Monday, October 17, 2016

Jesuits elect Latin American as their leader

First time in Jesuits’ nearly 500 years of history, they have elected a Latin-American to head their congregation on Friday, ending speculations about an Asian becoming their superior.

The 36 General Congregation of the Jesuits, now underway in Rome, elected 67-year old Father Arturo Sosa Abascal on Oct. 14.

The Rome-based priest, born in Venezuela provincial of Jesuits in that country between 1996 and 2004, when there were tensions within his province over the dictatorship of Hugo Chávez.

Prior to his appointment as provincial, he was in charge of the social apostolate of the Jesuits in Venezuela. He was also head of the Centro Gumilla, the Jesuit-run social and action research center.
As an expert in political science and political theory, who has taught and researched widely and who knows the Maduro regime at first hand, his election seems designed, in part, to bolster the Vatican’s mediation in the fast-deteriorating situation there.

Sosa, becomes the 31st superior general of the Jesuits. Born in Caracas, Venezuela, on November 12, 1948, he has a doctorate in Political Sciences from the Universidad Central de Venezuela, and speaks Spanish, Italian, and English.

He has been serving since 2014 as the Delegate of the General for the International houses and Works of the Society of Jesus in Rome, meaning he has had responsibility for Jesuit formation and other houses, including the Jesuit headquarters, or General Curia and the Gregorian University.

Some 212 Jesuit electors from across the world, mostly delegated by the nearly 17,000 Jesuits worldwide, who this morning voted for Sosa following the resignation of Father Adolfo Nicolás.

It is not yet clear how many ballots it took to elect him, but the result was known after just a couple of hours. The Jesuit electors have spent this week in the murmuratio, discussing the merits of possible generals with each other.

He will also be the first Jesuit general to sport a moustache.

Source: cruxnow

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