The Jesuit Identity Crisis

Gotta admit, it’s been entertaining watching some Jesuits spontaneously combust over this. Thankfully, there are still some Jesuits applauding the archbishop. I still hold out hope that the Society of Jesus ship will be righted someday.

Indianapolis archbishop revokes Jesuit prep school’s Catholic identity

Can we just say most of the Jesuits willfully turned in their Catholic identity a while ago?  I realize they still want the advertising perk of claiming to be Catholic, but really, those who don’t twist “primacy of conscience” are few and far between They can’t stand it when people point out the obvious, and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis did that in a big way.

Indianapolis, Ind., Jun 20, 2019 / 01:49 pm (CNA).- The Archdiocese of Indianapolis announced Thursday that a local Jesuit high school will no longer be recognized as a Catholic school, due to a disagreement about the employment of a teacher who attempted to contract a same-sex marriage.

Let’s be a little clearer. This teacher didn’t just enter into a same-sex marriage. He made it public on social media. The reality is that he flaunted and made his sin of sodomy public (probably with Jesuit encouragement) and expected Archbishop Thompson to sit on his hands like a good little boy. Thankfully, Archbishop Thompson showed some true fatherhood and held Brebeuf accountable for 1) never bothering to tell the teacher his immortal soul was in danger and 2) scandalizing the students by acting like there wasn’t a HUGE moral problem with his same-sex marriage.

‘All those who minister in Catholic educational institutions carry out an important ministry in communicating the fullness of Catholic teaching to students both by word and action inside and outside the classroom, the archdiocese said in a statement Thursday.

And before the whining ensues (too late, Fr. Martin’s been ranting on social media already), let’s be clear this wasn’t the Church “going into this teacher’s bedroom.” This was the teacher telling all on social media that he is sinning and dang proud of it. As you will see later, the “we’re all sinners” mantra will be tossed out. That’s totally true but some of us aren’t stupid enough to say that we’re not sinning or to purposely make it public. This is the difference.8` We embrace the teachings even when we fall short of them because we know they are truth. We pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off, get in line for confession and continue struggling against our foolish selves.

‘In the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, every archdiocesan Catholic school and private Catholic school has been instructed to clearly state in its contracts and ministerial job descriptions that all ministers must convey and be supportive of all teachings of the Catholic Church.

Teachers, the archdiocese said, are classified as ‘ministers’ because ‘it is their duty and privilege to ensure that students receive instruction in Catholic doctrine and practice. To effectively bear witness to Christ, whether they teach religion or not, all ministers in their professional and private lives must convey and be supportive of Catholic Church teaching.’

Regrettably, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School has freely chosen not to enter into such agreements that protect the important ministry of communicating the fullness of Catholic teaching to students. Therefore, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School will no longer be recognized as a Catholic institution by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.’

BAM! This is what EVERY bishop in the U.S. should be doing to protect the faithful from scandal. Are the Jesuits going to listen?Clearly not, but dioceses should still make it darn clear that this is completely inconsistent with Catholic teaching and therefore they are not considered Catholic.

School leaders said that despite the archdiocesan decision, ‘our identity as a Catholic Jesuit institution remains unchanged,’ in a June 20 statement to the school community.

Notice how they have to throw in Jesuit in there? They can’t simply say Catholic, because it’s in no way the same. I do have some news for them. Their Catholic identity is gone and was probably gone a long time ago. 

The conflict between the school and the archdiocese began with an archdiocesan request that the contract of a teacher who is in a same-sex marriage not be renewed.

The school became aware of the teacher’s same-sex marriage in the summer of 2017, according to a June 20 statement from Fr. Brian Paulson, SJ, head of the Jesuits’ Midwest Province.

Paulson said the archdiocese requested ‘two years ago that Brebeuf Jesuit not renew this teacher’s contract because this teacher’s marital status does not conform to church doctrine.’

Before we go on, can we look at several of the canons surrounding Catholic education?  I’m sure Brebeuf would like you to believe that it doesn’t matter, but it does.

Can. 798 Parents are to send their children to those schools which will provide for their catholic education. If they cannot do this, they are bound to ensure the proper catholic education of their children outside the school.

So, while the Jesuits are mostly a bunch of narcissists, not everything is about them. WE, as parents, have a duty to ensure our children’s proper Catholic education, and the archbishop has a duty to make it clear that it won’t be found at Brebeuf.

