Too radical for the Jesuits

How bad could Baltimore be?


The following comes from a Jan. 27 email sent to Cal Catholic by one of its readers.

Having the day off to take my dad to the doctor I read in this mornings Fresno Bee that a John Dear is to speak at the Newman Center at Fresno State. The name rings a bell and a little Internet research turns up that it is the expelled John Dear, former Jesuit. I decide to call the chancellery and they suggest that perhaps it is a different John Dear. They give me the number to the Newman center (559.436.3434) to call and check. I do and speak to a man who identified himself as “Deacon John.” He says that yes, it is the Jesuit expellee John Dear speaking but that that was an “internal matter between him and his order.” That the “Newman center had had controversial speakers in the past” (I don’t think he was referencing the former pastor who outed himself from the pulpit) and that he didn’t think John Dear would cause a scandal. I told him I disagreed but thanked him for the politeness of his reply. He asked my name and I told him my name Blake.

Wow. O Tempora, o mores! How radical does one have to be to be expelled by the Jesuits?


The following comes from a Jan. 7 article in the National Catholic Reporter.

John Dear, Jesuit known for peace witness, dismissed from order

A popular U.S. Catholic priest and author known for his peace writings and some 75 arrests for civil disobedience actions across the country has been dismissed from the international Jesuit religious order, which says he was “obstinately disobedient” to its directives.

Removal of Fr. John Dear caps 32 years in the order for the priest, who has been known for protesting a wide range of issues, including U.S. policies on Latin America, nuclear weapons development, and the cooperation of Jesuit educational institutions with American military recruiting programs such as the ROTC.

The dismissal also raises the specter of Pope Francis, the first head of the Catholic church to belong to the Jesuit order, having to confirm the dismissal of one of the order’s members.

Dear, a longtime NCR columnist, writes about the dismissal in his weekly column, posted Tuesday. He writes that he is leaving “with a heavy heart … because the Society of Jesus in the U.S. has changed so much since I entered in 1982 and because my Jesuit superiors have tried so hard over the decades to stop my work for peace.”

Dear also made available to NCR copies of letters from both the Jesuit headquarters in Rome and the Vatican congregation responsible for matters concerning religious life, notifying him of his dismissal. The specific charge against Dear listed in the documents is his refusal to live in a Jesuit community in Baltimore.

Jesuit Fr. George Murphy, who as the rector of the order’s community in Berkeley, Calif., from 1985 to 1991 oversaw Dear while he attended the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, said he thought Dear was “a fine man….”

“I think he was a little impulsive and I suspect he’s still got a bit of that of him — but he’s just got a keen sense of justice and a desire for peace in the world,” said Murphy, who recalled attending a protest with Dear in San Francisco in 1989 following the killing of several Jesuits by U.S.-trained soldiers at the order’s Central American University in El Salvador.

“I know he’s had trouble with superiors at different points in his life,” said Murphy, the director of spiritual formation at Jesuit-run Santa Clara University. “And I suspect he always will. He’s the kind of guy that I would like to give leeway to….”

To read entire National Catholic Reporter story, click here.


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  1. Just an FYI: National Catholic Reporter (NCR) is not Catholic. National Catholic Register is.

    • “National Catholic REPORTER” should not be supported by Catholics in any way.
      Official condemnation of REPORTER by Bishop Helmsing, 1968.
      Condenmation of REPORTER 2013.
      The “National Catholic Reporter” uses the name “Catholic” to draw people into heresy and schism. They use the name “Catholic” in violation of Canon Law.

    • FYI: National Catholic Register is not Catholic. The Wanderer is

      • Yea, PJT, I probably should have left it at the first sentence. My intention was that people mix the two up. I read neither, but the former is subversive.

      • Yes, PJT, I should’ve left it at the first sentence. My thought was that people mix them up. I read neither, but the former is subversive.

    • Ann Malley says:

      Important distinction, Hymie. And probably why NCR removed any commentary feature on the articles in their online offering. They didn’t like the Catholic rebuttals to the progressive nonsense they were spreading.

      Thanks for posting!

