Friday, 14 October 2016

A new General - a day of great consolation - Day 12 of GC36

Today the Jesuits elected a new leader.  Fr. Arturo Sosa  comes from Venezuela. The Congregation did indeed row into the deep to elect this man from the Southern Hemisphere.  It represents the demographic change in the Society of Jesus and in the Church today. As many as 80% of active Jesuits live and work in the Southern  Hemisphere.  It is an opportune time for the Jesuits to elect their first Latin American General and first born outside Europe or the USA.

The Francis effect did no doubt affect the choice.  The college of Cardinals in choosing Pope Francis made  a radical choice and the Jesuits follow their example.  Both men come from a rich continent but a place of  conflict, inequality, poverty and corruption.  A continent like Africa so rich with so many poor people.  Both have experience of working with the poor and trying to transform the lives of the poor.  The marginalised have received an added voice in Rome, in the world and in the Society of Jesus today.  Let us rejoice and be glad!  

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