Can. 801 Religious institutes which have education as their mission are to keep faithfully to this mission and earnestly strive to devote themselves to catholic education, providing this also through their own schools which, with the consent of the diocesan Bishop, they have established.

They no longer have the bishop’s consent, because they clearly devote themselves to a Jesuit education, not a Catholic one.

Can. 803 §1 A catholic school is understood to be one which is under the control of the competent ecclesiastical authority or of a public ecclesiastical juridical person, or one which in a written document is acknowledged as catholic by the ecclesiastical authority.

  • 2 Formation and education in a catholic school must be based on the principles of catholic doctrine, and the teachers must be outstanding in true doctrine and uprightness of life.

 Ouch!  That has got to hurt.

§3 No school, even if it is in fact catholic, may bear the title ‘catholic school’ except by the consent of the competent ecclesiastical authority.

Of course, forgetting all other canons, this will be what the Jesuits try their hardest to hang their hat on. “We’re Jesuits and are therefore under our guy, not the local bishop.”  Clearly Archbishop Thompson sees it differently. They better hope they’re right (and the odds of them being right are slim and none) because there’s a wee bit of a problem with “rejecting the legitimate governing authority of the local bishop exercised in accord with the universal law” as Ed Condin hilariously points out here.

Can. 804 §1 The formation and education in the catholic religion provided in any school, and through various means of social communication is subject to the authority of the Church. It is for the Episcopal Conference to issue general norms concerning this field of activity and for the diocesan Bishop to regulate and watch over it.

  • 2 The local Ordinary is to be careful that those who are appointed as teachers of religion in schools, even non-catholic ones, are outstanding in true doctrine, in the witness of their christian life, and in their teaching ability.

Can. 805 In his own diocese, the local Ordinary has the right to appoint or to approve teachers of religion and, if religious or moral considerations require it, the right to remove them or to demand that they be removed.

Oh, did I mention that Archbishop Charles C. Thompson is a canon lawyer? Fr. Brian Paulson, SJ, is not. So, yeah.

The school leaders wrote that “After long and prayerful consideration, we determined that following the Archdiocese’s directive would not only violate our informed conscience on this particular matter, but also set a concerning precedent for future interference in the school’s operations and other governance matters that Brebeuf Jesuit leadership has historically had the sole right and privilege to address and decide.

More like “deformed conscience”, but whatever.

Paulson stated that Brebeuf Jesuit ‘respects the primacy of an informed conscience of members of its community when making moral decisions.’

Wrong. Cardinal Arinze has trashed this false notion, as I have written before.  rimacy of Conscience doesn’t trump objective evil. Please see Cardinal Arinze’s complete schooling here: https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2015/10/21/primacy-of-conscience-the-arinze-smackdown-of-the-false-notions/  I realize the Jesuits absolutely need to twist the teaching of “Primacy of Conscience,” but they do it at their own peril and at the peril of those who follow.

‘We recognize that at times some people who are associated with our mission make personal moral decisions at variance with Church doctrine; we do our best to help them grow in holiness, all of us being loved sinners who desire to follow Jesus.’

Wait, what?! Really?! When was the last time you did this? The teacher entered into a same-sex marriage. How did you help him grow in holiness? Did you mention that was a sin or did you simply say “Welllllllllll, that’s “at variance with Church doctrine.’ Carry on!” Please. Does ANYONE buy this? And what’s with “loved sinner?” A little ambiguous. We’re not loved because we are sinners. We’re loved despite the fact. And does everyone really desire to follow Jesus? Or do many desire to follow their temptations?

He added that this problem ‘cuts to the very heart of what it means to be a Jesuit institution with responsibilities to both the local and universal church, as well as for the pastoral care we extend to all members of our Catholic community.’

Can you possibly tell me what it means to be a Jesuit institution these days? AMDG is pretty much gone, replaced by AMSJG.

‘I recognize this request by Archbishop Charles Thompson to be his prudential judgment of the application of canon law recognizing his responsibility for oversight of faith and morals as well as Catholic education in his archdiocese,’ the priest wrote. ‘I disagree with the necessity and prudence of this decision.’

So, the non-canon lawyer thinks he knows more about canon law than the canon lawyer.  Why does that not surprise anyone? You recognized the request and told him to shove it! Remember Ed Condon’s comments, Father. Are you really just disagreeing because he gave a command and you ignored. And, hey, you just might want to go with the archbishop who is a canon lawyer instead of your own silly notions.

