Archbishop Prendergast, SJ on Ignatian spirituality and the first Jesuit Pope

B.C. Catholic has my story up here.

As the first Jesuit Pope, Pope Francis’ Ignatian spirituality can help him discern God’s will and reveal the Gospel in a new way, says fellow Jesuit Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, SJ, in Ottawa.

“He, in a way, embodies the best of what our tradition is about,” he said.

The spiritual disciplines of the Society of Jesus’ founder St. Ignatius of Loyola helps one determine “what God is calling me to do in this particular circumstance at this particular time,” said Archbishop Prendergast.

“As a Society, we need to let the Holy Spirit guide us in a way that is unique to each one of us,” he said. Though Ignatius might not have used the same terms, the archbishop said, “the way God speaks to me is unique to me, as distinct as my fingerprints, my DNA, and the iris of my eyes.”

When Pope Francis was Jesuit provincial in Argentina during the 1970s, he insisted on Ignatian spirituality as opposed to the popular Liberation Theology that sees the Gospel through a Marxist lens. Jesuits have been on the forefront of Liberation Theology in South America.

Prendergast said it is natural for Jesuits to be concerned about the plight of the poor. “Social inequalities had to be addressed” in South America, and “Jesuits went there to use their intellect and their passion for the poor to bring that passion together with the Gospel.”

He pointed out how Pope John Paul II referred to America as one continent including both North and South, “a way of saying the rich North must be responsible for the needs of the poorer South.” But at the same time, both John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI were critical of Liberation Theology, he noted.

“Some can emphasize social justice to the point that they lose their faith,” said Archbishop Prendergast. Others can stress the faith so much they do nothing for the poor, he added.

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2 Responses to Archbishop Prendergast, SJ on Ignatian spirituality and the first Jesuit Pope

  1. Pingback: Archbishop Prendergast, SJ on Ignatian spirituality and the first Jesuit Pope | Catholic Canada

  2. ……..”the rich North must be responsible for the needs of the poorer South”, except that Central and South America has far greater wealth resources than the North. They just have lousy governments who don’t know how to utilize it.

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