Yes, the Jesuits again

It’s Christmas — so lets have a bit of leisure. This week I am repeating a poem I wrote in 2013 when the Jesuits left the parish after many years. It was a sad occasion — although I have an excellent parish priest. But he’s not a J.

At the least you’ll remember the names and order of all the Councils in the Catholic Church.

The Song of the Jesuit Provincial

I am the very model of a Jesuit provincial,

I’ve information secular, doctrinal and canonical.

I know the name of every pope, and councils quite historical

Jerusalem to Ephesus in order categorical.

Constantinople, Chalcedon and, of course, Vienne,

Nicaea, Constance and the rest are well within my ken.

And counting up, from one to five, the councils of the Lateran

But glad to see that Trent gives way to first and second Vatican.

I love the Latin liturgy and I greet with great elation

The finely honed obscurity of recent trans-a-lation.

In short, in matters secular, doctrinal and canonical

I am the very model of a Jesuit provincial.

And now we see a Jesuit receive the crown pontifical

He’ll know from Heythrop studies that the bible’s mainly mythical

And the story of creation must accept a new solution

Since the prophet Darwin demonstrated evolution.

You’ll know that moral doctrine will be volatile for me,

For nothing merely probable is known with certainty.

Please don’t think I waste my time on any matters mystical,

I will solve your moral problems with my methods casuistical.

 My doctorate in Canon Law shows for all to see

How everything’s permitted, when interpreted by me.

In short, in matters secular, doctrinal and canonical I am the very model of a Jesuit provincial.

About Quentin

Portrait © Jacqueline Alma
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5 Responses to Yes, the Jesuits again

  1. John Thomas says:

    Great poem, Quentin … but as for its accuracy … well, I couldn’t possibly comment (or maybe … could I?)

  2. David Smith says:

    John Thomas writes ( ) :

    // as for its accuracy … well, I couldn’t possibly comment (or maybe … could I?) //

    Jesuits are fine for Jesuits, I suppose. But I think they’re more than a little obnoxiously cocky, probably smugged up on their PR. They remind me of Mensans I’ve known. And I suspect that the current crop of Jesuits are less deserving of that exalted reputation than some previous crops may have been. Take the current pope, for example. Please.

    A Blessed and a Merry Christmas, John, Quentin, and all.

  3. galerimo says:

    A bold editorial was written one day
    Suggesting advances so wide,
    That it left the church gasping
    With episcopal rasping –
    “Not a word shall be left undenied!”

    So the hunt for the writer began in a rush
    Determined, undaunting and brash.
    To find and uncover,
    This radical author
    And give all his ideas the bash.

    For who ever heard of accountable clergy?
    Or welcoming fringes in frocks!
    Or talking unwearied,
    With sexually varied,
    And folk bringing doctrinal shocks.

    He had to be silenced
    (With “appropriate” violence)
    His ideas must be given no scope.
    Still, radicals pray to this very day.
    “Stay at large!”.
    “de la Bedoyere for Pope”

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    To our amazing author, as well as to all my fellow bloggers here-
    A Blessing of Peace, Health and Prosperity on every level of your living
    this Christmas.

  4. milliganp says:

    I lived, for many years in a parish where a Jesuit visited for 6 mweeks every summer so that the PP and Curate could go on holiday. He was obviously deeply spiritual and his homiles were both relevant and had an obvious purpose. Sadly our PP hade written a complete set of 52 homilies in the early years of his priesthood and just cycled them through the year – every year and the curate hated everything since Vatican II.
    Later, as priests became scarcer, the local Jesuit community provided Sunday supply. He was a Bradford man, built like a rugby player with massive hands. He taught art and was amazingly gentle, but with the certainty of a Jesuit. All his homilies had a beginning, middle and end and at the end you know what you were being exhorted to do. Our Irish PP flew a plane that constantly circled but never landed.
    There is a lot to be commended for rigorous formation.

    • David Smith says:

      milliganp writes ( ) :

      // There is a lot to be commended for rigorous formation. //

      Yes, but I don’t care for what I’ve seen of modern Jesuit formation. Humility out, aggressive masculinity in, too well armored. But circling, circling and never landing is also annoying. Both would make excellent Trollope caricatures. A high IQ too rigidly formed is repellent, but so is indecisiveness in the service of inoffensiveness.

      Incidentally, the more I see of the post-conciliar Church, the less and less I like it, rather like your curate: quiet spirituality out, grime and garrulity and study groups in place of dignity and beauty. Tout passe.

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