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The Jesuits and the East #101908
12/16/03 12:26 PM
12/16/03 12:26 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 31
Houston, Texas
hmjd Offline OP
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hmjd  Offline OP
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Houston, Texas
Dear friends,

What is the history, both positive and negative, of the Society of Jesus and the East?

- Henri


"A fire broke out backstage in a theater. A clown came out to inform the public. They thought it a jest - and applauded. He warned them again - they shouted even louder! In this way I believe the world will come to an end, amid all the wits who think it is a joke."
Re: The Jesuits and the East #101909
12/16/03 03:03 PM
12/16/03 03:03 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 26,132
Canada
Orthodox Catholic Offline
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Orthodox Catholic  Offline
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Dear Henri,

Well, the Jesuits were highly feared and hated by Ukrainians and Russians in history.

The Polish Jesuits especially were always seen as acting as a kind of "religious arm" of the Polish colonial power.

The Polish Jesuits were highly intolerant of the Orthodox in the Polish Kingdom and actively sought ways to make them Catholic - meaning "Latin Catholic."

Even the Union of Brest-Litovsk was often deemed a "partial reunification" of the Orthodox of the Ruthenian Metropolia (including Ukrainians and Belarusyans at the time).

Many believed that the "schismatic rituals" maintained by the "Uniates" had to be tolerated but would be supplanted later on by a full return to the "true Catholic (Latin) Rite."

And many of the Ruthenian aristocracy did become totally Latin Catholic - and Polish - as a result of their scholastic training in Jesuit schools etc.

Met. Ilarion Ohienko in his works refers to Jesuit texts of the period (18th century) where in typical "Jesuitical fashion" wink tactics are outlined for the bringing of more "schismatics" into Catholicism.

For example, he quotes one line where it states that new EC bishops are to be chosen from among the poorest of priests in the villages. These would, according to this view, become the most grateful to the Jesuits and the Polish Kingdom for this honour (and the material benefits deriving from it) and would make good allies in further "union work" among the Ruthenians (!).

The horrific martyrdom of St Andrew Bobola SJ was not a personal attack on that martyr.

It summed up what the East Slavs basically thought of the Jesuits who were seen as "Soul snatchers" who not only destroyed the sense of loyalty to the Slavic Kyivan Church in the souls of the people - but also their cultural identity.

Let's remember that religious identity formerly indicated one's national identity.

Thus, to be "Orthodox" in E Europe meant one was "Ruthenian" in language, cultural identity and customs. To be "Catholic" meant one was Polish.

To change religions was to become a traitor to one's historic national community whose spiritual/cultural identity and worldview were ultimately and supremely contained in the Church and expressed via her liturgy, saints and miraculous icons.

This the Austro-Hungarian empire understood very well which is why it, at one time, ordered the GC Metropolitan of Lviv in the 19th century to remove certain Icons and Saints from the GC calendar.

For Ukrainians and Russians, "Jesuit" is synonymous with "imperialist agent."

Nothing good, in any event.

Alex

Re: The Jesuits and the East #101910
12/16/03 05:16 PM
12/16/03 05:16 PM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 448
Haddonfield, NJ
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Mike C. Offline
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i guess if you look at it as a negative quality, the Jesuits introduced the Latinizations in our Church: Devotion to the Sacred Heart, the Rosary, Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, liturgical colors, etc.

The Redemptorists of Belgium (the same Province St. John Neumann belonged to.) also provided manpower to our Church. They helped the Basilians get back on their feet. In gratitude they adopted the Redemporist color.

Re: The Jesuits and the East #101911
12/16/03 05:28 PM
12/16/03 05:28 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 26,132
Canada
Orthodox Catholic Offline
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Dear Mike,

Actually, those devotions were brought into our Church by our own people.

Fr. Isidore Dolnitsky introduced Eastern liturgical forms for them to prevent our people from attending Latin Churches to practice them - so popular they once were even among the Orthodox.

We did it to ourselves . . .

Alex

Re: The Jesuits and the East #101912
12/16/03 05:45 PM
12/16/03 05:45 PM
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djs Offline
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Alex, you were right the first time: we did it for ourselves.