      • “When the commenting system is rebooted, we are going to have to step away from anonymity in commenting. We are going to have to have a verification system for comments. The research we have done in the last weeks, the people we have sought advice from, all say the same thing: The only way to increase civility in comments is to reduce anonymity.
        The plan is to bring comments back online within a week. We will have a system to verify commenters, and we will have a more robust filtering system, but to make this next experiment with comments work, we will need commenters to police themselves better. That means simple things, like flag the trolls but don’t take their bait. Resist the temptation to respond to every contrary comment. Let’s keep the tone as polite as a dinner conversation.”
        From NCR

    • I stand corrected: Just an FYI: National Catholic Reporter (NCR) is not Catholic.

  2. Click the link for the story. Many interesting things in it.

    • I clincked. Interesting. Full on Liberation Theologician / Community Organizer. His own NCR column should’ve been titled, “They’re Not the Boss of Me”. His version sounds like a resignation not a dismissal (the old Dear John letter).

      Anyway, it appears harder to fire a Jesuit than a federal worker. They’re even having the Pope sign off on it. 75 strikes and you’re out, I guess. Well, at least he has that Tractor Company to fall back on.

  3. retrospective says:

    For decades at Santa Clara, there has been a group of crosses installed on the front lawn of the Mission Church to commemorate the Jesuits murdered in El Salvador in 1989. The popular version of the event, that the priests were killed by U.S. trained soldiers, is repeated here. What one never hears, however, is that there was significant reporting in El Salvador at the time that the Jesuits were killed not by government militia, but by the same leftist guerrilla forces which the radical activist Jesuits themselves were collaborating with, as a sacrifical entreaty to sway public opinion, especially in the U.S. Even the local Catholic (non-Jesuit) bishop noted at the time that the there was no justification or reason to believe whatsoever for the militia to kill the group. After the fact, this should be painfully obvious by simple reference to the effect that the U.S. reports of the events has in fact produced – sympathy for communist expansion in South America and the reinforcement of liberal political views generally. The event has also been the single greatest boon ever to the unquenchable spirit of Catholic sympathy on Jesuit campuses for militant liberation theology. So ask: between the militia, and the opposition left-wing guerrillas, for whom was there incentive to kill the Jesuits? Hint: Don’t look to either of them when deciding who the fool is in this mix.

  4. Steve Phoenix says:

    There are several features that are noteworth in this little news article about John Dear:
    1) I rather doubt that the Fresno Newman Center’s Paulists would ever allow someone like a Fr. Nicholas Gruner of the Fatima Center, or a Fr. Arman Rostand of the SSPX, or even a Fr. John Berg of the FSSP, to speak at their site about traditional Catholic belief and why they hold what they hold. However, it seems every scurrilous radical-left NCR type gets a loving forum.

    2) Fr. Glynn, the Maryland Province Jesuit provincial, even as he acknowledges the process, praises John Dear for his exemplary qualities (?). Well, is he disobedient or not, Fr. Glynn? Is not the premiere virtue that St. Ignatius wanted his members to excel in, is it not obedience to the superior and the Holy Father?
    So, why do you praise him and send a conflicting message? I don’t get it. The late Fr. Raymond Dunn, in my opinion, was hounded out of the Jesuits for his belief in the traditional Faith of the Church—he never got an accolade from the NY Province provincial at his death that I know of.

    3) Finally, to the hypocrisy of John Dear and his NCR followers: China this week was acknowledged by the Pentagon to have a new purely offensive super-weapon, a hypersonic theatre missile, with likely adaptability to intercontinental capacity. I have never, and will never, hear of Dear and his followers bitterly protesting China’s awesome military buildup, which threatens world peace and its regional neighbors’ peace. I have never heard Dear decry the international weapons sale business that China, N Korea, and Russia engage in, especially supply automatic weapons, notably cheap AK47′s, even into our hemisphere for drug cartel use in S. and Latin America. The largest supplier of 7.62mm ammunition are these 3, which kill thousands of people every year. Where are you, “Fr” Dear? Your silence is deafening.

    • Regarding your third point: Do not cite a story about Chinese missiles that you have read on Most Holy Family (Yes, I saw that too) as having any veracity at all. Makes the writer citing this look rather foolish. I doubt that two men living in a double-wide trailer in upstate New York have the real lowdown on the weapon systems of any nation.

    • The Newman Center at Fresno State is not run by the Paulists.

