New Jesuit Superior General Election
In December 2014, the current Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Father Adolfo Nicolás, SJ, announced his intention to resign. A new superior general will be elected at what is now the 36th General Congregation (GC 36), which is currently underway. Delegates will discuss petitions or requests, known as postulata, received from province congregations around the world.
The number of postulata sent to a general congregation usually comes to several hundred, although approximately 2,000 postulata inundated the 31st General Congregation in 1965-66, as Vatican II unleashed the imagination of the Society. At GC 32 (1974-75), the “service of faith and the promotion of justice,” was established as the specific and overriding characteristic of all Jesuit works. This year 215 Jesuits are gathered.
Some General Congregations last for months — and one, GC 31 in 1965-66, met for several months, broke for more than a year, and resumed for two more months. The GC 36 started on October 2nd.
Pat Coyle spoke with Jim Corkery SJ who is currently living in Rome, lecturing in the Gregorian University, and was a participant at the GC 35. He talks about the process and explains why electing a spiritual leader is very different to electing a political or business leader.