Re: The Jesuits and the East #101913
12/16/03 08:18 PM
12/16/03 08:18 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
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Canada
Orthodox Catholic Offline
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Dear djs,

Coming from you, that truly IS a compliment! smile

Happy Name's Day!

Alex

Re: The Jesuits and the East #101914
12/16/03 08:27 PM
12/16/03 08:27 PM
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djs Offline
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Perhaps I should have written:
"Alex, you were wrong the second time"? wink

Quote
Happy Name's Day!
confused ?

Re: The Jesuits and the East #101915
12/16/03 08:41 PM
12/16/03 08:41 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
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Orthodox Catholic Offline
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Dear djs,

Just a sincere attempt by me to find out your first name . . . smile

Alex

Re: The Jesuits and the East #101916
12/16/03 08:46 PM
12/16/03 08:46 PM
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djs Offline
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Not Daniel.

Re: The Jesuits and the East #101917
12/17/03 04:23 AM
12/17/03 04:23 AM
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ohio
iconophile Offline
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No, I'm Daniel, but aren't the Jesuits today very involved in promoting Eastern Catholicism; I seem to recall the initials "SJ" after the names of some Eastern hierarchs...

Re: The Jesuits and the East #101918
12/17/03 04:54 AM
12/17/03 04:54 AM
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Sacramento, Ca
Brian Offline
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The Jesuits were very much involved in the work of the Russian Catholic Churches especially in the US (The Fordham Center, the old Russian Cath parish in Boston, St Michael's in NYC and the Russian Catholic center in San Francisco which as a wonderful tradition)

Re: The Jesuits and the East #101919
12/17/03 11:16 AM
12/17/03 11:16 AM
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Massachusetts
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Irish Melkite Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by hmjd:
What is the history, both positive and negative, of the Society of Jesus and the East?
Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
Well, the Jesuits were highly feared and hated by Ukrainians and Russians in history.

The Polish Jesuits especially were always seen as acting as a kind of "religious arm" of the Polish colonial power.

The Polish Jesuits were highly intolerant of the Orthodox in the Polish Kingdom and actively sought ways to make them Catholic - meaning "Latin Catholic."

Even the Union of Brest-Litovsk was often deemed a "partial reunification" of the Orthodox of the Ruthenian Metropolia (including Ukrainians and Belarusyans at the time).

Many believed that the "schismatic rituals" maintained by the "Uniates" had to be tolerated but would be supplanted later on by a full return to the "true Catholic (Latin) Rite."

For Ukrainians and Russians, "Jesuit" is synonymous with "imperialist agent."

Nothing good, in any event.

Alex
Henri,

Alex is correct in his assessment of the negative Jesuitical influence and the heritage which they left in Ukraine, Russia, and other of the Slav nations and I, personally, would be less kind than he in assessing the role of St. Andrew Bobola, SJ.

The Society also has a less than glorious history with respect to the Church in Ethiopia, where priests of their Portuguese province were involved in conversion and latinization of the Orthodox during the 16th and 17th centuries, as discussed in a recent post here.

However, as Brian notes, much credit must go to their work in the 20th century.

In 1927, HH Pius XI asked the Society to undertake a mission to train clergy for Russia, In response, they established the Russian College in Rome, the Russicum. Subsequently, in 1950, they created the Russian (later Pope John XXIII Eastern Studies) Center at Fordham University. As Brian notes, at various times, they served all of the Byzantine Russian parishes in the US, other than the newly-erected parish in Denver.

Fathers John Ryder, Fionan Brannigan, and Feodor Wilcock, all of blessed memory, each entered into repose during their pastorate of St. Andrew's in El Segundo, successively having served it from 1939 until 1972. Father Wilcock also served in NYC at St. Michael's Byzantine Russian Orthodox Church in Communion with Rome, together with Fathers John Geary, SJ, and Joseph Lombardi, SJ. A Byzantine Jesuit of Italian heritage, whose name now escapes me, succeeded The Right Rev Archimandrite and Mitred Archpriest John Mowatt, as Administrator of Our Lady of Kazan Byzantine Russian chapel in Boston, now suppressed. Father Nicholas Bock, SJ, of blessed memory, founded Our Lady of Fatima Byzantine Russian Catholic parish in San Francisco. More than a dozen members of the Society have served the parish in the 40 years since.

