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And Then There Were None

(Where have all the Jesuits gone?)

by Remnant Staff POSTED: 8/8/11

Famous engraving of playing cards tumbling into a blazing log fire as

Father Rodericus Ninno de Guzman (c. 1571–1626) reforms the city of Toledo.

( Toledo, Spain, a city that has existed since the Bronze Age (3200-600 B.C.), an important center in the Catholic Reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula, once the capital of the Visigothic kingdom of Spain and later the Kingdom of Castile, a city that played an important part in the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39, labeled “The Last Crusade” by Catholic historian Warren Carroll, a city long known as a bastion of Catholicism, has now seen the departure of its last Jesuits, whose presence in Spain continues to diminish not through expulsions but simply by virtue of old age: the last three Jesuits of Toledo have left their house and their ministry as of 1 July 2011, a date which should hereafter live in infamy in a nation that is giving itself over to a paganism abandoned more than one thousand five hundred years ago.

Toledo, a city that hosted synods of the Church beginning in the fourth century, that in 633 decreed uniformity of liturgy throughout the Visigothic kingdom, a city in which the Jesuits established their presence in 1558, a city with an estimated population of some 83,000 souls, is now a city in which the order founded by a Spaniard is now a city in which the presence of the Company of Jesus is now a memory rather than a reality. One asks how long it will be before this is true throughout the nation.

The Jesuit presence in Spain has declined by more than half since the “new springtime” of the Church ushered in not a rebirth but heralded a senescence that now threatens it with extinction. Those who remain are not the young, but rather a company of “soldiers for Christ”—“God’s Marines”—who for the most part might now be better seen as the sort of veterans wheeled out for patriotic holidays celebrating service in the Second World War. The venerable Company of Jesus, rather than recognize that its experiment with Modernism has yielded a highly toxic result, seems to have chosen a kind of collective suicide in Spain and elsewhere, yet there is no indication that the experiment is to be abandoned; instead, it is the Society of Jesus itself that is being abandoned.

It is worth noting that the present Superior General of the Society of Jesus (Fr. Adolfo Nicolás) is a Spaniard. He is known to be an outspoken advocate of what has come to be known as “liberation theology,” a highly controversial movement criticized by the late John Paul II and Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) while serving as the head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who nevertheless confirmed Fr. Nicolás as Superior General in 2008, the same year in which Fr. Nicolás stated that liberation theology could be described as a “courageous and creative response to an unbearable situation of injustice in Latin America,” according to an article in America: The National Catholic Weekly.

One wonders if Fr. Nicolás views the “situation” of the Society in his native land as “unbearable,” given its current state of affairs.

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