII.

PHOTOS: L'Osservatore Romano