Religion: Making Up with the Jesuits

The Pope gives a new assignment to his church's famed order

For centuries, the Society of Jesus has been considered both a blessing and a bane to the Roman Catholic Church. The order has been expelled at various times by the rulers of France, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Russia, Japan; the Papacy itself once suppressed the organization for 41 years. In modern times, no episode was as humiliating as the vote of no confidence that Pope John Paul II cast in 1981. After the society's head, Superior General Pedro Arrupe, suffered a stroke, the Pontiff suspended the normal succession and installed his own men as the Jesuits' temporary leaders.

Seven years after the...

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