This decree demonstrates the concern among the delegates to the 34th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus for “immediate and decisive action” to support the “interprovincial works entrusted to us by the Holy See.” Those Jesuit houses and works included the Pontiﬁcal Gregorian University, the Pontiﬁcal Biblical Institute, the Pontiﬁcal Oriental Institute, and the Vatican Observatory, among others. The decree below “mandates” the superior general to conduct a thorough review of these works and, based on the findings, “to strengthen these works signiﬁcantly and ensure their future.”
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1. Following a tradition that originated with St. Ignatius, and in the spirit of our fourth vow, General Congregation 34 conﬁrms the commitment of the Society of Jesus to the interprovincial works entrusted to us by the Holy See as reaffirmed by Pope John Paul II in his opening allocution to this congregation. We recognize the valuable service which these institutions offer to the universal Church in the name of the whole Society; we are grateful to the Jesuits who have sustained them; at a time when their opportunities for service to the Church are increasing in importance, we wish to ensure, and even enhance, the effectiveness of these works. We therefore call upon the whole Society, especially major superiors, who share Father General’s responsibility for these institutions, to unite in a common effort to further this important service to the universal Church.
2. In order to address certain long-standing, complex, and potentially threatening concerns in an effective way, immediate and decisive action is needed. GC 34 therefore gives the following mandates to Father General:
3. Father General shall commission a thorough evaluation of the Pontiﬁcal Gregorian University, the Pontiﬁcal Biblical Institute, and the Pontiﬁcal Oriental Institute, together with the support these institutions receive from the provinces. This evaluation, while respecting the speciﬁc academic character and autonomy of these institutions, is to include academic policies and programs, faculty recruitment and development, ﬁnancial management and accountability, the structures of the Jesuit communities, and the governance structures of the works and of the Delegation for the International Roman Houses. We strongly recommend that the charge to conduct this evaluation be given to a group of persons with experience, expertise, and interest in these works, including representatives from these institutions and from outside them, and involving Father General’s delegate. Based on the recommendations of this group, Father General shall take those measures necessary to strengthen these works signiﬁcantly and ensure their future.
4. The delegate of Father General shall, with the faculties of a major superior received from him, have religious and apostolic responsibility for the inter-provincial houses and works in Rome and for the Jesuits assigned to them.
5. Father General shall establish a permanent interprovincial commission composed of representatives from the conferences of major superiors and including experienced educators and administrators, to assist him and his delegate with the ongoing governance of the interprovincial houses and works in Rome.
Original Source (English translation):
Jesuit Life & Mission Today: The Decrees & Accompanying Documents of the 31st–35th General Congregations of the Society of Jesus, ed. John W. Padberg. St. Louis, Mo.: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 2009, General Congregation 34, Decree 22, “Interprovincial Houses and Works in Rome,” pg. 647–648 [462–520].