Father Walter Ciszek, S.J.. entered the Society in 1928 and, in 1937, was the first American Jesuit to be ordained in the Russian Byzantine Rite. He was assigned to the Byzantine mission parish in Albertyn in eastern Poland (now Belarus). (In the late 90's, the Belarusian Greek-Catholics of the parish at Grodno erected a cross at Albertyn near Slonim to commemorate the Byzantine Jesuits who served in Albertyn from the mid-20s to early 40s.) In 1941, Father Walter was arrested and sentenced to 15 years hard labor. He spent 5 years in solitary confinement in Lubianka Prison and was then sent to the Siberian slave-labor camps. He was released in 1955 and allowed restricted freedom. He worked in factories while functioning as a priest and, finally, in 1963, was exchanged for a Russian couple who were being held for espionage in the US. He spent the last 20 years of his life serving St. Michael's parish, working at the Fordham Center and with CNEWA, and acting as chaplain to a Byzantine Carmelite convent in PA. On 8 December 1984, he entered into eternal repose at the Fordham Center. After his death, a Cause for Beatification of Father Walter was promoted by the Byzantine Carmelite sisters and formally advanced by the Eparchy of Passaic during the tenure of Bishop Michael. (After his retirement, for reasons that are unclear to me, the Cause was transferred to the Latin Diocese of Allentown.) A website with information on his Cause is at

Father Walter Ciszek Prayer League .

Several Byzantine Jesuits from Boston College have assisted the Mekhitarist Fathers in serving Holy Trinity Armenian Catholic Church in Belmont, MA during recent years.

The Rt Rev Mitred Archpriest and Archimandrite Robert Taft, SJ, is noted for his scholarly research and support of our Churches.

Most Eastern Catholic Jesuits are ordained specifically to the Church which they serve (the current General of the Society of Jesus, in fact, was ordained to the priesthood for the Armenian Catholic Church). Others, ordained to the Latin Church, who later choose to serve in an Eastern Church, receive appropriate bi-ecclesial faculties. (All those ordained to Eastern Churches receive bi-ecclesial faculties in the Latin Church, as membership in the Society requires that.)

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
Re: The Jesuits and the East #101920
12/17/03 11:44 AM
12/17/03 11:44 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
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Spain
Francisco Offline
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Do not forget the Russian Byzantine rite Spanish jesuits at Rome Center of Eastern Studies and the Russian College Echarry, Arranz and Mateos and their extraordinary good liturgical studies about the history of the Byzantine Rite. On the other site we have recents examples of latinization (former Byzantine rite Catholics who become Latine rite when they became members of the Society).

Re: The Jesuits and the East #101921
12/17/03 02:29 PM
12/17/03 02:29 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 26,132
Canada
Orthodox Catholic Offline
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Dear Friends,

We Ukies value the Byzantine Jesuits, to be sure!

But we would probably be horrified at the thought of having Byzantine Ukrainian Jesuits (although I've met one who is Bi-ritual or Bi-ecclesial, take your pick, of Ukrainian background who is now in Ukraine).

Perhaps those issues are no longer issues.

And we have our own Eastern Jesuits in the person of our Basilian Fathers! wink

Alex

Re: The Jesuits and the East #101922
12/17/03 03:56 PM
12/17/03 03:56 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 31
Houston, Texas
hmjd Offline OP
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hmjd  Offline OP
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Houston, Texas
Friends,

Thanks so much for the informative replies. I knew that in general the early history of the Jesuits and the East wasn't so hot. But it seems today that they are involved on a much more positive level. Here in Houston we've had a Jesuit fill in for our priest on more then one occasion for the Divine Liturgy.

It looks like I'll be trading the courtroom for the classroom very soon. It is a Jesuit high school (where I graduated from actually) and I wanted to get a firmer understanding of the Jesuit's past and current relationship with the East. Thanks again!

- Henri


"A fire broke out backstage in a theater. A clown came out to inform the public. They thought it a jest - and applauded. He warned them again - they shouted even louder! In this way I believe the world will come to an end, amid all the wits who think it is a joke."
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