Showing posts with label Father Adolfo Nicolas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Father Adolfo Nicolas. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Earthquake at Pontifical Oriental Institute --- Dismissals, Depature and a Murder

(Rome) There is an earthquake in the Pontifical Oriental Institute (Pontifical Institutum Studiorum Orientalium) in Rome, which is run by the Jesuit Order.  Jesuit General Adolfo Nicolas deposed the Rector, the Vice Rector and the two Deans, effectively the entire leadership. The new Provisional  rector was the renowned Islamic scholar and orientalist Samir Khalil Samir, who is also a member of the Jesuit Order.

The Death of Lanfranco Rossi

Last week  the Pontifical Oriental Institute (PIO) mourned the death of Lanfranco Rossi, who was a visiting professor on Oriental  Spirituality. The 60 year-old priest, who  also taught at the Pontifical Gregorian University, was found dead in a field not far from Rome, close to a nearby religious community whose spiritual director he was. According to media reports, the investigators are certain after the autopsy that the priest was murdered. The corpse has stab wounds to the head and strangulation marks on the neck. Rossi had been strangled and left dying by his perpetrators. The Superior of the religious Community "I ricostruttori nella preghiera", however, emphasized in the official press statements that Rossi had died a natural death.  [!] Investigations have been entrusted to a special squad of the Carabinieri.
In the room of the deceased, three skulls were found. The investigators concluded a satanic motive from this. The skulls  had been, according to the Order, "relics". Critics speak of controversial prayer practices of non-Christian traditions. Murder in the course of a robbery  is expressly excluded as a motive in this case.  The community, to which Rossi belonged, lives in absolute poverty.

The Community of "Rebuilding in Prayer"

Rossi, a priest of the Diocese of La Spezia, belonged to the community of "Ricostruttori nella preghiera"  ( Rebuilding in Prayer). The community was founded in the early 80s by the Jesuit Gian Vittorio Cappelletto (1928-2009), who was inspired in the 70s by an encounter with an Indian guru about eastern forms of life. Cappelletto wanted to lead people who had turned away from the faith,  back to prayer. Community members sleep on the floor, eat only vegetarian, shave neither beard nor hair and pray at night in cemeteries.
The mixture of oriental spiritual forms from alien religious "masters" and Christian spirituality is not without controversy. The Community has been accused of having "syncretic" and "neo-Gnostic"  elements. In the meditation courses with a five-point "knowledge extension" are elements of yoga and include the Ananda Marga doctrine. Father Cappelletto was sponsored by the Society of Jesus and they asked him to make the convent's facilities available for its new forms of meditation, the so-called "deep meditation."
The community, which consists of men and women living in common, was canonically approved by the Bishop of La Spezia. In 1989, the first two priests were ordained. Today, it has 27 priests, seminarians and twelve postulants, about 100 devotees and a wider group of several hundred laymen.

Jesuit General Dismisses the Entire Management  of the Oriental Institute 

Quite apart from the murder case, far larger earthquakes shattered the meditative peace of the Pontifical Oriental Institute. In fact, the entire senior management of the Institute was dismissed by the Superior General of the Jesuits.
The dismissal decree, signed by General Adolfo Nicolás Pachón Provost, Vice Chancellor of the Institute, was only posted for a day on the bulletin board of the Institute.
Since Tuesday, April 14, Rector James McCann, Vice Rector Massimo Pampaloni and the Deans of the two faculties of Oriental Studies and Oriental Church Canon Law, Philippe Luisier and Michael Kuchera, all members of the Jesuit Order, are relieved of their duties.

Samir Khalil Samir New Interim  Rector of the Institute

For the time being of the 77-year-old Orientalist and scholar of Islam Sami Khalil Samir Father is an interim lead the institute with the rank of pro-rector. Originally from Egypt, the Jesuit enjoys worldwide reputation. He has taught at the Saint Joseph University of Beirut and many universities in Europe and the United States.
The two faculties are being provisionally conducted with the rank of pro-deans by Father Edward Farrugia and Father Sunny Thomas Kokkaravalayil. Farrugia is Professor of Oriental and Patristic Dogmatics. Kokkaravalayil is an associate professor of legal doctrine and legal methodology, legal theology, Malabarite law and Chaldean law.
The dismissal decree entered into force with immediate effect before the start of the new academic year forthcoming in the fall. In a letter accompanying the decree, the Superior General blamed the "loveless" Spirit which had demoralized the faculty with serious consequences for the mission of the institution.

"Loveless" Climate or Incompetence?