The Jesuits maintain that their school’s internal administrative matters should be made by their own leaders, rather than the local Church.

Of course they do.

While the Code of Canon Law establishes that religious orders, like the Jesuits, ‘retain their autonomy in the internal management of their schools,’ it also says that the diocesan bishop has ‘the right to issue directives concerning the general regulation of Catholic schools’ including those administered by religious orders.

Well, somebody finally quotes the Code of Canon Law but it isn’t the Jesuits.

Can. 806 §1 The diocesan Bishop has the right to watch over and inspect the catholic schools situated in his territory, even those established or directed by members of religious institutes. He has also the right to issue directives concerning the general regulation of catholic schools these directives apply also to schools conducted by members of a religious institute, although they retain their autonomy in the internal management of their schools.

Canon law also says that the diocesan bishop “is to be careful that those who are appointed as teachers of religion in schools, even non-Catholic ones, are outstanding in true doctrine, in the witness of their Christian life, and in their teaching ability.

The Church’s law adds that the diocesan bishop “has the right to appoint or to approve teachers of religion and, if religious or moral considerations require it, the right to remove them or to demand that they be removed.”

The Archdiocese of Indianapolis policy, which says that all school teachers and administrators have a responsibility to teach the Catholic faith, is a common interpretation of those norms in U.S. Catholic dioceses.

Imagine that! A policy based on canon law. Silly Archdiocese! Who does that?! Not the Jesuits.

The archdiocesan June 20 statement notes that the archdiocese ‘recognizes all teachers, guidance counselors and administrators as ministers.’ The 2012 Hosanna Tabor v. EEOC Supreme Court decision established that religious institutions are free to require those it recognizes as ministers to uphold religious teachings as a condition of employment.

The school’s leaders claim that ‘the Archdiocese of Indianapolis’ direct insertion into an employment matter of a school governed by a religious order is unprecedented.’

PROVE IT! I know it’s super helpful to your cause to throw these fantasies out there, but can you actually back it up?  And can you cite a canon to prove your point?  As usual, nope.

Fr. Paulson framed the problem as one of “the governance autonomy regarding employment decisions of institutions sponsored by the USA Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus.

‘Our disagreement is over what we believe is the proper governance autonomy regarding employment decisions which should be afforded a school sponsored by a religious order. In this particular case, we disagree regarding the prudential decision about how the marital status of a valued employee should affect this teacher’s ongoing employment at Brebeuf Jesuit.’

Your disagreement is with the Code of Canon Law and Catholic doctrine, which is par for the course for Jesuits these days. I love the way you try to make this about “marital status” instead of objective evil.  That’s so you.

The school’s leaders added that failing to renew the teacher’s contract would cause ‘harm’ to ‘our highly capable and qualified teachers and staff.’

Are you trying to tell me that there are no outstanding teachers out there who actually follow the teachings of the Church? I realize that’s not high on your priority list, but it is in the mission for Catholic education.

‘Our intent has been to do the right thing by the people we employ while preserving our authority as an independent, Catholic Jesuit school.’

Your intent has been to thumb your nose at the teachings of the Church, plain and simple. Your whining about authority means pretty much zip.

The leaders noted that they ‘are prayerfully discerning how best to proceed with the process of appealing the Archdiocese’s directive.’

Fr. Paulson said the province will appeal the decision, first through the archbishop ‘and, if necessary, [pursuing] hierarchical recourse to the Vatican.’

Appeal away, while I continue to pray for high turnover at the Vatican. And while all that’s going on, I hope parents will listen to what the Archbishop is saying and protect their children from a disastrous school like yours. So, I hope your enrollment will plummet until you get your Catholic identity back.

Canon law establishes that ‘no school, even if it is in fact Catholic, may bear the title ‘Catholic school’ except by the consent of the competent ecclesiastical authority,’ in this case, the Archbishop of Indianapolis.

Brebeuf was founded in 1962 by the Society of Jesus. Its 2019 enrollment is 795 students, and tuition at the school is $18,300.

The Archdiocese of Indianapolis has previously addressed similar issues.

In August 2018, Shelley Fitzgerald, a guidance counselor at Roncalli High School in Indianapolis, was placed on paid administrative leave. An employee of an archdiocesan school, Fitzgerald had attempted to contract a same-sex marriage in 2014.

