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globalization pose to humanity, with the hope of receiving a formation which will make it  possible for them to construct a world of truth and freedom, of justice and peace…”

At the end of the Mass, accompanied by Father General, the Cardinal moved to the altar of Saint Ignatius. Above the altar is the magnificent statue of St. Ignatius hidden by the recently restored gloriously painted canvas of Brother Pozzo. The canvas, conceived with a touch of the theatrical taste of the time, was intended to hide this famous statue and reveal it only on special occasions. On this occasion, the canvas was lowered to reveal the statue. In front of the altar, Father General  lit a lamp which will burn during the General Congregation as a symbol of the continuous prayer of the Society throughout the world.

At 15.00 on Monday afternoon the Assistancies met for a preparatory meeting; the formal opening of the Congregation took place 16.30.

The Italian communication media are following the development of the Congregation with great interest. Other parts of Europe will also receive similar information.

These are the first steps of the Congregation which are being followed with prayerful interest by many persons  in and outside the Society of Jesus.


The official opening of the Congregation took place, under the presidency of Father General, at 16:30 January 7. According to the Formula of the Congregation the delegates must decide by a non-secret majority vote, whether the Congregation should be considered plenary and legitimate. The vote was positive and Father General moved to the next item: vote for the Secretary and the Assistant Secretary who will conduct the business of the Congregation until the election of the new Father General:

1) Results of the election, Father Luis Orlando Torres (Puerto Rico) is the Secretary and Father Ignacio Echarte (Loyola) is the Assistant.

2) As established by the Formula, a commission is formed to determine if anyone has aspired to the office of General; it is composed of the oldest members in religion from the ten Assistancies. The members are: Frs. Augustin Karekezi (Africa), Ramon Alaix (Southern Latin America), Jorge Ambert (Northern Latin America), Jose Changanacherry  (Southern Asia), Adolfo Nicolás (East Asia and Oceania), Wendelin Köster (Central Europe), Elías Royón (Southern Europe), Peter-Hans Kolvenbach (Western Europe), Adam Zak (East Europe), and Vincent Cooke (United States of America).

3) The members of the committee charge with gathering information and submitting a report on the “lights and shadows” in the Society (De statu Societatis) are: Frs. E. Goussikindey (Africa), A. Palacio (Southern Latin America), J. Morales (Northern Latin America), M. Devadoss (Southern Asia), B. Nebres (Asia and Oceania), S. Dartmann (Central Europe), E. Royón (Southern Europe), M. Rotsaert (Western Europe), A. Zak (Eastern Europe), and B. Schaeffer (United States of America.

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