The Pontifical Oriental Institute founded in 1917 by Pope Benedict XV. together with the Congregation for the Oriental Churches. The Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation is the Argentine Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Grand Chancellor of the Institute.
In 1922 Pope Pius XI. made it an Institute of the Jesuit Order. The appointment of the director is subject to the Pope on a proposal from the Jesuit General, after consultation with the Jesuit faculty.
In recent months, some of the deans and professors had called for the dismissal of the rector. A native of the US, Jesuit McCann was accused of inability to conduct an academic operation. Jesuit General Nicolas sent an inspector with Father Gianfranco Ghirlanda. Father Ghirlanda is a former rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University and canon law expert.  The result of this inspection was the removal of the entire senior management of the Institute.
"That Father McCann enjoyed no special appreciation in the Vatican, one could imagine already on 19 February 2014 when Pope Francis, appointed Vice-Rector Pampaloni and deans Luisier and Kuchera to consult the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, but not him, the incumbent Rector: an all the more pressing humiliation as the secretary of the Congregation was and is his brother in the Jesuit order, the Slovak Archbishop of the Greek rite, Archbishop Cyril Vasil."

Decline of the Institute?

That something was amiss at the Institute  was at least publicly known since  the retirement of the American liturgist, Father Robert Taft, on 15 December 2011. The Laudatio for Father Taft was held by Stefano Parenti, Professor of Oriental liturgies at the St. Anselm Pontifical Athenaeum and students of Taft. Parenti is currently working with Taft in the publication of a monumental history of the Byzantine Liturgy in several volumes.
The Laudatio was published in the journal Studi sull'Oriente Cristiano. Parenti said at the time: "Unlike today, the Pontifical Oriental Institute was until the end of the 80s of the 20th century a superb place for the study of Oriental liturgies, especially the Byzantine liturgy. Who undertake the burden  in the future to write the history of the Institute, will know who is responsible for that  which led to such a spectacular debacle in a massacre that outsiders observed from a distance,  and revealed a desolate arena without winners and losers."
And further:
"We find ourselves in what is described in politics as  a 'systematic error', which has long been known, but was ignored by those who were supposed to be vigilant. Added to this is the uncertainty of many contracts and singular recruitment and promotion procedures for doctorates, which is why there are full professors who had remained only assistants in good state European or American universities in the best of cases until retirement. "

Harried Eastern Christians - Bangert Institute

In fact, "a glance at the list of the faculty," said   Sandro Magister, there can be seen the precarious situation of fixed-term contracts to teaching assignments. Many teachers teach at other universities and are only briefly committed by the Institute to complete a program with the students within a few weeks, for which at other universities an entire semester is scheduled.
"Above all, however, it is striking that the Institute, particularly in a time in which the Oriental Christianity located in the Middle East, North Africa, but also in Ukraine is in an acutely deep crisis and  hard pressed, has  very little to say. Its expert advice, in-depth specialist studies and reports would not only be of special importance "for the local Christian communities, but also for the Holy See," says Magister.

Vice Rector Converted to the Russian Orthodox Church

Last year, the Institute was rocked by a spectacular departure. Former Vice-Rector (until 2013), the American Jesuit of Ukrainian-Hungarian descent, Father Constantin Simon, a specialist in Russian Christianity, turned his back on  the Jesuit Order and the Catholic Church. On June 7, 2014 he was officially incorporated as a priest in the Russian Orthodox Church. The initiation liturgy was led by Archimandrite Amwrosi of Peterhof, the Russian Orthodox Auxiliary Bishop of St. Petersburg, and Rector of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy of the Moscow Patriarchate.
"Some see in the earthquake of these days only the prelude to a temporary closure of the Institute for the purposes of a radical restructuring," said Sandro Magister.
Text: Settimo Cielo / Giuseppe Nardi
Photo: PIO
Trans: Tancred

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Black Pope: "There can be more Christian Love in An Irregular Pair, Than in One, Which Has Been Married in the Church"