At that time, Archbishop Thompson wrote that ‘the archdiocese’s Catholic schools are ministries of the Church. School administrators, teachers and guidance counselors are ministers of the faith who are called to share in the mission of the Church. No one has a right to a ministerial position, but once they are called to serve in a ministerial role they must lead by word and example. As ministers, they must convey and be supportive of the teachings of the Catholic Church. These expectations are clearly spelled out in school ministerial job descriptions and contracts, so everyone understands their obligations.’

He added that ‘When a person is not fulfilling their obligations as a minister of the faith within a school, Church and school leadership address the situation by working with the person to find a path of accompaniment that will lead to a resolution in accordance with Church teaching.’

The archbishop concluded: ‘Let us pray that everyone will respect and defend the dignity of all persons as well as the truth about marriage according to God’s plan and laws.’

Yes, let’s all pray for this. I’m skeptical that the Jesuits involved are actually going to do that but I will hope.

Thank you, Archbishop Thompson, for your courageous leadership. I hope and pray that all bishops in our Church will stop allowing morality to be trounced in our schools and that they, too, will take their duty under canon law seriously.

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16 thoughts on “The Jesuit Identity Crisis

  1. Worse problems of the Jesuits in St. Louis. USA.. Read the blaze article in the past by a Ex Jesuit from there. Now a openly homosexual Episcopal priest he tells in FRIGHTENING detail the Homosexual infestation of the hierarchy there and in the cino Jesuit ,Univ. of St. Louis ………….. Also Cino Jesuit Col .in NY Fordham and Fairfield Ct. Jesuit Univ. gave their highest awards Loudly and in Public to sodomite employees BECAUSE they the employees were in Sodomite Same sex Marriage. We Need to reform or abolish the entire Jesuit order in Indianapolis and from the Vatican on Down.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “We Need to reform or abolish the entire Jesuit order in Indianapolis and from the Vatican on Down.”

      Seriously doubt Pope Francis, S.J., would do that. (but I agree with you)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. He bf and Bergoglios henchmen. would have to be removed from the Vatican … Arg. With a widening scandals in Mendoza arg. Etc. . May have to indict Bergoglio snd demand italy extradite. Him back to arg… . 33 priests in jail there and only Three. Not Grassi etc. Were DEFROCKED by the bishops in arg. Or Vatican.

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    2. Make like France and just suppress them. But NOT like France: don’t let them back in.

      Just a coincidence, I’m sure, that the notoriously light-loafered “St Louis Jesuits” met at Florissant, a St Louis suburb.

      Nothing to see here. Move along.

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  2. Great piece, OMM, and kudos to Abp Thompson. Was recently at an alumni event at a different Jesuit high school, and noticed a poster promoting the school’s LGBTQ club. Ugh. A few decades back when I was a student, such a club didn’t exist. Well, actually it did; it was just called the drama club (I kid, I kid). Clearly, under the current pontificate, liberal Catholics are now operating “off leash” with regards to homosexuality Saw recently that an all-girls school (Visitation) in Georgetown, D.C. is now posting lesbian nuptials in its alumnae magazine. Personally, as a Catholic, I will never accept homosexual acts or homosexual pseudo-marriage as morally legitimate, but clearly there are many Catholics including many priests and bishops who not only accept but rejoice about homosexual acts and “marriages.” Do I want to be in the same Church as those priests and bishops? No, but for the moment, it looks like neither side is leaving. My understanding is that the Church went through something similar in the 11th century, and reformers such as St Peter Damian eventually succeeded and the anti-sodomy side prevailed. Will history repeat itself? Or will the homosexualists win this time?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. And, by the way, regarding Fr Jimmy Martin… I just checked out his tweetstorms about Brebeuf Prep. As usual, his main shtick is whataboutism. What about all those hetero Catholic school faculty members doing IVF? What about all those hetero Catholic school faculty members using contraception? What about all those hetero Catholic school faculty members shacking up? What about…? Ad infinitum. He apparently seems to think that this is some sort of “gotcha” killer argument. My response would be, what about ’em, Jimmy? If they’re publicly flaunting those things, then dump them too. I’d have no problem with that. But most heterosexuals doing IVF or getting tubal ligation or whatever aren’t publicly bragging about those things broadcasting about it on social media. If they are, then get rid of them too.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Fr. Jimmy, LGBTSJ, would tell you are a public sinner by stealing, OMM. ;^)

