News / Asia

    New Pope Raises Profile of Jesuits in Asia

    Newly elected Pope Francis (C), Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, walks in the 5th-century Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore during a private visit in Rome, March 14, 2013.Newly elected Pope Francis (C), Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, walks in the 5th-century Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore during a private visit in Rome, March 14, 2013.
    x
    Newly elected Pope Francis (C), Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, walks in the 5th-century Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore during a private visit in Rome, March 14, 2013.
    Newly elected Pope Francis (C), Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, walks in the 5th-century Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore during a private visit in Rome, March 14, 2013.
    Simone Orendain
    As Pope Francis begins his papacy as the Roman Catholic Church's first Jesuit leader, he is raising the profile of a religious order that has long been involved in missionary work in Asia.

    The Society of Jesus - or the Jesuits as they are commonly known - is a Catholic order whose members are known for their austerity, ambitious missionary work and focus on education.

    The nearly 500-year-old order is a few hundred years newer than the other prominent Catholic orders such as the Benedictines, Augustinians and Dominicans, which all have had popes chosen from their ranks.

    The Rev. William Currie said one reason for the lack of a Jesuit pontiff until now may be “a certain amount of suspicion” surrounding the order. Currie is a Jesuit himself, and the former president of Sophia University, a Jesuit school in Tokyo.

    Pope Francis

    -Full name: Jorge Mario Bergoglio
    -Born December 17, 1936 (age 76) in Buenos Aires, Argentina
    -Made cardinal by Pope John Paul II in February 2001
    -First pope from Latin America
    -First Jesuit pope
    “Jesuits are picked out for criticism more than most other religious orders, going back to England or the Reformation when ‘Jesuitical’ was a bad word. It meant someone who was devious and sly and cunning and that sort of thing. Those sort of things probably don't come to minds of cardinals when they're electing a pope, but it's a stereotype that dies hard,” said Currie.

    The stereotype is far removed from Ricardo Jalbuena’s experience of Jesuits. The 56-year-old attended the Ateneo de Manila University, a Jesuit school, from elementary days through college. He admitted his bias for Pope Francis’s religious order.

    “The beauty about the Jesuit community is that it is a very dynamic and diverse culture of great theological minds, who are always are there to study, explore, challenge ideas…” he said.

    Some members of the Society of Jesus have been known for being outspoken on political and religious issues, and for living materially humble lives.

    The Rev. Mario Francisco, president of the Loyola School of Theology at the Ateneo in Manila, called the new pope’s life “unusual” because it has been widely reported that Pope Francis, when he was Cardinal Jorje Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, gave up the cardinal’s mansion for an apartment and took public transportation.

    “And I think the fact that he takes the name for Francis of Assisi is another indication of that sort of preference and love for the poor and a simple lifestyle. That is, I think, very, very good,” said Francisco.

    Jalbuena said he believes Pope Francis chose his name after Francis Xavier, one of the Jesuits’ founders who spent years evangelizing in India, Indonesia and Japan in the 16th century.

    The new pope has not yet said personally that either of those two major figures in the Roman Catholic Church was the inspiration for his name.

    • Pope Francis with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez, holding a picture of a plaque commemorating the 1984 peace and friendship treaty between Argentina and Chile, March 18, 2013.
    • Pope Francis and Uruguay's priest Gonzalo Aemilius greet people at the Vatican, March 17, 2013.
    • Pope Francis greets the crowds after conducting a mass in Saint Anna church inside the Vatican, March 17, 2013.
    • Pope Francis appears at the window of his future private apartment to bless the faithful, gathered below in St. Peter's Square, during the Sunday Angelus prayer at the Vatican March 17, 2013.
    • Pope Francis conducts a mass in Santa Anna church inside the Vatican, March 17, 2013.
    • Pope Francis leaves the Paul VI hall with security at the Vatican, March 16, 2013.
    • Pope Francis checks out of the church-run residence where he had been staying in Rome before becoming pontiff, March, 14, 2013. (Osservatore Romano)
    • Key chains featuring images of the newly-elected Pope Francis are displayed in a tourist shop near the Vatican in Rome, March 15, 2013.
    • In this image made from video provided by CTV, Pope Francis celebrates his inaugural Mass with cardinals, inside the Sistine Chapel, at the Vatican, March 14, 2013.
    • Newly elected Pope Francis waves from the steps of the Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica in Rome, March 14, 2013.
    • Newly elected Pope Francis walks in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore during a private visit in Rome, March 14, 2013.
    • Newly elected Pope Francis makes a private visit to the 5th-century Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, in a photo released by Osservatore Romano in Rome, March 14, 2013.
    • A nun takes a photograph of the first batch of souvenirs adorned with freshly-printed pictures of the newly-elected Pope Francis in a shop at the Vatican, March 14, 2013.

    You May Like

    Vietnam Mulls Tough Measures for ‘Misbehaving’ Chinese Tourists

    Move comes after footage surfaced online of Chinese travelers harassing a banana hawker in Da Nang

    Pakistan Social Media Star's Honor Killing Fuels Debate

    Qandeel Baloch's murder puts spotlight on deadly tradition and other mistreatment of women

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Francisco from: Argentina
    March 14, 2013 9:04 PM
    the truth about this guy's complicity in Argentina's atrocities start to emerge...

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Borderi
    X
    July 22, 2016 12:30 AM
    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.
    Video

    Video Number of Syrian Refugees Arriving in US Jumps

    The United States is committed to resettling 85,000 refugees from around the world by October. Of that number, 10,000 will come from Syria and already some 4,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in the United States, many of them settling in the state of Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from Chicago, their arrival is not the end of a difficult journey to find peace and stability.
    Video

    Video Rio’s Trams Await Olympic Tourists

    Over the past century, many cities around the world replaced electric trams, prone to breakdowns and backups, with faster and more spacious buses. But for some reason restored antique trams are a huge tourist attraction. So it’s no wonder the authorities in Rio de Janeiro are busy restoring their city’s old tram line ahead of the Summer Olympic Games. VOA’ George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora