Given Adolfo Nicolás’ almost five decades of ministry in Japan — and their effect on his outlook — the day since his election has seen the 30th “Black Pope” being repeatedly compared to the 28th.
Yes. That would be the newly elected “general” of the Jesuits. Like the 28th, Pedro Arrupe, he spent much time in Japan. Much more is noted by blogger Rocco Palmo, a much published Philadelphian who writes from America for The Tablet, the international Catholic weekly published in London.
Fine. But I expect there’s another likeness, that as a Jesuit novice blogged a year or so ago, in his first half year as a Jesuit, a Jesuit general “literally has his finger on the pulse of the planet.”
He doesn’t, of course, and I entered into dialog with the young man in order to remind him gently that he may literally has his finger on the pulse of a novice but not of the planet. Alas, by the time he cut me off from comment on his blog, he had made it brutally clear that he had no idea of the meaning of “literal,” nor any sense of its being the opposite of “figurative.”
He’d come to the Society fresh off a respectable state university campus and had apparently met usual Jesuit requirements as to gray matter and literacy but nonetheless thought the Jesuit general took global pulses.
This I found more disheartening than if he’d denied the Trinity, which he may yet do, who knows?