site offers links
to the texts of some critical documents to help understand the the
and Catholic tradition of the service of faith and the Promotion of
Of particular importance are the decrees of several General
of the Society of Jesus. The General Congregation is the way the
Society of Jesus selects a new Superior General and sets policy that
the Society of Jesus. There have been 34 General Congregations
St. Ignatius' day, 450 years ago.
of the Society of
December 2nd, 1974 - March 7th,
The Service of
the Promotion of
77 28. From all over the world
are working, very similar and very insistent requests have been made
by a clear decision on the part of the General Congregation, the
should commit itself to work for the promotion of justice. Our
today urgently requires that we take this decision. As apostles
are bearers of the Christian message. And at the heart of the
message is God revealing Himself in Christ as the Father of us all whom
through the Spirit He calls to conversion. In its integrity,
conversion means accepting that we are at one and the same time
of the Father and brothers and sisters of each other. There is no
genuine conversion to the love of God without conversion to the love of
neighbor and, therefore, to the demands of justice. Hence,
to our apostolic mission requires that we propose the whole of
salvation and lead others to embrace it. Christian salvation consists
an undivided love of the Father and of the neighbor and of
Since evangelization is proclamation of that faith which is made
in love of others, the promotion of justice is indispensable to it.
Decree 4 of
G.C. 32 transformed
ministry of the
Society of Jesus.
of the Society of
December 5 to March
Mission and Justice
50 1. In response to the Second
Vatican Council, we,
the Society of Jesus, set out on a journey of faith as we committed
to the promotion of justice as an integral part of our mission. That
was a wonderful gift of God to us, for it put us into such good
Lord’s surely, but also that of so many friends of his among the poor
those committed to justice. As fellow pilgrims with them towards the
we have often been touched by their faith, renewed by their hope,
by their love. As servants of Christ’s mission, we have been greatly
by opening our hearts and our very lives to “the joys and the hopes,
griefs and the anxieties of the men and women of this age, especially
who are poor or in any way afflicted.”1
51 2. And we have done so in many
ways. The promotion
of justice has been integrated into traditional ministries and new
in pastoral work and social centers, in educating “men and women for
in direct ministry with the poor. We also acknowledge our failures on
journey. The promotion of justice has sometimes been separated from its
wellspring of faith. Dogmatism or ideology sometimes led us to treat
other more as adversaries than as companions. We can be timid in
ourselves and our institutional apostolates with the fullness of our
of faith seeking justice.
52 3. Therefore we want to renew our
the promotion of justice as an integral part of our mission, as this
been extensively developed in General Congregations 32 and 33. Our
has shown us that our promotion of justice both flows from faith and
us back to an ever deeper faith. So we intend to journey on towards
fuller integration of the promotion of justice into our lives of faith,
in the company of the poor and many others who live and work for the
of God’s Kingdom.
Other documents of GC 34
Including important decrees on:
Our Mission and Culture
Our Mission and Inter-religious
Cooperating with the Laity in
Jesuits and the Situation of Women
and Civil Society
Service of Faith
American Jesuit Higher Education
of the Society of Jesus
COMMITMENT TO JUSTICE IN JESUIT
Santa Clara University,
October 6, 2000
Fr. Kolvenbach outlines how the
on the promotion of justice has become so central to Jesuit sponsored
He offered several concrete
Jesuit universities. The talk is well worth reading for anyone
to understand how seriously the Society desires that Jesuit
give themselves to that service of the faith which promotes justice.
the speech that
started it all.
Pedro Arrupe, S.J.
This is the speech that Fr. Arrupe
gave to the
gathering of Alumni of Jesuit schools. Valencia, Spain,
Many in his audience walked out.
of the Society
Defining what he meant by doing
of justice" he said:
First, a basic attitude of
respect for all people
which forbids us ever to use them as instruments for our own profit.
Second, a firm resolve never
to profit from,
or allow ourselves to be suborned by, positions of power deriving from
privilege, for to do so, even passively, is equivalent to active
To be drugged by the comforts if privilege is to become contributors to
injustice as silent beneficiaries of the fruits of injustice.
Third, an attitude not simply
of refusal but
of counterattack against injustice; a decision to work with others
the dismantling of unjust social structures so that the weak, the
the marginalized of this world may be set free.
NEW: It turns out that the talk above was s condensed summar of the talk Fr. Arrupe gave.
See the full text of the original presentation Fr. Arrupe gave, in this new English translation.