        You are officially a whataboutism! (No diocesan job for you. Na-na-na-na-boo-boo)

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  4. Thank you Bishop for being a shepherd who guards his flock from the wolf. Would that you be joined by many more. I will keep you in my daily prayers, for the wolves will be howling all around.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Why would a Catholic institution continue to carry the Catholic name if it no longer abides by it’s teachings? Wouldn’t you disassociate yourself from the Church for it’s ‘backwards’ teachings especially on sexual immorality? There is only one reason they do not and that is gravitas. To many people, the Catholic Church embodies authority and integrity that is trusted and sought after despite its scandal ridden history.

    Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School has ridden on the coattails of the Catholic Church’s influence in order to entice parents to send their children here. I made the mistake once of thinking a particular Catholic college as being faithful to its name only to be corrected by someone who had gone there. Who knew? Brebeuf is certainly not the only enterprise using the Catholic name as a ruse to attract customers. The National Catholic Reporter is another which has no scruples using our church as part of it’s name.

    Not only is the Catholic Church being used in this deceptive and nefarious manner but as i mentioned in my comment on Father(cough!) Martin, the title of Jesuit is being used in the same way. It’s as if by putting the title Jesuit in a name it carries weight but, with the ambiguity of the Jesuit Pope’s teachings and the moronic diatribes from Jesuit Martin, being a Jesuit has taken a heavy pounding lately and is not held in the highest esteem any longer. At least not by me. The last time I had admiration for this Society was at the time I read William Blatty’s “The Exorcist” in 1971. Now there was a Jesuit to be proud of!

    I wish I could say that Bishop Thompson’s rescinding the name Catholic from Brebeuf was a coup that will turn the tide against those who spread heresy in Catholic institutions in the US, but I still am not confident enough in all our bishops to be as heroic in dealing with heresy as this bishop was. I’m still trying to remember what the paving material was on the road to hell….ah yes. I remember now.

    Pray for our bishops.

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  6. It may be of interest that the “spouse” of the Brebeuf teacher is/was employed at Cathedral High School in Indianapolis. Cathedral was given the same options as Brebeuf and has decided that they will not retain the employee and will retain their Catholic status. Part of this decision is most likely due to the fact that Cathedral High School is supported in part by the archdiocese and Brebeuf is not, but I am happy that Cathedral seems to have made the correct decision.

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  7. I was once informed that if a priest tells you he’s a member of the Society of Jesus, take note if the emphasis is on “Society” or “Jesus.”

    Before being received into the Church I read copious amounts of Jesuit literature, and though the overwhelming number of authors were orthodox, one would occasionally slip through who was “too smart by half.” It became much more frequent, and I came to mistrust the the Jesuits. The Pope sure as hell hasn’t helped.

    When I observe the likes of Father James Martin, SJ, I am reminded of Montaigne who said: “I enjoy the company of peasants; they haven’t been educated enough to reason incorrectly,”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. As a 1969 graduate of Brebeuf, I welcome this article and the replies. Even 50+ years ago, I found that the Jesuits seemed to be “stretching the envelope” on topics, and even at that young age I thought that their ideas weren’t exactly “catholic”. It’s also my understanding that most of the Jesuits on the faculty from ’65-’69 left the order eventually to get married, etc. (my Freshman Latin teacher, a Priest, came back years later to teach again, as a married man). I used to be proud to be a graduate of Brebeuf, now I’m very embarrassed. I commend and pray for Archbishop Thompson for his integrity in dealing with this matter; too bad his predecessors didn’t show such “intestinal fortitude”. I hope that the Archbishop will join with his colleague in Springfield, IL in refusing Holy Communion to politicians who support abortion, as well. For much too long “Political Correctness” has infected the Church, to me, a legacy of Vatican II. Church doctrine, law and tradition are not open to modification because someone’s “sensibilities” are offended. That doesn’t seem to be the belief of the current occupant of St. Peter’s throne, but hey, he’s a Jesuit, waadaya expect!? Betcha all this nonsense, and more, is connected to the suppressed Third Secret of Fatima, the publication of which in 1960 was suppressed in 1959 by John XXIII (so Vatican II wouldn’t be affected, HMMM??). To all who read my comments, I beg you to pray the Rosary daily for the Church, its clergy and members. God help us and have mercy on us!

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