A Topic at the 35th General Congregation

The Vow of Obedience to the Holy Father

The Holy Father, Benedict XVI, asked the Congregation to help the Society deepen its devotion and fidelity to "the Vicar of Christ on earth" as expressed in the 4th vow of obedience to the Holy Father.

The Constitutions clearly state that the vow is specifically about requests from the Holy Father regarding "the missions." However, it is clear from the documents of the last several congregations that we are reminded that the Society is also called to a bond of affection and fidelity to the Holy Father.

The preparatory group thought it was important for the whole Society to be renewed in a sense the Society's fundamental relationship to the Pope - a relationship that offers obedience, loyalty and affection.

How can the Society strengthen its bond of obedience to the Holy Father? What are the challenges for formation? What will help the Society? What are the implications for Jesuits taking this vow?


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