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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Pope tells Jesuits to walk to peripheries, be open to future

Pope Francis, speaking both as pope and a Jesuit, asked members of the Society of Jesus to continue to journey to where Christ is most needed, and always ask God for consolation, compassion and help in discernment.

The Jesuits aim to “move forward, overcoming the impediments which the enemy of human nature puts in our way when, in serving God, we are seeking the greater good,” the pope told more than 200 Jesuits chosen to represent the more than 16,000 Jesuits at the order’s general congregation.

Given that the Society of Jesus’ way of proceeding for “the greater good is accomplished through joy, the cross and through the Church, our mother,” the pope said he wished to help revive its zeal for mission by reflecting on those three points.

Instead of the usual custom of general congregation delegates going to the Vatican to meet the pope, Pope Francis went to the Jesuits’ Rome headquarters on 24th October to meet them. He was greeted by Venezuelan Fr Arturo Sosa, who was elected superior general of the order on 14th October, as well as by other members. He spent more than three hours at the headquarters, including time devoted to a “private conversation,” according to the Vatican press office.

Picture: Fr Arturo Sosa Abascal, the new superior general of the Jesuits, Pope Francis, Fr Orlando Torres, secretary of the Jesuits’ 36th general congregation, and other delegates pose for a photo in Rome on 24th October. Pope Francis, a Jesuit, met his Jesuit brothers after the election of a new superior but did not participate in the election. (CNS photo/Itua Egbor, S.J.).