Francis’ Appointment of Jesuits to Lead Vatican Offices an ‘Anomaly’ in Church’s History

When Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio in 2013 became the first Jesuit in history to be elected the Roman pontiff, there was not a single member of his religious order serving at the Vatican in a leadership position.

Six-and-a-half years later, Pope Francis has now appointed three of his former confreres in the Society of Jesus to the Vatican’s highest posts. The latest was Spanish Jesuit Fr. Juan Guerrero Alves, who the pope appointed Nov. 14 to become the prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy.

Guerrero, formerly an official at the Jesuit headquarters in Rome, joins Spanish Jesuit Cardinal Luis Ladaria, who heads the powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; and Canadian Jesuit Cardinal Michael Czerny, who leads the Vatican office that advocates for global migrants and refugees. . .

“In the modern era, relations between the Jesuits and the papacy have been very hostile,” said Michela Catto, an Italian church historian who has written a number of books on the Jesuits and their relations with the Vatican.

Catto, a researcher at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, called Francis’ choices “an anomaly and certainly not traditional.” (Read more from “Francis’ Appointment of Jesuits to Lead Vatican Offices an ‘Anomaly’ in Church’s History” HERE)

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