What decrees will be promulgated after this General Congregation? Which recommendations will be passed on to Father General?
First of all, the one major decree that will come out of the Congregation will be the result of long conversations, both in small groups and in the aula, under the general theme of “Life and Mission of the Society”. A separate article tells you about it (please click here).
But what are the other outcomes of the delegates’ weeks of hard work?
- A number of decisions have to do with the internal ways of doing or the internal organization of the Society. They are important because they are under the responsibility of the General Congregation and because they will orient a part of the work of Father General and his team during the upcoming years. On the other hand, they cannot be considered as “newsworthy” for the general public outside the Order.
Some of these topics that have been dealt with during the 36th GC are: The ordinary government of the International Houses of Rome, topics related to the responsibilities of the General of the Society, improvement and precisions about economic practices, good practices for the internal life of local Jesuit communities and for the high standards expected from Jesuits everywhere.
- An important decree is also directed towards the internal ways and practices of the Order. It is about the improvement of the Governance of the Society at the universal level, a topic that was also tackled by the preceding Congregation (2008) but that needed to be looked upon again to insure a follow-up and an update linked with the experience of the past few years. The title of the decree is: Renewed Governance for a Renewed Mission.
After insisting once more on the fact that discernment must be at the basis of everything that is Jesuit and, in this sense, that the mission of the Society of Jesus is first of all God’s mission, the decree states that discernment, collaboration and networking offer three important perspectives on our contemporary way of proceeding. Collaboration and networking support a culture of generosity: recognition is made that there are still obstacles on the path to this way of thinking and being. The document asks Fr. General to carry the work that still has to be done for the renewal of the governance of the Society, for instance to revise or evaluate progress on our current apostolic preferences and, if appropriate, to identify new ones, to study the governance of Jesuit networks that cover areas beyond the geographic “conferences”, and to promote greater solidarity of human, institutional and financial resources throughout the Society in order to achieve greater apostolic effectiveness.
- Let us mention finally another important document on which the delegates worked assiduously; it is: Support and Solidarity with Jesuit Companions and their Collaborators Living in Was Zones or Dangerous Situations. All along the congregations, the delegates’ attention has been brought to situations of violence or tensions in which a number of their companions, in the field, are living. They have considered important to offer an official statement, from the highest level of authority of the Society of Jesus, declaring their proximity in prayer and in solidarity with these Jesuits but also with so many collaborators, women and men, who share in the Jesuit mission and are, in doing so, as much and sometimes even more, witnesses of faith, of justice and of reconciliation.