Decree 3: “Fidelity of the Society to the Magisterium and the Supreme Pontiff,” General Congregation 32 (1975)


The delegates of the 32nd General Congregation, in the following decree, reaffirm the “reverence and fidelity which all Jesuits should have toward the magisterium of the Church and in a special way toward” the pope. Their decree also regrets that “some members of the Society” had failed to adhere to the “long and venerable tradition in the Society” of such reverence and fidelity. In response, the decree reminds superiors to “apply the norms of the Church and the Society in a firm and fatherly way.”

For more from the 32nd General Congregation of the Society of Jesus, please consult this page.

 

 

1.     In considering the reverence and fidelity which all Jesuits should have toward the magisterium of the Church and in a special way toward the Supreme Pontiff, the 32nd General Congregation makes the following declaration:

2.     The Congregation acknowledges the obligation of this reverence and fidelity as well as our proper responsibility to the Church.

3.     Mindful of the long and venerable tradition in the Society of serving the Church by explaining, propagating, and defending the Faith, the Congregation supports our Jesuits who are working in scholarly research, in publishing, or in other forms of the apostolate, and urges all of them to continue to remain faithful to this tradition. At the same time, the Congregation regrets particular failings in this matter on the part of some members of the Society in recent years. This behavior can undermine our apostolic effectiveness and firm commitment to serving the Church.

4.     The Congregation recommends to all superiors that they apply the norms of the Church and the Society in a firm and fatherly way. Freedom should be intelligently encouraged, but care should be taken to prevent and correct the failings which weaken fidelity to the magisterium and service to the faith and the Church, virtues in which the Society has always striven to be outstanding.

 

 

Original Source (English translation):

Jesuit Life & Mission Today: The Decrees & Accompanying Documents of the 31st35th General Congregations of the Society of Jesus, ed. John W. Padberg. St. Louis, Mo.: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 2009, General Congregation 32, Decree 3, “Fidelity of the Society to the Magisterium and the Supreme Pontiff,” pg. 297 [43–46].