The latest from Sandro Magister involves Pope Francis, a writer for the Jesuit produced journal La Civiltà Cattolica, the bishops of the Philippines, Pope Francis, and Fr. Joseph Fessio, SJ.
ROME, January 29, 2015 – They have not gone without notice, the harsh criticisms addressed by an authoritative Jesuit of the authoritative “La Civiltà Cattolica” to the bishops of the Philippines, for their strenuous opposition to the law on “reproductive health” successfully backed in the country by Catholic president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino.
The criticisms, formulated in a book, were presented in detail in this article from www.chiesa:
> Bishops of the Philippines Under Pressure. Examined and Rejected
The Jesuit who slammed the Filipino bishops for being “backward” and “closed off” not only with respect to the beacons of modernity but also with respect to the requests of Pope Francis is the Frenchman Pierre de Charentenay, a former president of the Centre Sèvres, the Paris institute of higher education of the Society of Jesus, director from 2004 to 2012 of the magazine of the Jesuits of France, “Études,” and since last year part of the team of writers of “La Civiltà Cattolica,” the magazine of the Rome Jesuits printed after inspection by Vatican authorities and directed by a man very close to the pope, Fr. Antonio Spadaro.
His [Pierre de Charentenay’s] dismissal of the bishops of the Philippines made an even bigger impression because it coincided with the journey of Pope Francis to that country, which is not only the only one in Asia with a majority Catholic population, but also distinguishes itself by the strong presence of its bishops in the public sphere. [So, the Jesuits in orbit about Pope Francis right now are against “culture warriors”?]
Receiving the pope on January 16 at the presidential palace (see photo), Benigno Aquino, educated in the Jesuit schools of Manila, also took the opportunity to criticize the Filipino bishops. In welcoming his guest he cited and turned against them the pre-Christmas address of Francis to the Roman curia, with the condemnation of those who by virtue of their roles make themselves “sowers of discord.”
But neither in the discourse delivered immediately after that circumstance – where he nonetheless struck a blow for the “inalienable right to life, beginning with that of the unborn” – nor in other moments of his visit did Pope Francis expend a single word in defense of the bishops.
Not everyone, however, among the Jesuits agrees with the accusatory theses of their confrere of “La Civiltà Cattolica,” […]
From San Francisco, after reading the rejection of the Filipino bishops decreed by Fr. de Charentenay because of their closure to modernity, the Jesuit Joseph Fessio reacted by sending us the letter reproduced below.
Fr. Fessio is not an unknown. Formed in the theological school of Joseph Ratzinger – and a prominent member of the circle of his disciples, the “Ratzinger Schülerkreis” – he founded and directs the publishing house Ignatius Press in the United States, which recently made an impression with the book “Remaining in the Truth of Christ,” with contributions from five cardinals against communion for the divorced and remarried.
The following are the “errors of reason and of fact” that Fr. Fessio sees present in Fr. de Charentenay’s criticisms of the bishops of the Philippines, on matters of “reproductive health.”
Read Fr. Fessio’s letter there.