The White Pope Embraces the Black One, Both
Come From the Jesuit Order
(Rome) Giacomo Galeazzi of Vatican Insider conducted an interview with Father Adolfo Nicolas, Superior General of the approximately 18,000 Jesuits worldwide. The General of the Jesuits provost is also called "Black Pope" because of the contrast to the white robe of the Pope, while the Jesuits have no habit, but wear the cassock of secular priests. At least that's the theory. But above all, for a fourth vow, the Jesuits owe allegiance to the Pope. "There can be a more Christian love in an irregular pair, than in one that was married in the Church,"  Nicolas said at the beginning of the interview. documented the full interview with the Superior General of the Jesuit order, which one of the three synod is participating as a representative of the Catholic Order of the Synod.
Will there be an "aggiornamento" of  family morality?
The free and open discussion is towards change, towards pastoral adaptation to the changing reality of our time.  This is of an epoch-making character, because there are forces  in these years that have attempted to return the Church to before the great season of the Council.
And Communion for the divorced and remarried?
You can not stop them from discussing this in the Synod, as some would like to stop them. The bishops were not summoned to reinforce abstract ideas with the blows of the doctrine, but to seek solutions to specific questions. Significantly, the Pope has participated and many Synod Fathers in their  addresses regarding texts of the Council. Here the Church of hearing is heeding the  expression of the Spirit, which was  hoped  for by Cardinal Martini until the end of his life.
The Conservatives say that the doctrine is in danger ...
It is wrong to make absolutes. Take the case of illegitimate partnerships. It's not like that with a lack of everything is bad. On the contrary, there is something good, where you can not hurt your neighbor. Francis has stressed: "We are all sinners." Life is to be supplied on all fields. Our task is to bring the people of grace, not dismiss them with provisions.  For us Jesuits, it is daily practice.  The Inquisition one  knew exactly this.
In what way?
Our founder, St. Ignatius underwent an examination by the Inquisition a total of eight times, after he had spoken of listening to the Spirit. Then, as now,  the Spirit comes to us again, because He comes from God, but not the rules and norms which, however, are the work of man. The morality of the family and sexuality need kindness and brotherhood. It is not to split it, but to harmonize. You can not evangelize the people, by beating them with the Gospel. Only the decision to focus on Christ,  will keep us from fruitless disputes, to abstract ideological disputes. Defects and imperfections do not invalidate the whole of the evolution of the family in society in recent decades. If there is something negative, it does not mean that everything is negative.
Introduction / Translation: Giuseppe Nardi
image: Vatican Insider
Tans: Tancred

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The "Black Pope" Selected as the Speaker of for Religious Superiors

(Rome) Father Adolfo Nicolas, since 2008,  elected as the 30th Superior General of the Jesuits, was elected as the president of religious orders (USG) of the Union of Superiors General.[pdf] In the USG more than 200 of the great male orders of the Catholic Church are united. The largest order of the church is the Society of Jesus, founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola, Society of Jesus, better known as the Jesuits.  Pope Francis also belongs to them. The term of office is three years.

In the two periods of office 2006-2012, as the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Salesians held the threads in his hand, his Mexican friar, Father Pascual Chavez Villanueva, the ninth since 2002 the ninth Superior General of the Salesians of Don Bosco,  was elected head of Superiors General Conference. Now, as a Jesuit has taken his place on the papal throne, the office of "religious speaker" has been changed to the Jesuits. The Superior General endeavor to maintain good contacts with the Holy See.

At a Spaniard follows a Spaniard. The term of office of Father Jose Rodriguez Carballo lasted only a few months. The 119th Minister General of the Franciscan Order was in 2012, when a change of statutes made it necessary to have been elected to the head of the USG. On 6 April Pope Francis appointed him on one of the first personnel decisions of his pontificate to Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

The Spanish Jesuit General moved as a former Vice-automatically on the top of the USG. The new deputies will be elected in November. The USG is an institution of pontifical right, which was built by the religious congregation as its own canon law subject.

Their main task is to improve cooperation between the Order and to promote a fruitful cooperation with the Order of the Holy See and the bishops. Its members include only superior general of religious orders of pontifical right. USG is the supreme organ of the General Assembly, which meets once a year. It elects the Executive Board, composed of the Chairman, a Deputy Chairman and ten members of the Board.

The Superior General of the Jesuits is known popularly as the "Black Pope", he is called this because of the black cassock he wears in contrast to the white of the Pope. The name goes back to the often powerful position in the history of the Jesuit Order and because the Superior General of the Jesuits worldwide of 19,000 today like the Pope, is elected for life.

Although Father Nicolas is a Spaniard, he has an experience marked  with an "Asian" religious life behind him. He worked most of the time in Asia, especially Japan.

Among the 29 successors of the Founder and first General Order of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the Spanish theologian is the second, who comes from the land of the rising sun. Before him, Father Pedro Arrupe (1907-1991) already had a similar path behind him before he was elected the 29th Superior General in 1965. Father Arrupe was novice master of his order in Hiroshima and witnessed the American atomic bombing of the city. Under his leadership it became the largest order of the Catholic Church, who was known for his iron discipline, through the upheavals that followed the Second Vatican Council, in a serious crisis.

It was a crisis that Pope John Paul II in 1981 led to demand the early resignation of Father Arrupe a say and a choice of a successor. The Dutchman Father Peter Hans Kolvenbach was given the task of regrouping the order again and leading it to calmer waters and more moderate positions. After his resignation in 2008 Father Adolfo Nicolas was appointed as his successor.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Cathopedia / La cigüeña de la torre

Edit: seems to me that an ugly logo stands for institutionalism, ossification and further decline into irrelevance.  This Superior has had problems in the past in an order riddled with problems.  Does he really grasp the problems surrounding them?