  5. good cause says:

    Maybe the feeling is “Scandal makes news, day to day liturgy and chatter is boring”.

    • good cause, if you find the Liturgy boring, you need a serious self examination of conscience along with reading the Bible (especially the New Testament).

  6. good cause, when has day-to-day ANYTHING ever been news worthy? Imagine this headline:
    “Jane Discussed The Weather With Her Next Door Neighbor Tanya”, News At 5 :)

  7. Steve Phoenix says:

    Retrospective has an interesting point: uniform-clad paramilitary groups in S. & Latin America have now become a common-place front for other forces, from the FMLN to drug cartels in Mexico. The killing of the 6 Jesuits and the two women was so horrendous, coming as it did during a Faribundo Marti Liberation Front offensive in which many innocent people were killed by the left, it is incongruous to see any advantage to the Salvadorean government and/or military—but an excellent opportunity to discredit the US-training of the military forces.

    Think back to May 24, 1993, when Bishop Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo of Cuernavaca, MX was killed “in a crossfire” by men clad in elite “Los Tiburones” Mexican military uniforms (Los Tiburones are considered the equivalent of our Navy Seals): it didnt make sense. Initial “news service” reports said it was a shootout between government forces and drug cartel members. However, Bp Posadas-Ocampo was a vigorous opponent of the drug cartels, esp. in Tijuana, his former post prior to being assigned by the Holy See to Cuernavaca (possibly to protect his life, in fact). The bishop’s limo, with episcopal flags, was shot up like swiss cheese. All a coincidence of course: it must have been the evil military, showing a complete lack of restraint, of course.

  8. Steve Phoenix says:

    ‘Hank’ claims the China – military hypersonic missile is a fantasy from an obscure website. Perhaps ‘Hank’ would like to do some serious reading for a change, such as the transcripts of a recent House Armed Services committee meeting in Jan., 2014, which fully documented the existence of a new Chinese weapon with Mach 8 speed.

    Maybe ‘Hank’ can do a little homework and report on how fast that is, and research that this generally exceeds our current passive defense capability. Since ‘Hank’ hasn’t read up on this, maybe ‘Hank’ is discredited instead, and maybe instead we can open our eyes to the current massive China military armaments program, and expose the false peace-niks, fakes like John Dear, who lie to themselves yet also demand we subscribe to the same lie, and take their ignorant, uninformed slams at those of us who study these matters.

    The real point is this: the fake Catholic ‘peace – movement ignores the true war-mongerers of the world but will always attack their own country and military.

  9. Steve Phoenix says:

    By the way,a good summary of the Pentagon and Armed Services committee report on the new Chinese hypersonic missile is available at the Washington Free site, a Bill Gertz story from January 28. Gertz is an award winning reporter with the Washington Post and Washington Times. Maybe ‘Hank ‘ can study that story too and leave the Most Holy Trinity Monastery website alone. :)

    CCC: ” 2309 The strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force require rigorous consideration. The gravity of such a decision makes it subject to rigorous conditions of moral legitimacy.
    At one and the same time:
    - the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;
    - all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
    - there must be serious prospects of success;
    - the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated.
    The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.
    These are the traditional elements enumerated in what is called the “just war” doctrine.
    The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good.”

    When people vote for those who have no regard for innocent human life (abortion/euthanasia), then they will have wars that are unjust.

    • CCC: 2308 All citizens and all governments are obliged to work for the avoidance of war.
      However, as long as the danger of war persists and there is no international authority with the necessary competence and power, governments cannot be denied the right of lawful self-defense, once all peace efforts have failed.”

      SELF DEFENSE is also included in the CCC.

      • Steve Phoenix says:

        Thanks, Megan, for observing self – defense is mentioned in the CCC. China is a serious threat to world peace and a despotic military is encouraged by a supine opponent. What is most alarming is that a pre – emptive strike is a documented element of PROC military strategy. No matter to Fr. Dear and his peace-groupies.

  11. Kenneth Fisher says:

    “His peace-groupies” no doubt include the “bishops” favorite, “Pax Christi”!

    May God have mercy on an amoral Amerika!
    Viva Cristo Rey!
    God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
    Kenneth M. Fisher, Founding Director
    Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc.

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